Friday, August 8, 2008

Thursday, July 31, 2008

POSScon Talk

Awesome conference. Met lots of great people and the roundtable and ensuing conversation at the end were the best part. We need more of these kinds of conferences. Here are the slides from my talk:

I'm looking forward to next year!

Friday, July 11, 2008

POSScon: Palmetto Open Source Software Conference

I'll be speaking at the new South Carolina OSS conference in Columbia, SC on July 30th -- more details at their website. I plan to talk about the open-source technologies that we use at the SC Budget and Control Board -- mostly Ruby on Rails and mySQL. I'm pretty excited about the conference as its the first of its kind here in Columbia. Should be worth coming to check it out -- oh, and did I mention its free to attend? See you guys there!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

ActiveRecord Bug Squashed

So we decided to use the new dirty record feature of Edge Rails to record the history of records in our new app at work. Turns out that nullable integer fields are always dirty if their current value is NULL. So, I submitted a patch and I'm honored to report that it was accepted and committed into Rails. Its nice to be able to give back to the community.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

learnSTAT is now open source

I've been teaching a Statistics course at USC for a few years now and so, being the geek that I am, I decided a couple of semesters ago to write some course management software in Rails. I've worked on it on and off since then and I would consider it to be in a semi-usable state at this point. I've used it in my last two semesters without major problems.

The features at this point are

  • course announcements
  • course documents
  • ability to assign multiple choice quizzes
  • quiz statistics, including per question
  • ability to add exam grades

The source is available at Please send any bug reports or feature requests to jason.dew at gmail.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Calculating IRR

So I decided to give the latest Ruby Quiz a shot. I created an Algebra module to deal with finding the root of a function -- using Newton's method.

and here is the more specific code to calculate the IRR: