Hello world!

I'm really excited to be writing my first blog post! This was the kind of thing I noticed people more productive than myself doing at the start of the first lockdown, and at some point in 2020 I told myself I would get started, but never did. Anyway, better late than never!

This is the first website I've had and so I'm a complete newbie, but it has been easy even for a tech-illiterate for myself, using the Ghost platform to develop and host this site. I still need to get myself a domain name - I suppose I'll be making a trip to GoDaddy or some such site (with the hopes that a site roughly resembling my name is not wildly expensive...)

I wrote the About me section (which is always a bit of a struggle) but perhaps I'll elaborate a bit more here. I'm currently working towards a DPhil in the statistics department at Oxford Uni, although I was admitted as a student for the StatML CDT (or the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Modern Statistics and Statistical Machine learning to be precise... the shorterning being something those involved in the CDT are all most grateful for). I'm currently working on my first paper which gives some new theoretical results in Hidden Markov models - I will save a further discussion of research for a seperate post (perhaps after a preprint of this work is available).

I also somewhat elusively refer to myself as being interested in "current affairs." I do wonder if such a generic claim is likely to hold true for virtually everyone. I suppose I mean I have a bit more of an active interest in politics than others might, but by framing it in this way I hedge against my own limited understanding of the area, and perhaps project less certainty in my views than one who declares themselves interested in politics. I suppose I could have also added an interest in "philosophy", by which I really just mean having reasonably interesting (to me) disccussions about things, but that did seem a bit self-aggrandising, as if my musings on why people might prefer one type of ice cream to another were somehow comparable to the ideas of history's great minds.

The last claim I make for myself is an interest in veganism, which I suppose makes sense as a vegan of a little over three years. I started in January 2018, following Veganuary (principally as a gesture of good will order to placate my then girlfriend, now wife, who I rather thought was making a fuss over nothing at the time). Although very much looking forward to a return to my usual habits when I first embarked on the month-long adventure, I somewhat reluctantly began to accept over the course of the month that life without animal products was actually not really so difficult after all, and that upon reflection I couldn't really convince myself it was reasonable to return to my old habits. So here I am, 40 odd months later, having continued rather longer than intended along the trajectory I began back then. I imagine I will elaborate somewhat more on all of that in future posts.

I think that probably suffices for an introductory post, and I will continue to play around with the site before the next one, and perhaps sort myself a more professional-looking URL. The platform I'm using also seems to have some functionality for people making accounts, and maybe that way I can send out some sort of email notification to any interested parties. I imagine that will be enough to occupy myself between now and the next time!

Dan Moss

Dan Moss

DPhil Student at Oxford/StatML CDT. Interested in maths, stats, veganism and current affairs. Pronouns: He/him
Oxford, United Kingdom