Classifying Dead Stars

Pulsar classification is a great example of where machine learning can be used beneficially in astrophysics. It's not the most straightforward classification problem, but here I'm going to outline the basics using the scikit-learn random forest classifier. This post was inspired by Rob Lyon's pulsar classification tutorials in the IAU OAD Data Science Toolkit. This post …

Mind the Gender PayGap

I have been wondering how the gender pay gap in the university sector compares with the average across other sectors, so I thought I'd look at the data. Last update: 23 March 2018. The data I'm using come from the current UK returns on gender pay differences. Every company in the UK with more then 250 …

Friends of Fiends

It's not a typo. Well it is, but this time it's deliberate. I mistype friends-of-friends so often that I've decided to just give in and call my algorithm "friends-of-fiends" (FOF) instead. Problem statement:  Student X is analysing data towards a galaxy cluster that doesn't have a known redshift, i.e. a known distance away from us. …

Making Faces

Recently I've been thinking about classification again, this time with more of an emphasis on object detection. Even surprising complex and diverse objects can be detected using machine learning algorithms: trees, people, fruit... First off, let's draw a line between detection and recognition. For example, when it comes to people, facial detection is simply telling …