Monday, April 15, 2013

Retirement Averted: The 2013 Vienna City Half-Marathon

In the week leading up to the Vienna City Half-Marathon I was nursing a sore and tender left calf and was unsure how the half-marathon would play out.  I joked that depending on the how I felt during the race, I may (or may not) retire from running.   Up until a few days ago, I hadn't run in over a week and I was starting to worry I may have sustained a season-derailing injury.  Thus the drama and hyperbole.  (Lisa wasn't nearly as amused as I was by my repeated announcements to retire but she played along.)  

We arrived at the starting area w/ a friend of ours and his wife, relaxed for a bit, then we parted ways w/ our friend and Lisa and I made our way to the rear of the start corral.  Since I wasn't sure how I'd feel from the outset I figured I'd start conservatively then speed up, calf tightness permitting.  The first few kilometers felt good and I felt marginally confident my calf wouldn't act up so Lisa and I picked up the pace a bit.  This race is crowded and it feels even more so in the rear of the pack since a somewhat faster pace means constant slowing, accelerating, and weaving in and out of runners to avoid colliding with someone.  The throngs of runners never really spread out and 13.1 miles later, we crossed the finish line in a mediocre 2:05:21.  I feel a bit ambivalent about my time but, on the bright side, my calf didn't act up during the race and, fortunately, retirement can wait 'til another day.

Friday, April 12, 2013

R: Apparently Pretty Hot

I receive email updates from Revolution Analytics and the most recent email contained a white paper (R is Hot) written by the vice president of marketing, David Smith, about how R is the hottest game in town for statistical analysis and modeling.   No matter what one's software preferences are, this is an interesting read.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Student Business Card with $\LaTeX$

I recently gave a poster presentation at a research conference sponsored by the university I attend and among the resources I consulted prior to attendance, many of them suggested the presenter have business cards available during the conference.  I don't have any corporate cards and my program doesn't provide cards for Ph.D. students so I decided to create my own.  There are a few services that can print cards on the cheap and ship them direct but this wasn't viable since I live overseas and I needed the cards relatively quickly.  I decided I'd create the cards myself then have 50 or so printed at a local print shop.  Enter $\LaTeX$.  (I could have, of course, used MS Word but I suspected that what would have begun as a simple exercise would have quickly morphed into a formatting nightmare.  Thanks but no thanks.)  

I used the bizcard package along with the marvosym and url packages to create a simple, crisp, and clean card containing my name, university, email address, phone number, and blog address.  Below is a fictional business card for the man behind Student's t-test, William Sealy Gosset.   

And the $\LaTeX$ code:
% %% cjt
% %% 20130410
% %% creation of example (fictional) business card using bizcard package. 

\usepackage[frame]{bizcard}      % options are none (no marks), flat (non-invasive tick marks), and frame (fully framed cards)



\put(19,38){\makebox(50,5){\Large\bfseries William Sealy Gosset}}
\put(19,32){\makebox(50,5){\large ``Student''}}
\put(19,27){\makebox(50,5){Guinness Brewery}}
\put(19,23){\makebox(50,5){Dublin, Ireland}}
\put(7,14){\makebox(10,4)[tl]{\Letter \enspace \emph{}}}
\put(7,10){\makebox(10,4)[tl]{\Telefon \enspace +353 012 3456789}}
\put(7,6){\makebox(10,4)[tl]{\ComputerMouse \enspace \url{}}}