Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Welcome to the Myra Cohen Department of Computer Science

As New Zealand celebrates it's historic decision, 125 years ago, to give women the vote my department has renamed itself, for one week, the Myra Cohen Department of Computer Science after an illustrious female graduate, Myra Cohen a friend of mine. Women have always played an important role in the development of Computer Science. Two of my favourite heroines would be Ada Lovelace and Grace Hopper.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Māori and Machine Learning

Māori and Machine Learning, might not seem like a natural pairing. However, for Māori Language Week Spark have released Kupu, an app for your smartphone that will help you improve your vocabulary. Take a photograph of an object and the app will use Google's object recognition system to recognise it and then tell you what it is in Māori. It will speak the word as well so you can hear the correct pronunciation. Kupu is available for iOS and Android.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Memo That Allowed IBM's Women to Get Married

My colleague, Bob Doran, brought this piece of computing history to my attention. Imagine a time when women employed by IBM had to quit when they got married! This article in The Atlantic recounts one woman's experience of, what now seems, a bizarre situation. Thankfully times have moved on.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Use your library

I'm a huge fan of my local library and am really puzzled that people will spend their money on buying books they will probably only read once when they can read the same books for free from the library. I travel a lot and I love my e-book reader on my iPad; being able to travel with a dozen books that weigh nothing and take up no space is just great. Auckland Council Library has for several years provided e-books that you can download to your device and read for free, but the service wasn't easy to use. However, this has all changed with their new app, Libby, available on Android and iOS. The app makes browsing and searching for books simple and then you can download and read them directly, "easy as", as they say in New Zealand. Moreover, they have another app, RBDigital, that provides you free access to 100s of magazines. So go and join your local library, read more and save money!

Thursday, August 16, 2018

The 2018 Top Programming Languages

IEEE Spectrum has published its fifth annual interactive ranking of the top programming languages. As they point out: "because no one can peer over the shoulders of every coder out there, anyone attempting to measure the popularity of computer languages must rely on proxy measures of relative popularity." Auckland University's very own R language is in 7th place reflecting the growing popularity of data science and analytics.


Thursday, August 9, 2018

Half a million page views!

This blog has just passed 500,000 page views! Now I realise that not all of those views are individual readers, many will be web crawlers and bots, but those are the only stats I have. The most viewed post is Turing and the Apple logo (49,030 views), with The largest prime number is... (19,815 views) coming in second. Now to hit 1 million.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Top 20 Python AI and Machine Learning Open Source Projects



Dataquest has compiled a very useful resource for new data scientists, as they say: "Getting into Machine Learning and AI is not an easy task. Many aspiring professionals and enthusiasts find it hard to establish a proper path into the field, given the enormous amount of resources available today. The field is evolving constantly and it is crucial that we keep up with the pace of this rapid development. In order to cope with this overwhelming speed of evolution and innovation, a good way to stay updated and knowledgeable on the advances of ML, is to engage with the community by contributing to the many open-source projects and tools that are used daily by advanced professionals." You also might want to take a look at the book "Python: Machine Learning."