Life

One Year in Singapore

October 6, 2018
collage_1

My first day in Singapore felt odd. After dragging my two suitcases around town (and through an entire shopping mall – after all, this is Singapore we’re talking about), I temporarily moved into a sparsely furnished Airbnb room with sliding walls in a fancy condo at the heart of the CBD, Singapore’s business district. Upon arriving, my host had warned me that AirBnb was, in fact, not exactly encouraged in the building, and equipped me with an emergency plan should anyone ever question my presence – very reassuring. Slightly on edge and fairly exhausted after my first ever long haul flight, I sat on the sofa bed and sipped on a berry bubble tea I had picked up downstairs (my first and last; apologies to any bubble tea fans), not quite knowing what to do with myself next.

For the first time in a long time, I felt kind of…lonely. While my entire contact list was snoozing peacefully back in Europe, I wondered what the heck I had gotten myself into. By most standards, my previous life in London had been going pretty well.

So what’s a girl to do when you think you might have just made a colossal mistake? Continue Reading…

Life, Travel

Japan – A Travel Diary

August 17, 2018
skytree1

Visiting Japan has been a dream of mine for a very, very long time. It’s a place I’ve felt oddly drawn to ever since I found out that it’s supposed to be an introvert’s dream. Polite and friendly yet reserved, Japan is where community feel and a strong sense of solidarity meet an implicit understanding of personal space and an acute awareness of your surroundings – people watch out for each other, but they tend to do so from a distance.

introverfun

Of course, Japan is – amongst many other things – also home to origami and delicate paper art, tech innovation, and some of the best food this world has to offer; it’s an arts and crafts practitioner’s fantasy, any self-proclaimed techophile’s dream destination, and a food lover’s paradise. Safe to say, it ticked more than enough boxes for me to catapult it to the very top of my ‘one day, hopefully – a girl can dream’ travel bucket list years ago. When my move to Singapore last September halved the distance between Japan and I, that goal suddenly no longer felt out of reach. Continue Reading…

The Pick-Up Theorist

The Pick-Up Theorist 2017 Advent Calendar

January 4, 2018
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While I was browsing the Pick-Up Theorist Facebook page last November, I was pleased to realise that most of my original philosophical pick-up lines are still pretty solid (assuming you’re into this weird little niche, of course). My collage style, however, has evolved quite a bit since early 2014, and I felt like re-doing some of my older work.

This was perfect timing – what better occasion to give the original pick-up lines a little make-over than the pre-Christmas countdown? While glueing together a fresh card every day isn’t the easiest thing and, ever the procrastinator, I failed at the type of effective batch production that could have saved me from some late-night arts & crafts sessions, I’m pretty happy with the results. Have a look for yourself… Continue Reading…

Data

DIY Data Science, Part 4: G is for Graph Analysis

July 22, 2017
networkanalysis

It’s been tricky keeping this series up! I’ve started learning about a lot of things at the same time and it’s been quite difficult to neatly isolate one bit to write about. A few weeks ago, however, I decided my social network analysis skills (or, as I like to call them here, my graph analysis skills – poor G was an unpopular letter while S was in high demand) needed a little refresher. I dedicated a big chunk of my Master’s degree last year to network analysis, and I loved it, but I hadn’t done anything in that space since. I mainly just wanted to check that I still had it – that I was still able to extract and build a network from messy social data without having a minor or major nervous breakdown. Continue Reading…

Bullet Journal

My Monthly Bullet Journal Set Up – June

May 28, 2017
bujo1

I started bullet journaling pretty much exactly a year ago. In fact, I posted an Instagram snap of my very first custom page – a thesis tracker – with the caption ‘Let the bullet journaling begin’ on 1 June 2016. Spoiler alert – that particular bullet journal page never proved very useful (too little space) and was quickly abandoned. But since then, I’ve been writing into my journal more or less regularly, graduating from my trusted A5 moleskine notebook to the classic Leuchtturm model. Continue Reading…

Data

DIY Data Science, Part 3: W is for Web Scraping

May 22, 2017
diydata3

I’ve been quite excited to dive into web scraping. After all, my teenage self used to copy and paste HTML code like crazy to put together amateur website templates, and scraping is also maybe the most intuitive way of collecting data online – just grab what you see. In practice, it’s obviously a little trickier than that. Continue Reading…

Data

DIY DATA SCIENCE, PART 2: M IS FOR MACHINE LEARNING

May 1, 2017
machinelearning2

I’m keeping it short & sweet this week; many of the letters I’ve chosen for this project will focus on machine learning algorithms in more detail, so here’s a tiny visual overview instead. For reference, I’m planning on watching all of these lovely lectures in the future and potentially invest in this book to get a little more grounding in the maths behind machine learning (hello darkness, my old friend).

One of the lovely things about this project is also that there’s no point in being a perfectionist; I won’t be able to produce flawless content every week, so it’s nice to embrace ‘good enough’, mix it up (like this week) and make it a priority to keep going. Continue Reading…

Data

DIY Data Science, Part 1: P is for Pandas

April 23, 2017
PisforPandas

This last week, my programming brain has been all over the place. I’ve been looking into Natural Language Processing and trying to learn how to build a web application in Flask and it all felt like a huge complicated mess in my mind for most of the week. So I decided to turn to the familiar for comfort and kick off DIY Data Science with a topic that is near and dear to my heart – Pandas, Python’s superstar data analysis package.

Hello Pandas, my old friend

This is not the first time. Last December, after a few months of non-coding, I was desperate to get back into it. So my friend Zack offered to help me out and set me a little data cleaning and wrangling challenge to solve using Pandas. Continue Reading…

Data

DIY Data Science: The Alphabet

April 13, 2017
abc

A few weeks ago, I decided to properly commit to learning some of the many open-source tools and skills and concepts that can help you get your hands dirty with data to dig out valuable insights, communicate them successfully and make them look pretty.

Since data science can be an overwhelming field and there’s an abundance of free online resources on offer – some amazing, some of questionable quality – I realised that I would need to structure this somehow. Continue Reading…

Life, Programming

What I Talk About When I Talk About Coding

April 1, 2017
coding

Recently, I’ve had a little bit of time to get back into coding and once again realised how much I enjoy it. Python is my language of choice, and I’m by no means an expert (though I’m pretty sure I can get there one day if I keep going). So far, I mostly focus on data collection, cleaning, analysis and visualisation. I only started coding a little over a year ago during my Masters degree; that is, if you don’t count my teenage self’s dabbling in HTML and CSS to make my first ever website look nice – yes, I was definitely one of the cool kids. Continue Reading…

Life

A Guide to Edinburgh

January 28, 2017
arthursseat

Edinburgh – my first home away from home – will always occupy a special place in my little heart. A reoccurring pattern in my life seems to be that most great opportunities present themselves to me coincidentally, and spending four years at university in Edinburgh was no exception. After all, in 2010, all I thought I really wanted was to study Politics, Psychology and Sociology at Cambridge; two awkward interviews and a rather polite rejection letter later, I ended up in Edinburgh amongst a bunch of other Oxbridge rejects instead – and will forever be grateful for that.

Continue Reading…