Kyle Ryan

Software Engineer at Strava. I enjoy photography, cycling, design, and building apps.

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More About Manipulation than People

Has social media become more about manipulation than people? In the pursuit of company growth and profits, have social media companies left behind our well-being? In this article, I present the perspectives of others on this important issue.

My goal here is to merely present a few perspectives on this topic. I do not draw a specific, personal conclusion, but this article serves to be a stepping off point for conversation.


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Image courtesy of WIRED

Facebook published a blog post a few weeks ago titled, “Hard Questions: Is Spending Time on Social Media Bad for Us?”. It discussed the potential that their services may be harmful when used incorrectly. While the article is not an empirical research review, it approaches a core criticism of Facebook’s success engine – its ability to connect people. In the blog post, the authors cite the research of Bob Kraut – a social psychologist with...

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Q and A: Studying Computer Science

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The following questions are topics that I have been asked or have confronted in the past four years. Share it with your local high school or college student if you find it useful.

 Do I need to be good at math to be good at Computer Science or Software Engineering?

As an undergrad, you have to take finite math, a calculus sequence, and linear algebra. In that sense, you have to be good enough to pass the classes. This just takes focus and effort to learn the material. If you do not get an A+ in those classes, you should not worry. Do not feel like your success in math will predict your success in CS. If you go on to machine learning or data science in graduate school, math will definitely be important. Overall you do not have to be a math expert, but I emphasize a few skills that come from math that I use every day.

  • Symbolic representation: Being able to interpret, manipulate, and...

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Hard to Write

I am not going to lie; it has been hard to focus on writing these days. I do have things to write about, but unless the writing is less than 1,000 words, it is hard for me to finish and publish it.

For the past year, I have been writing a reflection for high school students about my undergrad path in Computer Science. Coming in at close to 22,000 words, I am not close to done. I still have three more years to cover.

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To plan my writing better, I have taken a cue from a former Rochester professor, Phillip Guo, about writing. He states:

Will at least 100 people care about this topic three years from now?

The following don’t qualify, so I rarely write about them:

  • commentary on news events or fads
  • reactions to someone else’s article
  • personal notes that only my friends would care about
  • Also, if I see many people writing about a topic, then I avoid it unless I have a drastically...

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I couldn’t fix it until today

IMG_5834.JPGI have always loved bikes. I love their engineering, design, and the freedom they give you.

There is an great bike store in the town of Fairfield where I went to high school. For months before the summer of my sophomore year of high school, I did research online to find the right bike from a company called Trek. I found something right in my price range – the Madone 1.1.

When I moved into my dorm for sophomore year of college, I brought my bike with me. The building I lived in at the time was built the year prior. So, it had a bike room! Excited, I brought my Madone to school with me and put it in one of the spots.

I go to University of Rochester in NY. If you know anything about Rochester, you know that it is not an “outdoors” city. You are lucky to have two weeks of good weather per year. I was not sure what I was thinking when I brought my bike with me.

On one of these nice...

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