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Posts with Coding tag

Notes from MLconf 2017 in NYC (part 2)

Evan Estola from Meetup gave probably the second-best talk of the day (I have to give the best talk to Corinna Cortes) talking about our responsibility as wranglers of these learners to protect them from learning bigoted or otherwise harmful patterns. He noted that while some people believe that anything the learner infers from the data is somehow pure and bias-free, it is more accurate to say that while we are tinkering with every other constraint and parameter of a model we might as well fix the stuff that yields socially unwelcome inferences. He said it more elegantly of course, but it was neat that he kind of spanked everybody with that.

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Notes from MLconf 2017 in NYC

When Ben Hamner from Kaggle came up to the stage everyone in the room kind of straightened up and made little waking-up sounds, since Kaggle was recently acquired by Google, and because having the guy from Kaggle in a room full of ML people is a bit like having the guy from Easy Mac in a room full of undergraduate students. He didn't really get into that much in terms of the practice of machine learning, but did mention that winning learners are nearly always ensembles.

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OMSCS tip: how to keep yourself from accidentally pushing to a public Git repo

Periodically during the semester you will need to get updates from the class repo, so you have to maintain your connection to it. But you also really should be pushing your work somewhere, especially if you wind up getting accused of plagiarism--it's wise to have a paper trail, just in case. What you want is to be able to keep your connection to the class repo, but make it pull-only, and at the same time have a second connection to your private repo, where you can both push and pull to support a typical workflow.

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Creating stubs in F# for unit testing

One of the most important things to get right with my regexModeler application was the test suite, because I made several breaking changes many times along the way and would have been dead in the water without one. Because of all the random aspects of the program, it was an early challenge to get something for the unit tests to reliably measure. Now, if this is something you need to do too, bear in mind that object expressions can do much the same thing, but the limitation is that you need to define all of the methods for your solution to build. By taking the approach I outline below, you have more flexibility to define just the behavior you need to, while safely ignoring the rest. Also, if you want to take it a step further to add features similar to mocking libraries, you can do that.

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How to get SciPy working in Windows

Everything I read online suggested that to fix this situation I needed to build it from source, which meant installing compilers for C++ and Fortran, Cygwin, MinGW, and other stuff, none of which I actually want on that machine. There are Python distributions that already have SciPy working, but if you already have Python installed and are happy you may not want to mess with those. The answer for my situation wound up being that I had to dump the version of NumPy I was using and get the NumPy-MKL package instead, which contains the libraries mentioned in the above errors thanks to Intel's Math Kernel Library. So, here are the steps I eventually found to allow me to use SciPy with my existing Python environment without building it from source.

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Exit code 4 running xcopy to a network location in post-build step in Visual Studio

Our Visual Studio project contains a build step in which it copies files to a mapped drive, and we got funky behavior after the team upgraded to Windows 10. This behavior basically made it look like the destination wasn't there or that we didn't have access to it.

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Computer science education is not vocational training

So why does it matter? Because by expecting a computer science education to make you a good programmer, you are both asking too much and too little of the experience. It is too much to expect that you could learn all these skills in a classroom, and too little to expect that software development would be the sole aim of computer science.

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Wouldn't it be great if we were better at evaluating programming talent?

The bad news is that you haven't actually measured the person's practical technical ability, especially in the context of team development, and have learned little if anything about how the candidate works under real-world circumstances. Because offering criticism without suggestion is basically just complaining, here are some things that might help get those last bits of information.

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Probably a tough sell

If you happen to be enthusiastic about both F# and regex, I have the project for you.

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Get array of file names in a directory (JS/PHP)

Basically, this code goes through a directory on your server and outputs the result to a JavaScript array, $fileslist in this case. As this script is not in production on any of my projects, I'm sure it could be more efficient, but it definitely works; just change the directory referenced by the $dir variable to match your own.

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Wrapping text around non-rectangular shapes

Wrapping text around objects is easy when those objects are rectangles. Everything changes, however, when you want to wrap text around something that isn't.

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Fire a function when a file size changes (jQuery)

Note: there are probably better ways of doing this, even if you accept the premise of the article.

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YouTube gallery with lightbox and captions (PHP)

When I worked at an ad agency we had a version of our TV reel on DVD that I created, categorized by budget. I was then asked to put this version of the reel online, so people could view it that way instead, which was a good idea.

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