Help me calculate expectation

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BRUTE
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Re: Help me calculate expectation

Post by BRUTE »

brute would agree with Dear Leader jacob in the sense that both Python and Fortran are general purpose programming languages. they can be used to develop web applications, embedded systems, do math, whatever. R is not meant to be a general purpose language, it's a math language.

of the imperative/OO general purpose languages that are all pretty similar, Python is a popular one to start out with because it is dynamically typed, relatively beginner friendly, and goes pretty far in most areas. it's the Honda Civic of programming languages, good enough for most jobs, good starter, probably won't win any races, but most humans don't race. in comparison, Fortran is a Ford Model T, and R is one of those hyper-efficient cars that can only go in a straight line on a salt lake.

FBeyer
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Re: Help me calculate expectation

Post by FBeyer »

Fortran in not a Ford model T. It's an Apollo rocket; archaic, mystical, convoluted, legacy-romantic, and fast as fuck!

Data Science is numerically intensive, yes, but the actual time you spend running your code, compared to the time you spend developing and iterating over the model is skewed in favor of faster prototyping. The code I parallelized in F77 for my master's project was to be used over and over again once it was actually working. Among other things We were computing eigenvalues in matrixes that are larger than R^(3E5, 3E5). There are currently only two languages that are feasible there: C and Fortran. And that's only because insane engineers have had 50 years to optimize the compilers. There is nothing inherent in those two languages that make them faster, other than dev time on the compilers. I sincerely hope that we will surpass those two languages soon, because is spite of a romantic fondness for fortran, I just dont think it's very easy to work with.

Hard sciences use data in different ways than most businesses; different data same insights wanted, compared to different data different insights wanted. Fortran code is for questions you need to ask over and over again.

And even though I am also rather fond of R, I don't think it's a good language to pick up due to specialization reasons. If one is looking for ways to get into the job market, python seems to open many more doors than R. But maybe the Data Science specific job market is different in that regard.

I posit that learning one or more of the truly fast languages is useful, by all means, because whatever knowledge you have about the best programming language for the job is only, and always, a boon. But Fortran for someone learning data science is missing the mark.

FBeyer
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Re: Help me calculate expectation

Post by FBeyer »

Also for 7w5: https://docs.scipy.org/doc/numpy/f2py/index.html
There is a way to link python with fortran for when you need computational power. I can't guarantee that it'll be easy to use, but it's available none the less.

7Wannabe5
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Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Help me calculate expectation

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Okay, luckily, my college transcript was in my file box which was in the small pile of my belongings which are with me at the residence where I am currently crashing with my BF until he boards a plane next week. It's been so long, my memory was failing.

Apparently I successfully completed 3 hours of Fortran in 1985 (utilizing mainframe in sub-sub-basement of building surrounded by very high snow drifts) and 6 hours of Pascal in 1990 (while breastfeeding so even more fuzzy-brained than usual), and I did a mini-course on JavaScript on CodeAcademy a couple years ago. The 400 level math classes I completed were Numerical Analysis, Probability and Statistics II, Problems in Actuarial Studies II, and Modern Algebra with Applications. The only class in which I was kind of a whiz was Modern Algebra. Also, although my score was slightly lower, my percentile ranking on the Analytical Reasoning (Brain Teaser) section of the GRE was quite a bit higher than in the Quantitative section. In the spring of 1990, I studied for 200 hours,and received a score of 10 (perfect) on the All of Math thru Calculus actuarial exam and a score of 6 (passing) on the Probability and Statistics actuarial exam.

IOW,
FBeyer wrote:In math, people who can draw the ideas are usually wizards, in ML almost everyone starts with a drawing. It's very comforting in that regard :D
This is not very comforting to me, because I do math like a girl. I have to talk to myself about it, and the more it is used like a tool rather than a language, the more I dislike and suck at it.

Anyways, I think I misinterpreted the course suggestions, and it seems like I will first be doing a batch of R coursework, then a batch of introductory Data Science coursework, then a batch of Python, then a batch of intermediate Data Science, then a bath of Advanced Data Science inclusive of project stuff.

Based on the advice offered thus far on this thread, and some advice I received elsewhere suggesting that some of the online courses may be a bit sketchy and/or disorganized, I have decided that in addition to the coursework, I will follow best practice for reading original works on the topic. So, I will order a copy of "Planning of Experiments" (Cox, 1958) as the beginning node for my reading web.

Fish
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Re: Help me calculate expectation

Post by Fish »

@7 - Since you have a math degree and have already passed two actuarial exams, why not try looking for work as a [non-credentialed] actuary? You would need to learn SAS or R or whatever they're using these days, but that seems like the most direct path to employment.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Help me calculate expectation

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@Fish-

I didn't even consider that option. I think it would be more like becoming an entry level banker in your 50s. Technology might be ageist, but it isn't super-conservative. Also, I like to learn new things.

jacob
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Re: Help me calculate expectation

Post by jacob »

Personally, actuarial work would be interesting to me insofar it dealt with extreme or big risks. Such as for example, this

https://www.lloyds.com/news-and-risk-in ... stem-shock

I'd relocate for a job involving this kind of challenge. London?

daylen
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Re: Help me calculate expectation

Post by daylen »

One potential downside to actuarial work is how limiting the employment/geographic options are due to small size of profession.

daylen
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Re: Help me calculate expectation

Post by daylen »


7Wannabe5
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Re: Help me calculate expectation

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@jacob:

That would be an interesting challenge for the sort of nerd who uses the term "expectation" in thread titles. Obviously, the 3 fields are closely related. After I passed the exams, one of the jobs I was going to interview for was quantitative analysis with some small Wall Street firm. But, then I got knocked up (again) and spent the next few years washing cloth diapers and making homemade play-dough. Which was also fun and interesting, but not as lucrative.

@daylen:

Thanks for the link.

I am now thinking that what I will do is not worry very much about potential job title. I will just keep taking courses and earning certificates that are some mix of useful and interesting until some search engine takes notice of the growing agglomeration of keywords on my resume. I like this approach, because it is more like a practice I would like to carry on for the rest of my life, as long as the price is only $59/month or less.

FBeyer
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Re: Help me calculate expectation

Post by FBeyer »

Hang on. Elements of Statistical Learning is available for free. Completely free! Some clever university people also worked through most, if not all, of the exercises, so you can find a solutions manual online too.

It's an amazing book!

BRUTE
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Re: Help me calculate expectation

Post by BRUTE »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:40 am
until some search engine takes notice of the growing agglomeration of keywords on my resume.
that's not how it works. or at least, rarely. brute highly recommends simply applying for jobs. not meeting qualifications? who cares. just applying to 1 job per week while gathering the certifications/education will likely result in way more opportunities than hoping some search engine will pick up a resume.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Help me calculate expectation

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@BRUTE:

Oh, I am sure you are right. Like thinking you need to lose weight before you start dating. Maybe you do, but it is better to let the process inform.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 6862
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Help me calculate expectation

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

A real life friend made the same suggestion about refurbishing myself as an entry-level actuary. So, I did some investigation and determined that the accreditation process has changed quite a bit over the course of the last quarter century. The first two tests are now on the topics of Probability and Financial Math, which is very good news for my prospects. I looked over some sample test questions and realized that Bayes' Theorem and amortization are concepts you don't really ever forget once you learn them. Therefore, I think I could pass these exams with less than 100 hours of review :D So, by the end of the summer I should be entry level employable as either an information support specialist, an actuary, and/or somebody who knows R and a smattering of data science. Since my minor goal in alignment with my major goal is- Obtain 40/hr per week employment at salary of at least $46,666/year by 10/31/2018, I think I've got it nailed down pretty hard.

Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Help me calculate expectation

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

I agree with Brute. I can only go on my experience which is that I have had a fairly strong linkedin profile for many years and I have never been contacted for any jobs besides sales (not my field at all). I have experimented with the setting that indicates that employers should contact me and it doesn't seem to make a difference. A few headhunters have approached me but I have never tried it.

Same thing goes for a blog and github. They might help to show your skills but it won't get employers to contact you.

One idea I have for trying to break into data analysis is to contact local nonprofits and offer your services for free. You get experience and build your resume and they get a report or other product. Low stakes for everyone if it doesn't go well. I don't know anyone who has tried it though.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 6862
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Help me calculate expectation

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@Gilberto de Piento:

That is a good idea. Two of my former polyamours and my DD27 (deep mystery where her high-level of ambition came from, maybe the years of wearing nothing but grayed cloth diapers enclosed by ragged rubber pants had counter-effect? I must admit that a bit of my current uptick in ambition is due to having to make decent presentation at her wedding to wealthy fiance next year. Last time I saw her she told me "I don't even know what to tell my friends that you are doing anymore." Kind of like my own personal take on "Lady for a Day.") are on the boards of 3 different non-profits, so it would be easy for me to do that.

BRUTE
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Re: Help me calculate expectation

Post by BRUTE »

words not in parentheses: 31
words in parentheses: 88

7Wannabe5
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Re: Help me calculate expectation

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@BRUTE:

Yeah, believe it or not, I don't do it on purpose. Remember my mother is bi-polar. Luckily, I am just very easily distracted.

EdithKeeler
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Re: Help me calculate expectation

Post by EdithKeeler »

ar. Last time I saw her she told me "I don't even know what to tell my friends that you are doing anymore."
“I’m working on my novel” is both interesting and socially acceptable. No one questions it much, except with stuff like “oh really? What’s it about?” (You can make up anything here) and “oh, have I read anything of yours?” (Acceptable answer: “my things have appeared in some small journals.” Not a lie—you journal here, maybe you keep a personal journal, too.) Watch people carefully at social gatherings—they’ll assume you’re gathering material—and assholes tend to drift away because they are intimidated and/or afraid they’ll show up in your book as an unflattering character. You can also refer to David Foster Wallace doing this if you really want to make them go away.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Help me calculate expectation

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@EdithKeeler:

lol- or I could say that I am writing a play AND studying logistic regression if I really want to send them scurrying. Actually, that might not work with this crowd since I think the groom's family is just as nerdy/artsy as mine. I just don't feel mature enough for the role of mother-of-the-bride. Luckily, I have over a year to thrift-store shop for some sort of appropriate costuming. Also, I have to decide how many $$$ I am going to ante up for the event.

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