Blog Articles 1–5

Hamlet and IR Social Impact

Ripples on top of water with a rainbow pattern reflected.
Photo by Jordan McDonald on Unsplash

There are more intervention strategies in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
— Hamlet, sort-of

Tomorrow, I will be presenting our paper in the IR4Good track at ECIR 2024 on strategic IR impact interventions.

From my side, this paper grew out of a couple of things:

Leveling Up Call and Video Quality

My office setup, with a MacBook Pro next to a large monitor with a Shure MV7x mic on a boom stand.

I often get comments, and sometimes questions, about my Zoom and video lecture setup in my office. In this post, I want to talk a bit about it, my choice of equipment, and things that can improve the quality of video recordings, remote teaching, and videoconferences.

There are a few key pieces to this:

  1. Audio quality (microphone)
  2. Video quality (camera)
  3. Lighting
  4. Software
  5. Headphones and Monitors
  6. Additional Useful Bits

2023 in Review

Ominous green computer monitors. The center one says “2023 I'm Coming”
Photo by Vertex Designs on Unsplash

I’ve often closed out the year with two blog posts: my tool report, and a year-in-review. It’s been a pretty full year!

One of the major accomplishments was moving to Philadelphia to take a new position in the information science department at Drexel University1. I’m very excited for the coming years here, as the interdisciplinary information science context is an ideal home for my approach to research and scholarship. I did have to give up tenure for the move, but I think it was worth it.

Beyond that, a few other good things have happened this year…

2023 State of the Tools

Several office tools arranged around paper and paper flags.
Photo by Dan Cristian Pădureț on Unsplash

It’s time for another review of my current toolkit!

With a new job and a new city, I needed to re-assemble my work computing setup from scratch and am now running MacBooks both at home and work, so there are a number of changes. I also completely overhauled our home network. Quite a few software things have stayed the same, though.

Multiprocessing Woes

A peloton in a bicycle race, moving quickly in parallel.
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

It is a truth universally acknowledged that parallel computing on Python is an experience that ranks somewhere alongside “facial exfoliation with a rusted cheese grater” in its pleasantness.

In this post I’m going to briefly review our particular (common!) problem, the state of multiprocessing in Python, and why it unfortunately appears necessary to continue using my own parallel processing layer in LensKit.