Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Boycotting a Coin Over a "Missing" Oxford Comma

Perhaps Philip Pullman is overreacting in his boycott of a coin over a missing Oxford comma, but this does pull at my heart strings. :)

(Tip of the cap to Sam Howison.)

Monday, January 27, 2020

"Quantifying “Political Islands” with Persistent Homology"

Here is a new expository article (in SIAM News) by my Ph.D. student Michelle Feng and me about our work on spatial topological data analysis.

You may also be interested in our associated research article and our recent follow-up article.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

New 2020 Baseball Hall of Famers

I am a bit late with this post, as I have been traveling and very busy during the past few days.

Anyway, the new Major League Baseball Hall of Famers that were just elected by the writers are Derek Jeter (in his first year of eligibility) and Larry Walker (in his 10th and final year on the writers' ballot). I'm really pleased that Larry Walker was voted in by the writers! He should have made it years ago, but thankfully he made huge gains in each of the last three years (and especially in each of the last two years). For Jeter, the only question was whether he'd be unanimous; one person left him off of their ballot. Jeter and Walker join Ted Simmons and Marvin Miller as 2020's inductees into the Hall of Fame.

This year's vote totals are available at this website, and you can also take a look at the Hall of Fame Voter Tracker, which I was following assiduously in the weeks leading up to the announcement of the new inductees.

Scott Rolen was polling at close to 50% before the results were announced. He gained a ton of votes, but after seeing where he was before the announcement, I was a bit surprised to see the final total at "only" about 35%. Todd Helton made major gains to almost 30%, perhaps because he's no longer on his first ballot. They're in good shape, but it will take a while.

Curt Schilling got to 70%, so he'll make it in 2021. Nobody who has a shot is debuting on the ballot next year (well, maybe Tim Hudson will make it eventually), so 2021 is Schilling's year.

Rogers Clemens and Barry Bonds crept over 60%. I'll be very surprised if the writers elect them, as people have drawn lines in the sand, but one of the current incarnations of the Veterans Committees will put them in the Hall someday.

Omar Vizquel (sigh) broke the 50% barrier, and his eventual election is inevitable.

Billy Wagner, Gary Sheffield, and Andruw Jones made big gains. (I wonder if the latter two were helped not only by there being only one obvious newcomer but also by Harold Baines now being in the Hall? Both Jones and Sheffield were much better players than Baines.) We'll see how much Wagner gains over the next years.

Jeff Kent also made major inroads, and he'll likely make it eventually via one of the Veterans Committees.

A bunch of others (such as Manny Ramirez and Sammy Sosa) also gained a decent amount, but I doubt they'll go much of anywhere on the regular ballot (and Sosa has achieved around this many votes in some past years as well, I believe).

Bobby Abreu managed to get just enough votes to stay on the ballot next year. That's good.

And the latest entries in the exactly-one-vote club are Adam Dunn, Brad Penny, Raúl Ibañez, and J. J. Putz (who once hit Kevin Mench with a pitch, marking the only time in Major League Baseball history that a Mench got hit by a Putz).
There aren't any Hall-of-Fame-caliber standouts debuting on the 2021 ballot, so perhaps it will only be Curt Schilling from the regular ballot next year.

David Schoenfield wrote about this year's winners and losers in the Hall of Fame voting.

Here is my blog entry about the result of last year's writers' votes.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

What Happens in Kuala Lumpur Stays in Kuala Lumpur

I just arrived in Kuala Lumpur for a friend's wedding!

I am very tired. :)

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Quote of the Conference: Geodesic Spaces of Normal Shrinkage

"I call it 'geodesic spaces of normal shrinkage', in honor of George Costanza."

This may be the quote of the conference. The talk in question is this one.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Depeche Mode is in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame!

Depeche Mode has been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame! Yay!

Also: It's about time!

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

What Happens at the Joint Mathematics Meetings Stays at the Joint Mathematics Meetings (2020 Edition)

I am heading over to the Joint Mathematics Meetings! I am looking forward to spending less time horizontal than was the case at my last JMM.

Also, here is the schedule of talks from my group (and a friend of my group).

Love Will Tear Us Apart: Geographic Edition

(Tip of the cap to Dan Anderson.)

Monday, January 06, 2020

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

A Band Called "f(x)"

I know nothing about the band — and K-Pop isn't exactly my style anyway — but I definitely like the band's name!