The added hoops you have to go through can cost way more than the ticket itself

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In order to get some fresh air, we typically go for a walk up to a pathway across an extension of River Thames facing the London City Airport. Before the pandemic, the airport was set to see 6.5 million passengers per year by 2022.

A useful technique when dealing with multivariate Gaussian distributions

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This post assumes some familiarity with the Gaussian (also called Normal) distribution and matrix operations.

In my article called Maths Behind Machine Learning, I briefly touched on the idea of Gaussian distributions. The famous Gaussian distribution is so ubiquitous in applications of statistics that having some tools to see how it shows its face in some expressions is very useful. One of these tools is by completing the square.

What is the problem statement?

Let’s take the density function p(y) below where y is a vector of n x 1 dimension.

Lessons from working as a call centre agent

“Thank you for calling. How may I help you?”

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This was the opening spiel of an agent receiving calls from clients of a financial firm. I spent more than 2 years receiving calls as my job. I logged clients’ requests partially on paper, partially electronically via a diskette. Who even knows what a diskette is nowadays?

My Venetian Acqua Alta Weekend

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When planning a trip to Europe, it’s a complete no-brainer that Venice has to be in the itinerary. There’s no shortage of history, culture, and beautiful architecture in this city.

Aspiring to understand the political organisation governing Europe

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Half a decade ago, if anyone knew people interested in the European Union, I was not one of them. My interest in their history was practically dismal and I had no connection to anyone in Europe. Fast forward to now, living in a city profoundly rich in history, following Brexit in the news, and interacting with people in Europe, I have a new-found fascination for the polity and politics that underpin this region.

Learning to move forward

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Grief can be considered a universal emotion. Many mammals, including humans are known to feel this. Elephants have been recorded to visit the same spot where their matriarch died, orcas have been observed to mourn for their dead calf, and not surprisingly, our nearest relatives, primates have been observed to grieve as well. For us humans, we perform rituals of many forms to remember our deceased.

Love is enough. Or is it really?

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Perhaps it is a product of growing older, but over the years, I realised some beliefs I have operated my life on especially in my younger years are not very sensible. Sometimes I wish I had known these sooner so I share some of them in this post.

You can be anything when you grow up.

This is usually meant to encourage children to believe they can do any job imaginable when they grow up as long as they work for it. As a child, I did believe this. However I have come to realise “anything” is such a strong word…

There’s always a proportion of adults who have been pulled away from an opportunity of an education. This pandemic would likely increase it.

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In poor countries, the barrier to leaving a poverty-stricken life is already high. The pandemic combined with poor governance will drive this barrier even higher.

Why the 2020 character is a bummer

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Imagine an Asian girl in the 1990’s who grew up in a patriarchal society, observing that gender roles are strongly embedded. It is so deeply embedded that when a girl prepares a meal for the first time, it is not uncommon to hear a remark “you can now be wedded to a husband” (in Filipino language, “pwede ka na mag-asawa.”)

Pros, Cons and In-betweens of Working From Home

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There is a part of the population whose jobs and company infrastructures have allowed them to work from home since the start of global lockdowns. I feel fortunate to be a part of this group as I have been working from home since March and I hardly felt the processes I do impeded by this ‘new normal’. If anything, I found myself enjoying writing in the amount of time I would have spent commuting each day. Many of my friends started cooking or baking. I also found myself growing my collection of…

Valerie Dela Cruz

Mathematics, books, and writing | With a penchant for self-reflection | Born and raised in the Philippines, lived in New Zealand, based in London

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