Yes, I’m a little late to the party. I’ve been thinking about starting a personal blog for probably a decade. At first, blogging seemed a bit too trendy for me. I didn’t want to contribute more inanity to the already overwhelming amount of chatter being dumped onto the Internet on a daily basis. I wondered if anyone would really care what I had to say or if I would ever have the time to crank out quality blog posts on a regular basis.

I still wonder those things, but I’ve been feeling more and more as though I have some things I really want to share that can only be disseminated through a blog. I have always been passionate about sharing. The most rewarding part of my job is that I get to share the things I discover with others. At the same time, though, I have been hesitant to self-promote, to push things out on social media. I have preferred to wait patiently for others to ask about and discover things for themselves. The result has been a lot of potentially useful stuff gathering dust in various physical and mental corners. I hope this blog will be about opening up my virtual garage full of dusty things and offering them for the taking. I hope that they will be useful to someone.

In October 2014, I was invited to address the South African Operations Research Society at their annual conference. The theme was Accessible Analytics and my talk discussed the role openness has played in the short history of operations research. I realized this is a topic I am passionate about! The seed was planted for my virtual garage sale.

I began by opening up shop on Github and starting to post little bits and pieces of code I thought others would find useful. I will be writing about some of these here. I discovered Github pages and then Jekyll, a static generator for blogs that can use Github as a publishing platform. I played around with it a bit and was hooked. I will write about my experience with Jekyll and Github pages in a future post.

That’s my story. I hope you enjoy my ramblings. I know I will.

Ted Ralphs

Possibly useful rambling about Software, Optimization, and other Miscellany