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When I first learned how to create a machine learning model, all my focus was on algorithm selection, cross-validation, and hyperparameter tuning. Which scaling technique should I use for my continuous variables? Should I optimize for AUC, precision, or recall? Can my extreme outliers be winsorized, or should they be removed? But it turns out that the people who use our machine learning models couldn’t care less about the technical jargon. Why should Dr. Jones and her staff have to learn what a ROC curve is just to know how likely their patient is to have a hospital remission?

Well…


I recently built and deployed my very first web app, the Progressive Equity Calculator, using Flask, Pandas, Docker, and Elastic Beanstalk. This blog post is an easy intro to understanding Docker and a beginner’s step-by-step guide to deploying an app with Docker and AWS Elastic Beanstalk. My target audience is other Docker newbies who are trying to wrap their heads around the key concepts.

What is Docker?


A few weeks ago, I taught my very first programming class: a seven-hour Introduction to Python for an organization called Girl Develop It.

This was particularly momentous because I only started coding in Python about a year ago. I recently graduated from the Galvanize Data Science Immersive program, which to say the least, was a pretty intense intro to Python.

I’ve also had to endure too many boring, painful tech presentations. For my seven hour crash course, I was determined to make the class engaging and enjoyable. …


I decided to test out Dataiku’s data science studio technology with a dataset from a Kaggle-like competition run by an organization called Driven Data. Driven Data hosts data science competitions to tackle problems with social impact.

Dataiku provides both a coding environment and a point-and-click interface for cleaning data, training models, and deploying models.

I wanted to compare manually coding each step in a Jupyter notebook versus using Dataiku’s point and click interface and try to answer the following questions:

  1. Would using the point and click interface dramatically increase my productivity
  2. Would I get better results?
  3. Would I be introduced…


Interview with Michael Fergusson, CEO of Ayogo

What are digital therapeutics?

Engaging patients to take care of their own health is one of the biggest, most difficult problems to solve in healthcare. Our health is an aggregate of many daily habits — how we eat, exercise and whether we smoke, for example. Behavior interventions that help people change their daily habits typically require extensive 1:1 counseling with trained professionals and a lot of hand holding. Can technology help to make behavioral interventions less expensive, more effective, and an order of magnitude easier to scale? That is precisely what “digital therapeutics” set out to do.

Digital therapeutics are mobile and web apps…


Fire departments arriving before an emergency happens, mobile medical units with precision targeting, dashboards that are actually useful. Find out how the Phoenix VA (Veteran’s Affairs) Hospital is using data analytics to transform care delivery in this interview with Hamed Abbaszadegan, MD, Chief Health Informatics Officer.


Gregory Sanders, MD, is a non-interventional cardiologist practicing at Arizona Cardiology Group in the Phoenix area and the founder of Hybrid Chart, a hospital rounding software solution. He is a big believer in the power of lifestyle interventions to help his patients and reduce the burden of chronic disease in America. In this interview, Dr. Sanders discusses his approach to lifestyle counseling, the impact of healthcare reforms on his practice, and the potential impact of investing in lifestyle interventions on a large scale.

Learn how he motivates patients to make changes and reduce their meds with just a five minute…


Almost every physician has a few patients they call their “Champions.” These are the rare, motivated individuals that jump head first into a new lifestyle after a chronic disease wake up call. They start eating salads, drinking smoothies, going to the gym, and doing whatever else it takes to get healthy. They soon lose tens of pounds, get off their insulin, cut their blood pressure meds, and reverse the progression of their chronic disease. They have saved the health care system tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars by adopting a healthier lifestyle.

Unfortunately, these patients make up a…


I woke up this morning with a profound realization. “Positive thinking” is not just thinking optimistically about the outcome of a project or goal, but actively replacing subtle negative thoughts all day long. It’s those thoughts that determine our mood and ultimately our happiness during that day, hour, or minute.

For example, yesterday morning I woke up with some physical pain in my feet. (I am 35 weeks pregnant so this really is no surprise.) My pain subsided once I started walking around. However, this slight inconvenience launched me from my bed into a litany of existential negative thoughts about…

Nadaa Taiyab

Data scientist. Passionate about using data for social good.

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