Saturday, December 1, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
This article makes me question the ethics of investing in the Chinese market. Another important question it brings up is whether or not the Chinese government will be able to continue to allow business in China to prosper or whether this type of harassment of the populace will lead to serious economic issues. In any case I am uneasy about my investments in emerging markets at this point...
Very interesting article... Definitely a must read.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
On the computer science front I am currently learning my way around python. Python is a high level scripting language with some pretty cool functionality. My only gripe with it so far is that regular expression handling has to be imported. Granted that there is probably a more elegant way to do the regex stuff I wanted to do, I ended up using about 5 lines of code to go through these files the lab uses for running bioinformatics simulations and pull out relevant data for a new project I am working on. I was not pleased with the relatively confusing commands for dealing with regular expressions either. Other than that I love what I have seen so far in Python. It seems much less confusing to me than Perl.
Thanksgiving was fun. I spent it in Seattle with my girlfriend and her sister's family. Seattle is a fun town and I am definitely adding it to my list of habitable locations.
Thats all for now. It's dead week and I need to get stuff done.
Monday, November 5, 2007
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Taking that kind of hot performance into consideration my risky side wants to throw my money at it. Here is where my conservative economist side comes into play. I really do not know a lot about emerging markets. What are the average PE ratios of those markets? That is a very relevant question, it would tell you how much the current prices are due to betting on the future and how much of the price rise reflects actual growth of the economies.
In theory I can understand a certain degree of price inflation on the stocks of emerging markets. They are just now coming into the world economy as actual players and they represent the majority of the world's population. China and India for example are both considered emerging markets. Imagine for a second what it would be like if the majority of the billions of people in China and India became what we in the West would consider "middle class" socioeconomically. As a whole they would have an unheard of spending power and who knows how far that could go. It is an exciting idea. It would be kind of like buying into the stock market back in the early 1900's in the US except... bigger...
Here is my theory. It is based on nothing other than the idea that there must be some kind of gravity involved with the price of those stocks. If they are actually price inflated as I fear, they could suffer the same kind of market crash as we did in the late 20's. If one were to invest in the US stock market at the height of the boom in the 20's they would have had to wait over 10 years to make their money back after the crash. Is there a crash coming in the emerging markets? When will it happen? If I put my money into emerging markets today would I be in the negative for the next 10 years?
Another thought. We know there is an imminent rise of a middle class in the emerging markets. How do we know that those markets are going to be the ones that profit the most from that class. With the expansion of globalization eventually anyone will be able to do business easily and cost effectively anywhere in the world. It is already happening. That said what is stopping todays giants from growing into those emerging markets and being the ones who capitalize. Just because a company is based in the states doesn't mean that it is confined there. Case in point look at the popularity of Japanese automobiles in the US. They are probably making more money from the car market in this country than many of the car companies in this country are. What then makes investing in companies located in emerging markets so special?
I know that in the long term investing broadly across emerging markets is a very good idea. However is now the time to do it? Can it keep going up? Eventually it will and people who invest in it now who have 20 or 30 years to wait will probably be very happy about that decision.
I have things to do and I am not going to bother editing this now. More on this topic as I learn more about it. I will be sure to post something when I find out a little more about PE ratios and such. If they are low I am in!
Friday, October 5, 2007
Thursday, September 20, 2007
When I figure this out to a fuller extent I will be sure to write a more accurate entry on the subject. If you are really interested in it though check out the wikipedia page on Maximum likelihood at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maximum_likelihood also you could check out the wiki on model selection at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Model_selection.
Take care and have a great day!
-हवे अ ग्रेट दय!
Monday, August 27, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
I am doing pretty well in research. Currently I am working in a lab that deals with metal-halogen biomaterials. We study critters that have metal deposits in the parts of their bodies that are used frequently and generally prone to wear. It is interesting research and I am able to get very involved. I have already suggested a means for the binding of said metals that will definitely have to be looked into more because it is more or less a shot in the dark. I am also still trying to get into the Thornton lab, which looks like a likely possibility now.
The picture to the right is one taken by my friend Jack Niedbala. It is of the leaf cutter ants at work right here in our very own lab. They are very fun to watch.
If you are interested you can check out the website for the lab I am currently working in. I am actually in the process of building that website as well.
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Monday, April 30, 2007
Monday, April 2, 2007
I really need to stop asking people about what they do in life. I am one of those people who really listens and absorbs things. I am often fascinated by what is going on at the forefront of science and each time I hear about what project someone is working on for graduate work in whatever field I get sucked in. Next thing I know I start to plan out how exactly I am going to switch my majors yet again and take up whatever this new and exciting field is that I have just heard about.
Luckily for me and my school financiers I have realised this about myself. While I was in Boston I checked out the labs of my Girlfriend's sister and brother-in-law at MIT where they are both working on Graduate degrees. I was first introduced to Sal's (the Brother-in-law) lab. He is working on nano-scale coatings. May sound boring to the lay person but the applications for his work and his lab equipment were very cool. Next I visited Andréa's (the Sister) lab. She is working on nuclear Fusion as a possible alternative energy source. Through nuclear Fusion, one day we could all get the power we need from sea water. On top of how cool that idea is, her lab basically looked like a NASA rocket control room. It was very hard for me not to start thinking about my future as a physicist. Just to make sure that I still like what I do though I visited a lab at MIT that works on Genomics and Proteomics. They are doing things like searching for possible means of controlling HIV that do not enable the HIV to simply work up a resistance to the drugs. I must say, despite how cool Andréa and Sal's labs were I am still very much in love with Bioinformatics. The idea of coming up with a cure for cancer or aids is really appealing to me.
Just for you all I will throw in a picture I took of NYC at night while I was there. Enjoy...
Friday, March 16, 2007
- Scientists weren't trying to debunk all of what Gore stated in his movie "An Inconvenient Truth" they were saying that he threw in some exaggeration.
- The medieval warming period in the 1600's which was as warm as it is now was due to natural fluctuations. Scientists agree on the fact that the current warming trend is due to us.
- It is scary to consider that us human beings have the power to bring about something as major as a global warming trend.
- Scientists do not know how long it will last or if it will "naturally" reverse. We are talking about something totally different than a natural flux, we are talking about a man made issue.
- The article I read on Forbes didn't mention a single thing about the CO2 levels in the atmosphere which was one of the biggest arguments Gore made in his movie.
OK so I know this isn't the best put together piece. I don't have time to make this pretty. I just wanted to get my opinion out there. The media needs to pay attention to what it says and the effects that it causes. When I read the headline I just thought to myself "Wow, there must be conclusive scientific evidence negating what Gore said. Whew, what a relief!". In reality when I read the paper on Forbes it said, to paraphrase, that scientists are in agreement that this current global warming trend is due to us. I wonder how many people skimmed that headline or even the first few paragraphs of the article and thought what I thought without bothering to read further.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
OK so I don't really get that excited over finals. It is definitely a time to pause and reflect on how far I have come in my schooling and how far I still have to go. It is hard to believe I have already been in college for nearly 3 years. I have the majority of a General Science major completed and I have a Chemistry minor under my belt. Also as of this year I have taken on another major, Computer Science. I am getting used to college which is a very good thing considering I have slightly under a decade left to go. Yes, I am shooting for a PhD, probably in Bio-informatics.
You must be thinking, wow this guy loves school. Well, yes and no. I really like learning about things I am interested in. I love the college atmosphere. I absolutely hate doing assignments and required classes that I do not want to do. The only thing that keeps me going through those classes is the fact that they are needed to take the ones that I really want to take.
I really like Bio-informatics. I took up computer science after completing a biology course because I was introduced to Bio-informatics. However I went into the CIS (computer and information science) field knowing that it would be a good 2 years of prerequisite courses before I was eligible to get into my first class in Bio-informatics. I am almost one year into that goal now and the harder year lies ahead. I am not shooting blindly though. I study bio-informatics on my own and I volunteer in bio-informatics labs at the university when I can. It is really a fascinating field.
I guess I will quickly write about what exactly it was that got me hooked on bio-informatics in the first place. I was in my 3rd term of the "Foundations of Biology" sequence which is one of the two possible lower division required sequences for Bio and pre-med students at the University of Oregon where I go to school. Going into that class I was a pre-med student as so many of us science related students are at the U of O. We had an open project to study the genetic sequence of HIV from a large population of HIV positive patients with varying rates of CD4 decline. We got the information from a paper written by Markham et all circa the early 90's. Pictured to the right is the image of the protein on the HIV molecule that we had genetic sequences for with a color coded conservation score from the study's participants who had a fast rate of CD4 cell decline. Circled is the molecule that I theorized was partially responsible for the fast rate of decline because it is highly conserved in the patients with quick rates of decline and it is very lightly conserved, if at all, in patients with a slower rate of CD4 decline. It was such an exciting thing to find that I instantly fell in love with the field of bio-informatics which studies problems exactly like this one.
I could keep blogging on but I need to get ready for class now. More from me later on this and other topics.