Articles by Frank Portman

On the German Tank / Taxicab Problem

November 30, 2016 | Frank Portman

I always get giddy when I can apply real statistics and math to problems in my life. Recently, I had an opportunity to apply the ‘Taxicab Problem’ to something that came up at work. Given that I work for a ridesharing platform and I was quite literally counting “taxis” (or ... [Read more...]

bayesAB 0.7.0 + A Primer on Priors

October 11, 2016 | Frank Portman

bayesAB 0.7.0 Quick announcement that my package for Bayesian AB Testing, bayesAB, has been updated to 0.7.0 on CRAN. Some improvements on the backend as well a few tweaks for a more fluid UX/API. Some links: bayesAB Github Repo CRAN Page Now, on to the good stuff. Why should we care ... [Read more...]

On Lagrange Polynomials

September 30, 2015 | Frank Portman

Let’s take $n$ distinct points on the real line: Yay. We can now define the Lagrange Polynomials : Why am I making you look at this beauté? Turns out there’s some neat mathematical properties - namely in the subject of polynomial interpolation. That’s a fancy way of saying ‘... [Read more...]

Introducing FlyVis

December 15, 2013 | Frank Portman

After a couple all-nighters we’re finally done with our undergraduate statistics thesis. The abstract provides a brief overview of what we were trying to accomplish: We explore the possibility of improving data analysis through the use of interactive visualization. Exploration of data and models is an iterative process. We ... [Read more...]

Let’s Go to Rome

July 25, 2013 | Frank Portman

Although virtually obsolete, Roman Numerals are subtly embedded into our culture. From the Super Bowl and Olympics to royal titles, Roman Numerals refuse to fully be extinguished from our every day lives. And that’s not without reason. All numbers are beautiful and Roman Numerals are no exception, even if ... [Read more...]

Stock Market Predictions with Artificial Neural Networks

April 20, 2013 | Frank Portman

Many of my research and personal interests lie in the realm of Machine Learning for several reasons. To me, it is the perfect blend of mathematics, statistics, and computer science. Also, it is extremely pervasive in today’s society. Everything from improved web-search to self-driving cars can be attributed to ... [Read more...]

Fractal Fern

April 5, 2013 | Frank Portman

I’m gonna share a short code snippet that I thought was interesting. This post is inspired by one of my engineering computation classes at Rice. The program initializes a pair of coordinates ‘z’ and iteratively updates z by matrix multiplication based on some random number generation criteria. After each ... [Read more...]

Normalized Frequency of Terrorism in the US

March 20, 2013 | Frank Portman

I’ve been using the Global Terrorism Database a lot lately so I decided to share an interesting plot I made with the data. The GTD provides over 100,000 observations of terrorist incidents between 1970 and 2011. Of these, there are about 2400 observations in the USA. While this is not a large number, ... [Read more...]

Facebook Hacker Cup – Beautiful Strings

February 26, 2013 | Frank Portman

Now that the Facebook Hacker Cup is coming to an end I figured I’d post my solution to one of the challenges. Unfortunately I only made it to Round 1, but I was able to answer this rather interesting Qualification Round problem. The Problem: When John was a little kid ... [Read more...]

Fun with Twitter

January 28, 2013 | Frank Portman

I’ve been playing around with the ‘twitteR’ package for R ever since I heard of its existence. Twitter is great and easy to mine because the messages are all-text and most people’s profiles are public. This process is made even easier with the ‘twitteR’ package, which takes advantage ... [Read more...]

Project Euler in R Problem 9

December 13, 2012 | Frank Portman

In Problem 9 of Project Euler we are tasked with finding the product (abc) of the Pythagorean Triplet (a, b, c) such that a + b + c = 1000. A Pythagorean triplet is a set of three natural numbers such that a2 + b2 = c2. To solve this problem, we firs... [Read more...]

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