Tag Archives: Estimation of distribution algorithm

More Hours Please

More hours please.

I’m sure this request has been made about a kajillion or so times over the course of my life, but I would really like some more hours in the day please. Just 2 or 3 would be nice.

I’m looking for this extra time because there are just too many things that I’d like to do, and not nearly enough time to do them. And I don’t necessarily mean things like skydiving, bungee jumping, cliff jumping, paragliding, and the like1. I’m talking about all of the nerdy things that I’d like to do. There just doesn’t seem to be enough time.

Example the first: Today I sat in on a presentation by a visiting professor – Martin Pelikan from the University of Missouri at St. Louis – about Estimation of Distribution Algorithms. I won’t get into the details, but I will say that I found it absolutely fascinating. So much so that it prompted me to write down several ideas for my own research program. And I would love it if I were actually able to sit down and explore them further. I’m positive that if what I’m thinking hasn’t been done already, I could easily develop a solution to a set of problems using the methods he presented today. It’s this type of thing that gets my nerd juices flowing and makes me love what I do even more.

It’s also frustrating because I end up with a list of questions longer than what I have time to actually explore. More hours please.

Example the second: I was contacted today by my friend Dr. Beth - yes, the world record holder thank you very much - about an opportunity that we just can’t refuse to do because oh-my-gawd it would be so awesome if it were to happen and we really need to make it happen, why isn’t it happening already? I’m not going to get into any of the details about this opportunity at the moment, but suffice it to say, we are both stoked about the potential. So much so, that I’ve been letting ideas bounce around in the back of my brain since I read her email this morning. My hope is that the bouncing ideas will spawn some super-duper excellent awesome ideas and we can then tackle this project with gusto. Gusto I says!

Having a few extra hours to just sit down and think about this opportunity would be amazing. Sadly, I’ll have to rely on my brain to work on this in the background and hope for something epic when it’s done. More hours please.

So much idea bouncing space.

Example the third: One of my meetings today was with Justin2. We’ve been working on a project for the better part of the semester and are somewhat underwhelmed by the performance of a model that is used quite frequently by ecologists for assessing natural resources. At first we thought this might be an issue with our program, or perhaps a mistranslation of the mathematics and statistics to computer language. But after having gone through the code several kajillion times, after having simplified everything as best we can, after having re-derived the mathematics and statistics for the model, and after having reprogrammed everything, the results are still underwhelming4. This leads me to believe that it’s not us, it’s the model5.

I’d really like to explore this further tonight, however, course prep and assignment grading are also calling my name6More hours please.

Anyway, as much as I repeat more hours please the universe just doesn’t want to cooperate. Apparently it doesn’t revolve around me. Who knew?


1 Of course, these are on the list.

2 My Undergraduate Research Assistant Extraordinare3.

3 I feel like this title deserves a cape of some sort. If I had the time, I might actually make him a cape to wear. And yes, I’d make him wear it. Ha!

4 At least it’s consistently underwhelming. That’s something, right?

5 That sounds like some sort of bad break up joke between a mathematician and a model. Ha! I kill me.

6 And yes, I realize I could be working on that instead of writing yet another blog post, but the break affords me the ability to work into the wee hours of the morn without going completely insane. That’s right folks, I blog for sanity.