Books I read in 2016

Last year was my lowest year in ten years for amount of books read.  To be honest, I was working through textbooks and FreeCodeCamp learning to code, which took away from my reading time.  Still, there were a lot of interesting books on this year’s list!
January
1.) 4th Generation Warfare Handbook – William S. Lind and Gregory A. Thiele

 

February
4.) Future Visions: Original Science Fiction Inspired by Microsoft – by Elizabeth Bear and Greg Bear et al.

 

March
11.) Gorilla Mindset – Mike Cernovich

 

April

 

May
15.) The Circle – Dave Eggers
16.) Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War – P. W. Singer and August Cole

 

June
17.) The Cartel Hit (Mack Bolan the Executioner #438) – Mike Linaker, Don Pendleton (Series Creator)
19.) The Tournament – Matthew Reilly
21.) Scarecrow Returns – Matthew Reilly
22.) Progression – Sebastian Marshall

 

July
23.) Abyss Deep (Star Corpsman #2) – by Ian Douglas
26.) Bitcoin for the Befuddled – Conrad Barski and Chris Wilmer

 

August
28.) Star Wars: The Rise of the Empire – John Jackson Miller et al.
29.) Re-read GIS for Dummies – Michael N. DeMers
30.) The Blood of Gods (Emperor #5) –  Conn Iggulden

 

September

 

October
32.) Head First Mobile Web – Lyza Danger Gardner and Jason Grigsby
33.) The Water Knife – Paolo Bacigalupi

 

November
34.) Public Health 101: Healthy People – Healthy Populations – Richard Riegelman, Brenda Kirkwood
37.) Planet of Slums – Mike Davis
38.) Proxima – Stephen Baxter

 

December
39.) There Will Be War Volume X – Jerry Pournelle, Editor
40.) JavaScript: The Good Parts – Douglas Crockford

Books I Read in 2015

I’m a little late on this one – Usually I put it up in January, but never late than never!

It seems like I read less this year than in previous years, but a lot of what I was doing was working through coding exercises.  Also, we moved in the middle of the year, and a whole lot of bad stuff happened too.  At one point I was working two jobs.  So, life happening plus less time to read combined with working through coding textbooks meant this year was anemic when it came to books.  Still, I hope you find some value in the list below. There are books on history, international affairs, religion, mathematics, epidemiology, and of course, many fiction books.

January

3.) Vengeance (Rogue Warrior #12) – Richard Marcinko
February
9.)  GIS for Dummies – Michael N. DeMers
11.) There Will Be War Volume 1 (Castalia House ebook version) – Jerry Pournelle, Editor
14.) Blowback (Vanessa Pierson #1) – Valerie Plame and Sarah Lovett
15.) Men of War: There Will Be War Volume II (Castalia House ebook version) – Jerry Pournelle, Editor
16.) The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: A Debate – Scott D. Sagan & Kenneth N. Waltz
17.) The Art of War: A History of Military Strategy (Castalia House ebook version) – Martin van Creveld
March
19.)  El Borak and Other Desert Adventures – Robert E. Howard
21.) There Will Be War: Volume III Blood and Iron (Castalia House ebook version) – Jerry Pournelle, Editor
23.) GIS: A Visual Approach – Bruce E. Davis
April
25.) Rough Justice (Sean Dillon #15) – Jack Higgins
27.) A Darker Place (Sean Dillon #16) – Jack Higgins
May
28.) Wesley for Armchair Theologians – William J. Abraham
June
32.) Full Force and Effect (Jack Ryan #10) – Mark Greaney (Tom Clancy)
July
34.) There Will Be War Volume IV: Day of the Tyrant  (Castalia House ebook version) – Jerry Pournelle, Editor
35.) Why Homer Matters – Adam Nicolson
39.) Founders (The Coming Collapse) – James Wesley, Rawles
August
September
October
44. The Martian – Andy Weir
November
45.) Treasure of Khan (Dirk Pitt #19) – Clive Cussler and Dirk Cussler
December
46.) Finding Zero – Amir D. Aczel
48.) End of the Earth: Voyaging to Antarctica – Peter Matthiessen

Update – Graduation looms…

So my semester is just about done.  I am finished with my SQL class, and am awaiting the final grades in my International Relations class. I finished my Future Cities class on EDX as well.  Whew!  Now I can graduate!

In related news, I finished a Global Health class and an Epidemiology class online.  These were not officially graded, being work-at-your-own pace classes, but I scored an A in each of them.

So, school done, what next?  Well, I am working on continuing to burnish my computer skills – Python and R, both very big languages in Data Science.  For the spring, I am signed up for a class for R and also a class on how to use programming to do linear algebra – this will be in Python.

At this point, I think my future direction may lie in Computational Epidemiology.

In addition, I am reading.  As always, I will post a list of the books I read this year in January.  Right now, I am reading a book on the history of the number Zero, and a book on Topology.  For fun, I have been reading HALO books.  I’ve never really played the game but it’s a cool setting.

Anyway, more later!

It’s Epidemiological!

Friday I went down to the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Public Health for an Open House.  This division of Pitt has several departments:  Behavioral and Community Health SciencesBiostatisticsEnvironmental and Occupational HealthEpidemiologyHealth Policy and ManagementHuman Genetics, and Infectious Diseases and Microbiology.  I went down to take a look at the Epidemiology Department. I’ve noted before that I have an interest in data science, and that I want to start exercising my Christian faith by helping others.  I also maintain an interest in international affairs and Human Security; by combining this with a Certificate in Global Health it looks like I can tie all of these together.

The day started out with a session on the latter certificate, where Pitt offers two tracks – one local and the other part of the Peace Corps.  Then we went to the main session for all of the schools, where we learned about the various departments and student organizations, as well as career services, financial aid, and the application process.  The school is expensive but it seems like there are many possibilities for financing, although as a middle-aged male, I’m not sure how many I am eligible for.  After the main session there was a “marketplace” where you could talk with representatives from the various departments.  I was interested to see that a number of professors perform dual roles – not just teaching, but as part of the administration.  There is apparently a ratio of one professor for every 4.5 students.  The students are involved in real and active research on actual contemporary – and often cutting edge – problems.

As noted, I am male and as I’ve pointed out before, my background is in engineering.  The ratio here (among the prospective applicants) appeared to be 80% women.  That is quite a change for me.  I was pleased to note that even the Biostatistics department representatives were mostly female; I was not happy to find out that they knew nothing of Daniela Witten at the University of Washington, whose book I have been reading through.

All in all, it was an informative day and gave me much to think about in pondering my future.  I have made no decisions; however, if I do choose to do Epidemiology I think that Pitt will be an excellent choice!