Today marks a major moment in the development of a project I’ve been working on for some time: me and my co-authors have completed a paper on inferring the opening angles of gamma ray bursts by observing binary neutron star mergers and gamma ray bursts. What does that mean? Well, I guess the point of this post is to explain just that. It should be said, while you can download the paper now, it’s still a pre-print: that means it hasn’t been peer-reviewed yet, so there’s a chance it may contain some mistakes which we’ve not picked up on. So I guess you might argue it’s probably not quite completed.

Read More »

  • 08 December 2017
  • blog

This is the second time that I’ve written a blog post under an embargo; the first time was a few months into my PhD, and it was about something which had happened just about the time I started. As a result, I’d not really had much to do with it, and I’d spent most of the time that other people were analysing data and writing papers finding my way into the collaboration. That wasn’t quite so true this time, as I found myself invovled with the public outreach effort for LIGO’s next big announcement. It turns out that it’s hard to condense a groundbreaking discovery, which took over 3000 people to make, into one A4 sheet of paper. I also learned all sorts of new things I never expected to during my PhD, like the niceties of colour theory. However, on with the story.

Read More »

  • 16 October 2017
  • blog

I’ve been in Louisiana for almost a week now, and I’m slowly getting over the jet-lag and the change in climate from Glasgow, though I have fallen asleep over my dinner at least twice this week, so maybe I’m not handling it all that well…

Read More »

  • 26 March 2017
  • blog
In which I travel from Glasgow, Scotland, to Scotlandville, Louisiana, in a lot of planes.

Read More »

  • 18 March 2017
  • blog

Chances are at some point in the last year you’ve heard me mentioning that I was heading off to America at some point in my PhD. You might well have heard me complaining about filling out forms to get a visa, about the uncertainty about which part of the USA I was going to, or even about how worried I was that I wouldn’t be able to get about while I was there (through not having a driving license).

Read More »

  • 12 March 2017
  • blog

Round 10 of the Pro 12 and Aviva Premiership competitions, and Round 13 of the Top 14 are now complete, and we’re running into a two week hiatus while we make the switch to the European Champions and Challenge Cup games for December. It seems like a good time to take stock of how each of the teams are performing compared to how the numbers would suggest they ought to be doing.

Read More »

  • 05 December 2016
  • blog

The predictions from round 5 were rather successful, with a 100% success rate compared to the results of the games, although the winning margins were a little off.

Read More »

  • 04 October 2016
  • blog

I’ve been playing around with a large dataset which I scraped off Wikipedia recently: the details of the various fixtures from the Pro12, a European rugby league with teams from Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and Italy.

Read More »

  • 26 September 2016
  • blog

This is a little continuation of the work I did on the data from the Pro12, extended to show the last two seasons of the English Premiership. The graphs are now animated and update to show each team in each season and league.

Read More »

  • 13 September 2016
  • blog

It’s been a while since I got around to posting on here, and part of the reason for that is that I’ve been on holiday; I took a trip which I started planning five years ago after I first visited Skye, and then never quite got around to doing, because it always seemed to complicated to actually do.

Read More »

  • 31 July 2016
  • blog