… This Blog …
… is devoted to opposing, as best as I can, “… that most natural of human tendencies: the triumph of hope over evidence” .
This blog has “667-per-cm.net” in it WordPress URL, and is titled 667 per cm, that corresponding to the frequency of a big spectral line for carbon dioxide (see below) which happens to line close to the peak blackbody emissions region for Earth at nominal temperatures. These physical facts and the proximity of that line to Earth’s blackbody emissions mode is a key element in the reason why climate change due to excess atmospheric carbon dioxide occurs.
Jan Galkowski is a data scientist, statistician, and quantitative and computational engineer. See his profile at:
Jan is a member of the Azimuth Project.
He has an S.M. degree in EE & Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (“MIT”), and a B.S. degree in Physics from Providence College. He has taken additional graduate level courses in mathematics, signal processing, geology, geophysics, statistics, computer science, and history of science from Cornell University, Binghamton University, Syracuse University, University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign, MIT, Colorado State University, West Point Military Academy, Naval Postgraduate School–Monterey, AFCEA, and Harvard University. Some of these were sponsored by DARPA.
Prior to his present job, Mr Galkowski served as data warehouse developer, test engineer, advisory software engineer, and entrepreneur for Cornell University, Sensis, Westinghouse Nuclear Automation, Loral Federal Systems, IBM Federal Systems, and Aetna U.S. Healthcare. He has a deep interest in science, especially oceanography, geophysics, and dynamical systems models pertaining to these, and especially those related to climate science.
Mr Galkowski’s areas of expertise are:
- computational methods in statistics and optimization
- Bayesian and non-parametric methods for time series
- environmental statistics, including command of current climate science
- custodianship of data archives, including data warehousing, extraction, transformation, load, and validation
- model-building and comparative evaluation using information theoretic measures
- solar and wind energy policy and costs; the utilities landscape
- data cleansing and imputation to repair missing data
- planning field data collection for biology and ecology using distance sampling and transect methods
- analysis of datasets involving natural language utterances and other kinds of stylized text in support of their statistical analysis
Jan is a member of:
- the International Society for Bayesian Analysis
- the American Statistical Association
- the American Meteorological Society
- the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers
- the Ecological Society of America
- the American Solar Energy Society
- the Citizen Science Association
Some things to which Jan has contributed which are publicly available:
- “Warming slowdown?” (in 2 parts), at the Azimuth blog: here and here
- (Acknowledgement only) “Monte Carlo methods in climate science“, J. C. Baez, D. Tweed.
- The entries of this blog, including The zero-crossings trick for JAGS: Finding roots stochastically
… Technical Interests
Jan’s current technical interests include:
- developing and adapting algorithms in support of Bayesian statistical inference, stochastic search, and stochastic optimization
- inverse theory applied to blind source separation problems in environmental issues, such as point waste generation and pollution sources, as well as recovery of latent components in signals
- engineering problems of clear-air capture of carbon dioxide and its sequestration
- model-based sampling, modern sampling algorithms, multi-model inference with information criteria
- supporting collection of data by volunteers and analysis of their datasets
- improving techniques for distance and transect sampling in field work
- improving techniques for analysis of free form texts from people and machines as statistical data
- getting more people involved in citizen science efforts
- Scientific programming with R, Python, NumPy, and SciPy
- LaTeX, and especially using PGF and Tikz for graphics.
… Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Mr Galkowski and his beautiful and clever wife, Claire, are strong supporters of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and are an Associates of that Institution, 1930 Society members, and Jan is a Fye Society member.
… Guidance Regarding Blog Comments
Guidance for posting on this blog: I will not tolerate climate denial comments. I also reserve the right to delete or edit comments made.
… Westwood Statistical Studios
Mr Galkowski also provides statistical advice to individuals, groups, towns, and companies through his statistical consultancy, Westwood Statistical Studios, specializing in applications of statistical inference to environmental and municipal management problems. Consultations typically involve four kinds of questions:
- Estimation: What are the values of some key quantity, and over what range does it vary? For example, how much does the recycling tonnage per neighborhood vary in a town, and how does it change by season or as the result of changed policy?
- Prediction and verification: Given what’s been measured or what’s known by comparison with similar processes or mechanisms, what’s likely to be the range of a key quantity during the next year or quarter? For example, given past hazardous waste collections, what’s likely to be the size of the upcoming one? Or, if residents are charged by the pound for trash and recycling, what’s likely to be the change in overall tonnage of each, or in town receipts for trash? Or, is single-stream recycling having the desired policy effect in a town?
- Model comparisons: Given a number of possible explanations for why a set of data are what they are, which is the most likely? For example, if energy use at a town high school seems unusually high and costly, is this because of sports field lighting, parasitic loading due to appliances and computers left on, or improper overrides of heating and cooling settings?
- How should data be gathered and collected in the first place?
Contact him below if you are interested in a preliminary session.
Contact Westwood Statistical Studios below:
Jan is broadly interested in questions of statistical practice, based upon
- the guidelines of the American Statistical Association,
- those pertaining especially to statistical consultants,
- and those pertaining to questions of careful data stewardship in a world which values data more than knowledge.
- Reproducible research, including full release of data and computer programs (“codes”) which were used to derive results and, accordingly,
- Open access to research publications without paywalls and a critical consideration of the role of peer review in the 21st century.
… Politically Speaking …
I am a climate hawk, meaning that minimizing and preventing further climate disruption is the issue, and dominates all other ones. Accordingly, I favor no particular political party or candidate, as long as they take aggressive action on the question, whether it is Senator Bernie Sanders or Bob Inglis’ Republicen. One could also call me a Hermann Scheer solar revolutionary because I both judge solar photovoltaic technology to be a revolutionary energy source for the reasons Professor Tony Seba details, and because it is a democratically empowering development, returning control of energy to the people and public at large, denying central concentrators of such power the influence they presently enjoy. Thus, it heralds the oncoming of a green century and the return of electrical power to the people.
Increasingly, however, I feel we cannot achieve what we need to achieve, and so my efforts are being directed more towards trying to make the technology of clear air capture of carbon dioxide and its sequestration cheap enough to afford, even if it will never be inexpensive. My current views as a climate hawk are because the less we emit now, the less it will cost to fix the problem later.
While I am vehemently against any expansion of fossil fuels, I also believe that the historical commingling of environmental questions with progressive causes has hurt progress on the environment and that Democrats get an all-too-easy pass on environmental questions. I also believe that some environmental questions are more important than others, climate disruption and species extinction being the most important, and that many large environmental organizations have so long played the political game they are more interested in maintaining and expanding their political power than in the reasons why they were founded in the first place.
I am also against endless building and expansion, especially in wetland area, and oppose continued development, preferring zoning rules to curtail it, even if this can be interpreted as “snob zoning”.
And I will accept help from anywhere, even utilities and corporations who have seen the need to change.
 This is a quote from Howard Wainer, in an article which appeared in CHANCE magazine, a publication of the American Statistical Association. The article was entitled “Defeating Deception: Escaping the Shackles of Truthiness by Learning to Think like a Data Scientist“, 29(1), 2016, 61-64.