A tale of statistics, personal taste, and beats per minute

Pieter Claesz (1623, Louvre)

A couple of months ago I stumbled upon a cute web app that lets you log in with your Spotify account and see some interesting attributes of the songs in your playlists. As a long-time music fan and early adopter, I use Spotify probably since day-one by religiously saving interesting songs to my Favorites playlist.

This tool was built by Echonest, a small startup that Spotify bought two years ago for $100M and has contributed to the success of automated music recommendation, such as the Discover Weekly playlists.

By getting all these interesting song attributes like Danceability, Energy, Acousticness and…


A textual analysis of Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, Hunger Games and Lord of the Rings books

Why do some books, as simple as they may be, succeed in becoming worldwide sensations? Do their authors treat the language differently? How do printed symbols lure us into epic worlds? I had to dig in.

I picked the most successful book series of the last 20 years and applied text mining techniques, seeking for patterns and, well, a way to reverse engineer an author’s mind while writing.

I analyzed the Harry Potter books by J.K.Rowling, the Game of Thrones books (ok nerd, “A Song of Ice and Fire”) by George R. R. Martin, the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne…


What I learned visiting Stanford, Facebook, Google & Twitter

A couple of years ago I was starting to get into the whole startup mindset. The turning point I guess was when I read the essays by Paul Graham on ideas like make things people want and the power of the marginal.

Fast forward to winter 2013 when I heard about US Educational Trip. In a split of a second I jumped in the application form. The program focuses on improving education by transferring knowledge and best practices from top-tier US universities to selected greek undergraduates. The application might was lengthy but put me into deep introspection about what I…

Dimitris Spathis

PhD candidate at Cambridge, machine learning researcher, and musician. Delving into long tails. www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~ds806/

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