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> current focus...


Mapping gunshots near DC schools

Analysis of data received from D.C. law enforcements' "Shot Spotter" system.

> blog ramblings...



Classical population dynamics in a form you can play with

indexing with namedtuple

A basic class for an easily subsetable dictionary using Python's namedtuple as keys for multidimensional indexing

color gradients with Python

Investigating a few "Pythonic" ways to calculate gradients across given input colors

> recent publications...


LOOP and the Internet Marketplace

Ben Southgate - (Michigan Journal of Business)

This paper examines 12,887 individual eBay, english-style, completed auctions of the Otterbox Defender iPhone 4/4S cell-phone case over a 90 day period, with sales and purchases occuring in both the USA and Canada, all collected from Findings suggest quick reversion of cross-border prices to parity. Specifically the half-life of deviations is estimated to be 10.34 hours. With this evidence in mind, eBay appears ever closer to an Economist’s ideal marketplace, with limited price friction, large numbers of informed buyers and sellers, and low barriers to entry.


Evaluating Retirement Income Security for Illinois Public School Teachers

Richard W. Johnson and Benjamin G. Southgate - (Urban Institute)

The financial problems afflicting Illinois’s teacher pension plan have grabbed headlines. An equally important problem, though underappreciated, is that relatively few teachers benefit much from the plan. Long-serving teachers receive generous pensions, but only 18 percent of teachers remain employed for at least 25 years. Only 24 percent of those who complete at least five years of service receive pensions worth more than the value of their required plan contributions. Alternative plan designs, such as cash balance plans, could distribute benefits more equitably and put more teachers on a path to a financially secure retirement.