Beginner Series: Searching, Sorting, and Sharing with Python


Hey friends! Come out on Monday to brush up on your Python necessities and learn more about how to refine your development workflow using Jupyter Notebooks. We’ll be going over Python implementations — both right and terribly, horribly wrong –of searching and sorting algorithms.

We’ll then get a bit meta and talk about Jupyter notebooks and how life-changing they are. Python makes it really easy to quickly prototype any ideas and implementations then share your ideas, projects, and creations with friends (if applicable) and the world! Learn more about Python’s fantastic notebook capabilities and you will never be the same.

When: November 23rd, 7:15 P.M.
Where: CIWW 202

Regex: Master Series

Think you understand “gibberish”? Still refer to it as “gibberish”? We taught you the basics of regex a couple weeks ago, come out this Thursday and become a master!
There’s an age old adage, “I had problem and I tried to solve it with regex. Now I have two problems.” Come out and practice your skills so that this never comes true!
As per usual, there will be some delicious pizza.
When: November 19th, 7:15 p.m.
Where: Courant 517

Python for CS and Developers

Hey ACM fam, this thursday, we have a treat for you. Eric Schles is going to drop some python knowledge bombs on you. Who’s Eric? He’s a Data Scientist, an abolitionist, and an all around badass hacker currently working for the US Digital Services. Make the trip out and you’ll learn more than you ever wanted to know about Python. You’ll learn about some basic, and advanced data structures, you’ll learn how to write a database, and you’ll get a quick intro to web dev!

As per usual, there will be pizza.

When: November 5th at 7:15 pm.
Where: CIWW 517.


Meeting the 29th: Registration Woes

Worried about what classes you should take next semester? Curious to know whether you can take OS and algorithms in the same semester and maintain a semblance of a social life? Interested in seeing what people say about certain professors?

Come on out thursday the 29th to get answers to all these questions and more. Your regularly scheduled tech talks, and beginner series, will resume next week (once midterms are wrapped up)!

For now, come eat some pizza, complain to a sympathetic crowd about midterms, and grill the class oracle (me!) on electives.

When: October 29th, 7:15 p.m.
Where: Courant 517
Why: 42
Food: Yep

Interview Prep

Hey guys! Want to be employed? Scared of being grilled about random questions while coding on a white board? Come tonight to get tips about job searching and interviewing. Hear from Danna (who successfully found a smart person job once at a smart person company).

There will also be pizza. And friends.

Meeting will be in CIWW 517 at 7:15 p.m


In Git We Trust

When you play the game of clones, you merge or you reset –hard.

Heard of this thing called Git? Do you know you should be using it yet you never do? Do you lie through your teeth and tell everyone you use it all the time for your personal projects? Know how to use it well but you’re not an expert? Do you know the difference between merging and rebasing? Did you get fired for force pushing to master?

Come out and learn Git! This talk will assume very basic knowledge of Git, if you came out to the beginner series talk on Monday, you’ll be fine!

As always, there will be free food after the talk so come on out to CIWW 517 at 7:15 tomorrow (Thursday the 24th) to learn and eat.

May the forks be with you.

RSVP at:


Credit Suisse

Hey everyone, for all of those who are interested in tech in finance, there is an event on Wednesday September 30th with Credit Suisse engineers. It will be co-hosted with WinC and the Business Analytics Club.
There will be 3 talks on Big Data, Cloud technologies and Mobile platforms. Please fill out the attached form to apply!

As usual, there will be food, cool people and an opportunity to learn.

ATTENTION: There is an application deadline on September 25th

Beginner Series #2: Git

Hey peeps, hope you had a great weekend. Tonight we have another beginner series talk for you, this time on git! Come on out to CIWW 201 at 7:15 p.m. to learn why and how you should use git.

Also, this Thursday we will have another talk on git but it will not targeted towards beginners. More info coming soon!

Into the Abyss: CPython

Hey everyone! Tomorrow night is our first real talk, Into the Abyss: CPython. It’ll be given by the lovely Nicholaus on the very lovely subject of, you guessed it, CPython. It’ll be in CIWW 517 at 7:15 p.m. Still working on getting a bigger room! Here’s a description:

This talk will be in two parts. The first part will consist of a basic overview of how python is compiled and interpreted. I will briefly describe how the process works. We will then pull the source code from, configure it, make it, and start to walk through some of the main c code in the python interpreter. The next part of the talk will be how to extend python with C (i.e. how to write c code and call it from my python code). After that we will look at the reverse how to call my python libraries with from my C code. These will be shown with examples. Followed by a Q and A.

Be forewarned, the Start Trek references will be more than gratuitous. Also, this talk will be followed by a couple of lightning talks! But, those are top secret. As per usual, there will be food as well! Hope to see ya there.

Into the Abyss: CPython

Beginner Series #1: Python

Hey everyone, hope you had a great weekend! Tonight is the first beginner series talk on Python. We’ll start at zero knowledge of python and build our way up to creating an AI named clyde who will achieve singularity and destroy mankind!

The meeting will start at 7:15 p.m. in CIWW 201!

If you’re not a complete beginner, feel free to come out anyways! You might learn a thing or two, or you can help teach others.

First Meeting: General Interest

First meeting is tomorrow, September 10th at 7:25 in CIWW 517! This is a general interest meeting so come out, eat some free food, meet some people, hear our plan for the club, and, most importantly, let us know what you want to get out of the club!

What do you want to learn about? Interested in giving a talk? Hungry and want a free meal?

Drop by tomorrow!


OCTOBER 12, 6:00 P.M.
The New School
66 West 12th Street
New York, NY 10011
Welcome by Trebor Scholz, Department of Culture & Media at The New School
The event is hosted by The New School and co-sponsored by LispNYC, ACM at NYU and The Graduate Center Digital Initiatives (City University of New York)
About the Speaker
Dr. Richard Stallman launched the free software movement in 1983 and started the development of the GNU operating system (see in 1984. GNU is free software: everyone has the freedom to copy it and redistribute it, with or without changes. The GNU/Linux system, basically the GNU operating system with Linux added, is used on tens of millions of computers today. Stallman has received the ACM Grace Hopper Award, a MacArthur Foundation fellowship, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Pioneer Award, and the the Takeda Award for Social/Economic Betterment, as well as several doctorates honoris causa, and has been inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame.

Biomimicry and Soft Robotics Meetup

On October 12th in room 109 we will be hosting a NY meetup where Matthew Borgatti will speak on Biomimicry and Soft Robotics. Here’s a description, and make sure to register at

Autonomous moving things come in two flavors. You’ve got robots, and you’ve got biology. Seldom in the natural world do you find solutions to the problems of grasping, manipulating, and moving like the ones we’ve come up with. Instead you find complex integrated systems that distribute load and provide power in a thousand brilliant ways.

This talk introduces some biological systems (like the beak of a squid which allows a creature basically made of protein-rich jelly to bite the heads off things orders of magnitude harder than it on the durometer scale), describes the engineering behind them, and discusses methods newly minted through digital fabrication and 3d printing for duplicating them.

In Matthew’s research at Super-Releaser he’s designed pneumatic soft robots with the goal of generating complex practical mechanisms from simple, easily mass produced methods. He’s going to bring his experience making things like a walking quadruped cast from one single seamless piece of silicone to a discussion of what’s on the cutting edge of soft robotics, where these technologies can be applied, and how you can start playing with your own squishy robots.

For more information, check out

List of Beginner Series Talks

Here’s the tentative list of beginner series talks! These will be mondays at 7:15 in room 1314.

  • Python
  • C
  • Data Structures
  • Assembly
  • Regex
  • Git
  • Editors
  • Linux/Command Line
  • Networking
  • Sci Kit Learn

List of Talks

Hope you guys had a great first week of school! Here is a list of the talks we have in mind, but are subject to change. These will be thursdays at 7:15 in room 517.

We’ll be populating the calendar once we have the finalized dates!

  • Bokeh
  • HC Search
  • Git
  • Regex
  • Network Security
  • Cryptography
  • Open Source
  • Dask
  • Research vs. Industry


Hi All,

This page isn’t so active. You can see all the exciting ACM announcements on the Facebook page. or join the mailing list!

Facebook Group:
Mailing list:

Modeling the mind

Researchers have found a relatively cheap (in terms of computation), way to model the human mind.  This new tech is called Neurogrid and it uses significantly less simulated neurons!  (by a factor of about 600 less than the norm).

For interested readers:


Aaron Schumacher on Machine Learning

Hello ACM,

Tomorrow Aaron Schumacher will present “Machine Learning Playground”. He will talk about what machine learning is, the kinds of problems it addresses, doing machine learning on kaggle, and a couple useful tools, including vowpal wabbit.

This will be in CIWW 312 at 7pm.

See you there!

Elections 2013!

Hello ACM and Progteam,

The time has come to elect the officers for 2013-2014. Two of the current e-board, Alexandra Qin and myself, are graduating, so we need new officers. Every officer participates in keeping ACM friendly and fun, in setting up talks and events, and in keeping the room open.

The positions are not strictly defined and everyone works together, but roughly:
Secretary – Record meetings.
Webmaster – Maintain and improve the ACM website.
Treasurer – Handle ordering food and tracking expenses.
President – Decide.
Vice President – Anything else.

We will be holding the election by secret preference ranked ballot on May 6th at 6:15PM in room 202 of WWH.

If you want to run for an officer position, be there and be ready to speak about the many ways in which you are the best for ACM!

See you all there,
Raphael Sofaer
ACM President (but not for much longer!)

What are the costs/benefits of Times Square?

Eric Schles, Zhangshuai Li, Daniel Padawer, Daniel Cohen, Benjamin Xie, Christopher G Williams, and David Iserovich

Setting the stage:
Today we asked the following question – What are the costs/benefits of times square? During this day of fun and hacking we learned about R, statistics, research methods, the city, what kind of data is out there, preprocessing and visualization. The team worked so well together there was even time for a group outing to artichoke! (Also hacking made us hungry.)


The first thing we had to do was define what is meant by “cost” and “benefit”.  The easiest definition for cost seemed to be power costs, water costs, and overall pollution abatement costs.  These lead us to search for the power consumption, water consumption and overall production of pollutants by the buildings in Times Square.  Benefits was harder to define.  We ended up settling on property values ( proxy by rental cost) , overall economic output, number of associated jobs, tax revenue, and “fiscal contributions” in overall city wide GDP.

Initially we considered either using a business or government perspective for this analysis.  However data was only available in such a way that we could look at the question from a mixed perspective.  Future studies may be interested in one way or the other.

There were also a number of questions we couldn’t get to, like how many taxi’s frequent times square and how much do they produce in terms of emissions?  Second, we would have liked to use the nyc open turnstyle data set to determine flows of foot traffic in and out of times square on a daily basis.  Third we would have wanted to create visualizations for the flow of electricity into New York City and see how that propagates to Times Square.  Sadly, there was not time.

Our results:

We define Times Square as the area of land between 42nd street and 48th street and between 8th avenue and 7th avenue.

-In .1% of NYC’s total land area, Times Square generates 11% of the city’s economic output and 10% of the city’s jobs.

-The district’s $110 billion in economic activity is up 22% since 2007, outpacing city growth of 9% during the same period.

-Annual direct spending on hotels, entertainment, and retail in Times Square is $4.8 billion.

-Broadway ticket sales tapped $1 billion in 2010; 83% of theatergoers came from out of town.

-Times Square – with 21% of NYC hotel rooms – added 2,000 rooms since 2007; direct hotel spending increased 13%.

-Times Square supports 385,000 jobs, 170,000 of which are within the district.

-Times Square has 29 million square feet of office space.

-In 2010, workers in and immediately around Times Square earned $18 billion in wages.

-These earnings are distributed throughout the city, with 61% of Times Square employees living outside Manhattan or north of 110th street.

-Times Square contributes 4.6 billion in New York State and New York City taxes each year.

-The district’s 2.1 billion fiscal contribution to New York City is enough to fund 46% of the NYPD budget or the Parks Dept. budget seven times over.



270 buildings in times square.

The total costs for each building are:

Average water cost: 3831576.47
Average electric cost: 13819243.26

Average ghg cost: 763733.77

data sources:

All metrics come from

We took averages for all buildings and then found these point statistics. This data reflects 2012.

A bit of math:

So based on

270 buildings with total cost on average of 18414553.5 (the sum of the three costs). Thus we can guess total cost of running Times Square is 368,291,070 dollars per year in water, electricity and green house gas emissions

Given that the total gain from economic activity is 110 billion and total cost 368,291,070, the total net benefit is $109.6 billion dollars.

Criticisms regarding our results. (from the authors):

This was a fast a dirty study.  It is likely these estimates are under valued (in terms of costs).  We took a lot of point statistics, something you should never do in a thorough study.  Additionally, there was a lot of missing data that we had to interpolate, specifically in the water consumption costs.  Even so, it is likely that the total monetary gain from Times Square belays the costs captured here.  However, this does not mean we have captured all associated costs.  A good example might be to compare Boston to New York City.  Boston does not have Times Square however both are on the eastern seaboard and thus have similar power consumption needs.  If we looked at the overall, consumption of both cities throughout the year, it is at least the suspicion of one of our authors that we would find higher environmental costs.  Also, abatement costs are essentially are not perfect.  Even a marginal change in the cost per metric ton of Green House Gases (GHG) could translate to large cost differentials from proposed figures.  Thus the costs associated with Times Square may still be significant.


Not too bad for a project that was done in 5 hours also this was the first one of these, expect one every week.