Sunday, May 27, 2018

"Can Multilayer Networks Advance Animal Behavior Research?"

The final version of a new paper of mine now has its final coordinates in a journal. Here are some details.

Title: Can Multilayer Networks Advance Animal Behavior Research?

Authors: Matthew J. Silk, Kelly R. Finn, Mason A. Porter, and Noa Pinter-Wollman

Abstract: Interactions among individual animals — and between these individuals and their environment — yield complex, multifaceted systems. The development of multilayer network analysis offers a promising new approach for studying animal social behavior and its relation to eco-evolutionary dynamics.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Innovative Pitching Usage: Micro-Starts by Relievers

The Rays started playing around with an interesting innovation in their pitcher usage in a recent series against the Angels: They started a reliever for one inning to face the tough top of their lineup, and then they brought in their scheduled "starter" for the second inning.

The Rays are doing this again in their upcoming series against the Orioles.

I think there is a lot of traction for more of this, though it will depend on a team's rotation (e.g., if you have one like the Astros, this is probably not as helpful as for the Rays), player, player egos, and so on.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

"The Pole Arm of Archaeology" and Other Epic Scholar Visualizations

Dan Hicks posted some epically bad scholar visualizations as a Twitter thread. My favorite one is The Pole Arm of Archaeology, which is about as epic as it sounds. ;)

(Tip of the cap to Brian Cox.)

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

'Working Paper' in Collaboration with International Monetary Fund: "Evolution of the Global Financial Network and Contagion: A New Approach"

A 'working paper' from a collaboration with folks from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) came out today. You can download it from this website. We also hope to submit a version of this work to a journal for publication. Here are some details.

Title: Evolution of the Global Financial Network and Contagion: A New Approach

Authors: Yevgeniya Korniyenko, Manasa Patnam, Rita Maria del Rio-Chanon, and Mason A. Porter

Abstract: This paper studies the interconnectedness of the global financial system and its susceptibility to shocks. A novel multilayer network framework is applied to link debt and equity exposures across countries. Use of this approach—that examines simultaneously multiple channels of transmission and their important higher order effects—shows that ignoring the heterogeneity of financial exposures, and simply aggregating all claims, as often done in other studies, can underestimate the extent and effects of financial contagion.The structure of the global financial network has changed since the global financial crisis, impacted by European bank’s deleveraging and higher corporate debt issuance. Still, we find that the structure of the system and contagion remain similar in that network is highly susceptible to shocks from central countries and those with large financial systems (e.g., the USA and the UK). While, individual European countries (excluding the UK) have relatively low impact on shock propagation, the network is highly susceptible to the shocks from the entire euro area. Another important development is the rising role of the Asian countries and the noticeable increase in network susceptibility to shocks from China and Hong Kong SAR economies.

Compilation of "Awesome" #BadStockPhotosOfMyJob

These stock photos of jobs (with much focus on scientific ones) are indeed hilariously bad.

Mathematics and physics get the familiar, cheesy writing-in-the-mirror treatment in some of these.

(Tip of the cap to Justin Howell.)

Fun Fact: My First Publication was a Dungeons & Dragons Character!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

You Wouldn't Like These Functions When They're Angry

There is a family of special functions called Anger functions. You wouldn't like them when they're angry.

Here is the context: Physics Today has agreed to publish an obituary for Norman Zabusky, so I needed to find some information that they require to be part of it. This led me to Norman's PhD thesis, which I found online. It briefly mentions something called Lommel polynomials, with which I wasn't familiar. The definition in a thesis appendix was terse — it's not exactly an important part of the thesis — so I looked at Wikipedia, and I kept seeing links to special functions that weren't familiar to me, and I have followed a couple of them. Anger functions are one family.

These various special functions are closely related to Bessel functions.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Meaningless Connections and Empty Entities

And I spend lots and lots of time studying these things, including in the context of applications like social media. ;)

(Tip of the cap to Jane Shevtsov.)