Martin Krzywinski / Genome Sciences Center / mkweb.bcgsc.ca Martin Krzywinski / Genome Sciences Center / mkweb.bcgsc.ca - contact me Martin Krzywinski / Genome Sciences Center / mkweb.bcgsc.ca on Twitter Martin Krzywinski / Genome Sciences Center / mkweb.bcgsc.ca - Lumondo Photography Martin Krzywinski / Genome Sciences Center / mkweb.bcgsc.ca - Pi Art Martin Krzywinski / Genome Sciences Center / mkweb.bcgsc.ca - Hilbertonians - Creatures on the Hilbert Curve
Embrace me, surround me as the rush comes.Motorcycledrift deeper into the soundmore quotes

In Silico Flurries: Computing a world of snow. Scientific American. 23 December 2017


fun + amusement

Dummer — Like Nothing Else


The Hummer font is a slightly modified Antique Olive Nord. The Like Nothing Else tag line is Trade Gothic. Both have character widths increased to 110-120% and individually adjusted kerning. Get the Illustrator CS5 file for both logos.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Hummer logo. (EPS, PNG)
Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Dummer logo. (EPS, PNG)
Download high-resolution images.

This project might give you the impression that I don't like Hummers. You'd be right.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
It could be worse. But not by much. (zoom)
Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
It could be worse. But not by much. (zoom)
Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
It could be worse. But not by much. (zoom)

update

The Maurauder. Over 25,000 lb — five times what an H3 weighs. Enough said.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
There is always someone with a bigger one. (Manufacturer's page.)

Dummer - Like Nothing Else

Hummers are a cultural equivalent of a toxic warning label and have the same effect on me as bug spray on mosquitoes.

I am not the first one to satirize this automotive aberration, so there's some hope.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Dummer. Like Nothing Else. (New York Times — Laugh Lines)

GM's advertisement images require no modification for the satire, which makes it all that much better.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Dumb and Dumber. (New York Times — Laugh Lines)

I could have just as well used the Lincoln Navigator or Cadillac Escalade, but they don't embody the superlative like the Hummer.

The Hummer brand proved itself to be aesthetically, rationally and economically unsustainable and collapsed after a failed attempt to sell it to China. There continues to be a robust market for used Hummers. Let the farce continue.

I'm hated

It delights me that this project produced my first hate mail.

I want to meet Doug and give him a hug for adding another dimension to this project.

I'm loved

The images got picked up by the New York Times laughlines blog, which drew a couple of fan mails.

But neither made me feel as good as Doug's email.

Dummer Images

Dummer. Like nothing else. A pretty good Hummer satire. / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Dummer. Like nothing else. (zoom)
Dummer. Like nothing else. A pretty good Hummer satire. / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Dummer. Like nothing else. (zoom)
Dummer. Like nothing else. A pretty good Hummer satire. / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Dummer. Like nothing else. (zoom)
Dummer. Like nothing else. A pretty good Hummer satire. / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Dummer. Like nothing else. (zoom)
Dummer. Like nothing else. A pretty good Hummer satire. / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Dummer. Like nothing else. (zoom)
Dummer. Like nothing else. A pretty good Hummer satire. / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Dummer. Like nothing else. (zoom)
Dummer. Like nothing else. A pretty good Hummer satire. / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Dummer. Like nothing else. (zoom)
Dummer. Like nothing else. A pretty good Hummer satire. / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Dummer. Like nothing else. (zoom)
Dummer. Like nothing else. A pretty good Hummer satire. / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Dummer. Like nothing else. (zoom)
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news + thoughts

Curse(s) of dimensionality

Tue 05-06-2018
There is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

We discuss the many ways in which analysis can be confounded when data has a large number of dimensions (variables). Collectively, these are called the "curses of dimensionality".

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Nature Methods Points of Significance column: Curse(s) of dimensionality. (read)

Some of these are unintuitive, such as the fact that the volume of the hypersphere increases and then shrinks beyond about 7 dimensions, while the volume of the hypercube always increases. This means that high-dimensional space is "mostly corners" and the distance between points increases greatly with dimension. This has consequences on correlation and classification.

Altman, N. & Krzywinski, M. (2018) Points of significance: Curse(s) of dimensionality Nature Methods 15:399–400.

Statistics vs Machine Learning

Tue 03-04-2018
We conclude our series on Machine Learning with a comparison of two approaches: classical statistical inference and machine learning. The boundary between them is subject to debate, but important generalizations can be made.

Inference creates a mathematical model of the datageneration process to formalize understanding or test a hypothesis about how the system behaves. Prediction aims at forecasting unobserved outcomes or future behavior. Typically we want to do both and know how biological processes work and what will happen next. Inference and ML are complementary in pointing us to biologically meaningful conclusions.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Nature Methods Points of Significance column: Statistics vs machine learning. (read)

Statistics asks us to choose a model that incorporates our knowledge of the system, and ML requires us to choose a predictive algorithm by relying on its empirical capabilities. Justification for an inference model typically rests on whether we feel it adequately captures the essence of the system. The choice of pattern-learning algorithms often depends on measures of past performance in similar scenarios.

Bzdok, D., Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2018) Points of Significance: Statistics vs machine learning. Nature Methods 15:233–234.

Background reading

Bzdok, D., Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2017) Points of Significance: Machine learning: a primer. Nature Methods 14:1119–1120.

Bzdok, D., Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2017) Points of Significance: Machine learning: supervised methods. Nature Methods 15:5–6.

...more about the Points of Significance column

Happy 2018 `\pi` Day—Boonies, burbs and boutiques of `\pi`

Wed 14-03-2018

Celebrate `\pi` Day (March 14th) and go to brand new places. Together with Jake Lever, this year we shrink the world and play with road maps.

Streets are seamlessly streets from across the world. Finally, a halva shop on the same block!

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
A great 10 km run loop between Istanbul, Copenhagen, San Francisco and Dublin. Stop off for halva, smørrebrød, espresso and a Guinness on the way. (details)

Intriguing and personal patterns of urban development for each city appear in the Boonies, Burbs and Boutiques series.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
In the Boonies, Burbs and Boutiques of `\pi` we draw progressively denser patches using the digit sequence 159 to inform density. (details)

No color—just lines. Lines from Marrakesh, Prague, Istanbul, Nice and other destinations for the mind and the heart.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Roads from cities rearranged according to the digits of `\pi`. (details)

The art is featured in the Pi City on the Scientific American SA Visual blog.

Check out art from previous years: 2013 `\pi` Day and 2014 `\pi` Day, 2015 `\pi` Day, 2016 `\pi` Day and 2017 `\pi` Day.

Machine learning: supervised methods (SVM & kNN)

Thu 18-01-2018
Supervised learning algorithms extract general principles from observed examples guided by a specific prediction objective.

We examine two very common supervised machine learning methods: linear support vector machines (SVM) and k-nearest neighbors (kNN).

SVM is often less computationally demanding than kNN and is easier to interpret, but it can identify only a limited set of patterns. On the other hand, kNN can find very complex patterns, but its output is more challenging to interpret.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Nature Methods Points of Significance column: Machine learning: supervised methods (SVM & kNN). (read)

We illustrate SVM using a data set in which points fall into two categories, which are separated in SVM by a straight line "margin". SVM can be tuned using a parameter that influences the width and location of the margin, permitting points to fall within the margin or on the wrong side of the margin. We then show how kNN relaxes explicit boundary definitions, such as the straight line in SVM, and how kNN too can be tuned to create more robust classification.

Bzdok, D., Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2018) Points of Significance: Machine learning: a primer. Nature Methods 15:5–6.

Background reading

Bzdok, D., Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2017) Points of Significance: Machine learning: a primer. Nature Methods 14:1119–1120.

...more about the Points of Significance column