Building a Hierarchical Spice Cabinet

4 minute read

I love to cook, often without a recipe, and during those times I find myself wanting to assemble a quick melange of complimentary spices to apply to my dish. How can I arrange my spice cabinet so spices that play well together are near each other?

Assuming that complimentary spices tend to be used together, and that dishes with complimentary spices are well reviewed, recipe review data should be able to help me sort my cabinet.

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A is for Adversarial

6 minute read

Lately, my son has been very curious about words, so I have decided that it is a great time for us to practice letters. One way we practice is with flash cards. I like this method since it is easy to get in a few practice letters between other activities. The problem I am facing is how to choose which letters we practice. Ideally, I want to cover all letters over time, but focus on those he doesn’t know and adapt as he learns them.

…enter the adversarial multi-armed bandit!

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Markov The Elephant

2 minute read

To kick off my blog, here is a fun little math problem that came to me recently.

Last year my kids got an elephant toy which tossed balls in the air while playing incredibly loud music. They LOVE it. Each time it tosses a ball in the air, it has roughly a 50% chance of falling into the elephant’s left ear and being tossed into the air again. Otherwise, it falls into the elephant’s right ear and is deposited at the elephant’s feet (I think the designers played a little fast and loose with elephant physiology).

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