Hi, I’m Ben Rasich馃憢

Welcome to my blog about data science/bikes/baking/whatever

UT MSDS in Review

Back in early 2022, I posted my thoughts after my first semester in the University of Texas Data Science master鈥檚 program. Now, almost 2 years on, I鈥檝e just wrapped up my last exam; the only thing left to do is wait for my diploma to show up in the mail and watch the Longhorns win the national championship. Looking back, this was absolutely a worthwhile experience and I鈥檓 glad to have taken on the challenge....

December 15, 2023 路 5 min 路 Ben

Car Math

As I鈥檝e started to use my bike more and more for short commutes and errands, I鈥檝e been noticing the absurdity of how deeply engrained car ownership has become. Cars are silly expensive and, oftentimes, cars are slow. Cars are Expensive Here in Denver, and for the hobbies I pursue, car ownership seems like a necessary evil. It鈥檚 the only viable way to get deep into the mountains, especially in the winter, or to the further reaches of the city and suburbs given the rampant urban sprawl....

November 16, 2023 路 5 min 路 Ben

DIY MBA, but for Urban Design

School is fun* I鈥檓 nearing the end of my Data Science masters program at UT Austin this fall, and I find myself looking for what鈥檚 next. The most fun part of data science is getting to play around with new, state-of-the-art algorithms, which can continually be at odds with the realities of the workplace. In a business context, there鈥檚 a ton of work that goes into test design, data collection, feature engineering, model interpretability, etc....

July 20, 2023 路 6 min 路 Ben

Self Hosting Rabbithole

The winter of 2022 and spring of 2023 have been an absurd time to be on the internet. We鈥檝e seen Twitter acquired by Elon Musk and subsequently run into the ground. At the exact same time, Reddit鈥檚 expensive new API pricing (complete with 30-day adoption timeline) and following hostile reaction to community protest among unpaid moderators, place it at the same precipice. I won鈥檛 get into the fact that this was inevitable, or that I should have seen it coming, or that it happens to every social platform as it crashes into the need to make money, mainly because others have done a much better job expressing it:...

July 3, 2023 路 4 min 路 Ben

Crit Season 2022

The past 6 months have been, without question, the wildest of my adult life. All of it was a lot - packing up my stuff and moving to Denver, school ramping up, work getting crazy - but the one thing that I鈥檓 sure will always make me giddy as I look back at this period was the ridiculous stuff I got to be a part of on the bike....

August 25, 2022 路 4 min 路 Ben

Online Data Science Masters - 1st Semester Review

After 3 years on the job I鈥檓 studying for a Master鈥檚 degree in Data Science at UT Austin. Is it going to be worth it? Will it be manageable alongside work and other hobbies? Your guess is as good as mine. How did I get here? The first 3 years of my career leading to my current role as a senior data scientist have been self-taught. I took a job as a business analyst in pursuit of a faster-paced work environment and the greater ownership of complete products that a more digital-focused role allowed over the mechanical engineering field I went to school for....

January 28, 2022 路 6 min 路 Ben

The Rise and Fall of Rebake

I was in middle school when Apple opened the App Store. Having mowed lawns for a summer to save up for an iPod Touch, I thought the next logical step was to make an app myself. I had no idea how to begin, no problem I was looking to solve, and after a few hours fumbling around in xcode, trying to understand what the documentation meant by 鈥榝unction argument鈥 or 鈥楢PI鈥, that project quickly fizzled out....

December 19, 2021 路 7 min 路 Ben

Baby's First Azure Function

Our team practices a fairly standard separation of responsibilities between Data Science and Engineering. On the data science side, I take in requirements from the business, frame those requirements into a tractable problem, and build a model using all available data. Outside of the model build itself, though, I rely on close partnership with engineers to make data available for me in the production environment and serve up predictions to clients through some sort of production infrastructure....

December 15, 2021 路 3 min 路 Ben

Internet Pumpkin Pie Showdown

Fall: the leaves are changing, it鈥檚 too cold for shorts but not cold enough for skiing, and the sun seemingly sets before it rises. It鈥檚 easily near the bottom of my personal list of the top 4 best seasons on earth. What fall does have, though, is a near-perfect lineup of seasonal baked goods. From apple crumb cakes to snickerdoodles, the coalescence of the harvest and weather-induced boredom has given rise to an incredible pantheon of autumnal delicacies....

December 4, 2021 路 8 min 路 Ben

Welcome

Testing out the workflow for blogging with Hugo. It鈥檚 a goal of mine to start writing more and documenting my projects. It鈥檚 been a real pain trying to find a way to cheaply host a site on my own domain that gives me enough customization to be fun. It seems like this combination of Hugo + Github Pages will be useful, but I鈥檒l have to give it some time. Currently the process is set up as follows:...

November 27, 2021 路 1 min 路 Ben