Showing posts from December, 2011

2011-12-15: 2011 NFL Season Week 15

So far this year all three of the prediction algorithms are 68% correct straight up. This is better than the predictions of most of the NFL "experts" such as the guys at ESPN . Last year we ended up right below 70% correct as well. Breaking the 70% barrier over the season seems to be rather hard to do as seen on the Prediction Tracker . Looking into the statistics of those games reveals some interesting information. In the majority of those games, the losing team had better box scores but still lost the game. We had thought that incorporating the betting line data this year would have had impact but the accuracy of the straight up predictions is not significantly better than last year. The season isn't over yet and anything can happen so here are the predictions for week 15. Favorite Spread Underdog Discrete Pagerank DAL 7 at TB DAL DAL at NYG 10 WAS NYG NYG

2011-12-14 Python & Memento Presentation for the ODU ACM

Earlier this semester, I was invited to present Python at an ODU ACM meeting . I presented a brief overview of the Python language and followed up with a code walk through of the code I use to parse Memento timemaps in my current research. Python, of course, has advantages and disadvantages compared to other languages. Since most ODU undergrads have experience with C++, the presentation presents Python with respect to C++. Pythons advantages include a fast development cycle and an extensive collection of community libraries. Its primary disadvantage compared to C++ is execution speed. My experience is that Python is sometimes over 100 times slower. Python's basic syntax and semantics are straight forward, so the presentation focused on the Python equivalents of commonly-used C++ constructs and the differences between static (C++) and dynamic (Python) typing. Python's implementation of high-level data types (lists, dictionaries, tuples, and sets) and functional code

2011-12-14: CS 495/595 Web Server Development for Spring 2012

The only WS-DL related class that will be offered in spring 2012 is CS 495/595 "Web Server Development". I had planned to offer CS 751/851 "Introduction to Digital Libraries, but I've taught that the last two springs and it has been a while since I've taught the web server development class (the last offering was actually from Martin Klein in spring 2010 ). The premise of this course is that the best way to really get to know HTTP is to build a fully-functional web server from scratch in the language of your choice. That sounds simple enough, but it becomes quite challenging, in part because if you do a poor job at design at the beginning you have to live with the consequences the entire semester. On the other hand, do a good job up front and each assignment will just drop into place (hello, software design ). Along the way, you'll also become quite familiar with reading RFCs and the REST architectural model. Take a look at past offerings of the cla

2011-12-08: Summer Microsoft Internship

It all started in San Francisco airport while waiting to get my luggage on my way to the PDA2011 conference. The recruiter from Microsoft called me to inform me that I have been accepted to intern at Microsoft Silicon Valley this summer. I was ecstatic and after a couple of months of bureaucracy and a ton of documents I was ready to leave Norfolk by the end of May. Since I haven’t been on an adventure or a trip for a long time, and since I will definitely need a car in California for the three months of the summer, I decided to drive my car all across the continent. I have always wanted to make a road trip like that where I can stop in every city or town along the way, check out their attractions and eat from their authentic cuisines. At the same time, our colleague and best friend Moustafa Aly managed to secure a job at Amazon’s engineering office in San Francisco . So when he knew I was going to drive all the way there he told me: “forget the plane, I will join you!” We left Norfo

2011-12-07: 2011 NFL Season Week 14

Week 14 of the 2011 NFL season is upon us. Talk of play-off teams and Superbowl probabilities fill the airwaves even more than Christmas music. Sitting in traffic on the drive home from work tonight I was listening to a few on-air personalities discussing Green Bay and New England for the Superbowl. Green Bay has already clinched a playoff berth and many people would say they are headed to the Superbowl this year. The comment that caught my attention was that the defense for both teams was terrible this year and the only reason they were doing well this year is that their offenses were so good that they could "outscore their mistakes". This led me to think about the Colts without Peyton Manning this year. For the past 3 or 4 years the Colts with Manning as their quarterback have dominated the sport. It would seem that they built the entire team around Manning. The Colts would run up the score on offense and then the opposing team would be forced to attempt to pass often jus

2011-12-01: 2011 NFL Season Week 13

Week 13 of the 2011 NFL season is upon us. This week New England is a 20 point favorite over Indianapolis. 20 points is rather rather significant for a line value. In fact since 2002 there have only been six games with a line value of 20 or greater. Of those six games, New England was the favorite in five of them. In none of the five games did New England cover the spread but they came close to covering the spread in the 2007 game against Miami winning by 21 points with a 22 point line value. Favorite Spread Underdog Discrete Pagerank PHI 5 at SEA PHI SEA TEN 3 at BUF BUF TEN at CHI 4 KC CHI CHI MIA 7 at OAK MIA OAK at PIT 6 CIN PIT PIT BAL 1 at CLE BAL BAL NYJ 1 WAS NYJ NYJ at HOU 7 ATL ATL