Academic talks and presentations

My list of academic talks and presentations

Publications

My list of academic publications

Public talks and presentations

My list of public talks and presentations

Munros


Rugby

This is an app for visualising data about rugby matches and teams.


21 June 2021
blog

I remember as a child religiously reading the Argos catalogue; probably sometimes looking for Christmas presents, but often just looking at how many things you could possibly buy from one shop. As I got older I started to wonder how on earth they managed to put such a large catalogue together. Five years after the first detection of a gravitational wave signal, I have a little insight into just how hard the latter process is, and a little more appreciation for how much the Universe has to offer.

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25 May 2021
blog

The latest release of asimov is now available from our gitlab server, as well as being available on pypi.

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14 July 2018
munros

After yet another week of un-Scottish summer, I formed a plan to get as far away from Donald Trump, who was forecast to arrive in Scotland, like an unwanted storm, on Friday to play golf. A quick look at the map, and a battle with the Citylink website suggested that heading up to the munros near Bridge of Orchy was a real possibility. Armed with this knowledge, and aided by the University closing at 3pm for Glasgow Fair I caught the bus, and headed North, away from the US President.

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07 July 2018
munros

We’ve entered the third month of the exceptional summer of 2018, and it only seemed right to continue working on the T-shirt tan, and put a few more munros in the bag at the same time. After a few minutes of looking at the munro map I decided that the four munros near Tyndrum looked like a good target. With the plans made, I caught the train after work with Andrew and headed up to Tyndrum, where we met Shona at the camp site. Within 20 minutes I had my tent up, and we made as quickly as possible for the Tyndrum Inn to avoid the swarms of midges which were also calling Tyndrum home for the evening. Appropriately refreshed, we all turned-in early, ready for a fresh start on Saturday morning.

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22 June 2018
munros

At some point during the planning of a trip to the Highlands and Islands, which was already to involve running a half marathon, it seemed like a good idea to try and fit in a nice ridge walk, and in the process bag six munros.

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08 December 2017
blog

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.

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16 October 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.

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29 June 2017
album

Photos from Baton Rouge.

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26 March 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…

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18 March 2017
blog

0600 (Greenwich Mean Time, T-2.00) Today is the beginning of the adventure, it’s the slow inspiral towards Baton Rouge, and towards LIGO. My day started at 4:30 in the morning, marking the beginning of almost 24 hours worth of travel. My last morning in Glasgow was fairly uneventful, and aside from making sure that I’d bought a final bottle of Irn Bru before leaving Scotland for four months I boarded my flight to Newark.

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12 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).

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05 December 2016
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.

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04 October 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.

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26 September 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.

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13 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.

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31 July 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.

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15 June 2016
blog

Just shy of six months ago I was at my parents’ house in rural Northern Ireland, nursing a very full stomach, and admiring a large pile of chocolates, and taking a break from Christmas festivities. In fact, it was slightly worse than that; I was starting to make plots for the Burst “companion paper”,now published in PRD!, so I really hadn’t given myself very much time to relax.

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07 June 2016
blog

Today’s another big day in the world of gravitational waves. ESA are expected to announce the results of their LISA Pathfinder mission in just over an hour. I’m going to attempt to write this blog post in at least two parts: one part (now) before the announcement, and one part during.

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12 March 2016
blog

I’ve not posted anything on here for a while. I’ve been working a lot. I seem to remember thinking that work would die down after we made the detection announcement last month, but I had something else to work on. That’s because I’m going to our collaboration’s biannual meeting. In Pasadena.

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13 February 2016
blog

It’s about time I started talking a bit about the science of this week’s announcement. One of the more exciting aspects of detecting gravitational waves was that they would confirm the last major prediction of the theory of General Relativity—Einstein’s revolutionising theory of how gravity works.

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12 February 2016
blog

It’s been almost a day now since the world found out about GW150914, the 0.2 seconds of tiny distortions in spacetime which have kept around a thousand scientists entertained for half a year, and which seems to be close to breaking the internet today. As the hype starts to settle down, I think it’s time to reflect a bit on what happened yesterday. You can tell that today’s not a day when many people in the department are getting very much work done.

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11 February 2016
blog

I don’t think I’ve ever written a blog post under an embargo before, but it’s a crisp, sunny Glasgow afternoon, and in 24 hours’ time I’ll be heading across to the main building of the university, for there is to be a press conference. But you probably already know that, since I’ll be publishing this post after it.

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07 February 2016
blog

I realised the other day that it’s been a whole year since I went through the rather stressful experience of PhD interviews (and the even more stressful experience of filling out the forms to apply for the positions). I’ve noticed a few other people around the internet have been recounting their experiences, and since mine are still quite fresh in my memory I thought I would too.

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30 November 2015
blog

I’m a couple of months into postgraduate research, and I’ve decided early on that I should probably write a blog about what I’m doing.

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02 September 2015
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.

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