Crime De-Coder LLC Website

So I have created CRIME De-Coder LLC, a firm to do my consulting work with police departments. Check out my website,

Feedback is welcome. In particular check out the services pages, and my first blog post on what distinguishes my services from most firms. Providing computer code to generate the end product is “teaching a man a fish”, whereas most firms just drop a final report and leave.

And of course feel free to reach out to if you are interested in pursuing a project. Going forward I plan on making a new post around once a month, so sign up in your feed reader or using a service like IFTTT.

Setting up a stand alone website is not that hard in the end. Currently it is a static site with some custom javascript (hosted on Hostinger). I should do a PHP server for the new blog posts and RSS feed eventually, but for now this is fine. I suggest for those interested in the same get the Jon Duckett books (HTML/Javascript/PHP) for overview of the tech, and then check out Dani Kross’s youtube tutorials (for random things like editing the htaccess file).

I am not doing a newsletter for the blog-posts, as I am concerned it will get my email on random block lists. But if there is demand for it in the future I will figure out some other service I guess to do that.

I wanted a more bare-metal setup (not a hosted wordpress like this site), as in the future I will likely do demo’s of dashboards, host some pyscript, make a sign in for paid content, etc. I just wanted flexibility from the start. So stay tuned for more content from CRIME De-Coder!

Surpassed 100k views in 2022

For the first time, yearly view counts have surpassed 100,000 for my blog.

I typically get a bump of (at best) a few hundred views when I first post a blog. But the most popular posts are all old ones, and I get the majority of my traffic via google searches.

Around March this year monthly bumped up from around 9k to 11k views per month. Not sure of the reason (it is unlikely due to any specific inidividual post, as you can see, none of the most popular posts were posted this year). A significant number of the views are likely bots (what percent overall though I have no clue). So it is possible my blog was scooped up in some other aggregators/scrapers around that time (I would think those would not be counted as search engine referrals though).

One interesting source for the blog, when doing academic style posts with citations, my blog gets picked up by google scholar (see here for example). It is not a big source, but likely a more academic type crowd being referred to the blog (I can tell people have google scholar alerts – when scholar indexes a post I get a handful of referrals).

I have some news coming soon about writing a more regular criminal justice column for an organization (readers will have to wait alittle over a week). But I also do Ask Me Anything, so always feel free to send me an email or comment on here (started AMA as I get a trickle of tech questions via email anyway, and might as well share my response with everyone).

I typically just blog generally about things I am working on. So maybe next up is that auto-ml libraries often have terrible defaults for hypertuning random forests, or maybe an example of data envelopment analysis, or quantile regression for analyzing response times, or monitoring censored data are all random things I have been thinking about recently. But no guarantees about any those topics in particular!

A bunch of random shout outs

Busy, busy, busy! Hopefully I will have some time in the near future to write up some more data science posts. But for now, here is a small python snippet to help you build interaction variables between two sets of numpy arrays/dataframes.

import numpy as np
def np_int(a,b):
    rows = a.shape[0]
    cols = a.shape[1]*b.shape[1]
    return np.einsum('ij,ik->ijk', a, b).reshape((rows,cols))

This works for pytorch as well (just replace np.einsum with torch.einsum). So coming up (eventually) I will illustrate encoding interaction between hidden layers in a deep learning model. But for now some quicker updates.

Shout out #1: Scott Jacques has continued to push the charge for open access to criminology journals. He has two recent posts about post-prints, and how our main journal (Criminology) has an excessive policy of not allowing authors to post post prints for over two years (whereas the majority of criminology journals allow you to post immediately).

Several aspects of open science are tricky – posting pre-prints/post-prints is not. If we can come together as a group this is an easy, no cost way to greatly improve the accessibility of our work to the greater public.

Shout out #2: The folks at Police Rewired have hosted a hackathon intended to Hack Hate. It is too late to participate, but they will be displaying the results this Sunday. I have not had the chance to participate in any code hackathons, I will need to make a concerted effort in the future to give at least one a shot. (It seems hard, how can you do any work in only a day or a week or two!? But the proof is in the pudding so to speak, I’ve have seen some pretty cool things come out of various hackathons in the past.)

Shout out #3: My workplace, HMS, is involved in a data sharing collaborative called the Digital Health DRC. They also have a hackathon coming up, but this is related to Telehealth use. The Digital Health DRC is pretty cool though, it is basically a way for HMS (and several other private sector entities) to share various datasets with researchers over the globe.

The scope of HMS’s data is somewhat outside the realm of my old stomping grounds of criminology (but not entirely, a big part of my job is identifying potentially fraudulent patterns in claims data). But for folks who have a research question that could be answered using health insurance claims data, this is a good resource to look into. (HMS has pretty good coverage of Medicare claims across the US.)

Finally, I experimented a few days on the site with hosting ads. I managed to serve up a few thousand and make 10 cents. So I will turn that off for now. I debated on putting the button for folks to donate a coffee, but even that is not necessary. (I can afford the few bucks for the domain, and I use dropbox to back up my files anyway, so hosting extra materials is not a big deal.) I rather folks just take my nerdy notes and make your own cool stuff (and share them with me!) I may need to figure out a better hosting solution for images though — google photos is continuing to give me troubles I see (so if you see an image is not coming through feel free to let me know in the comments or send me an email).

Dropbox links need updating

Just as an FYI, I use Dropbox to share much of my work. They have two recent changes that effect many of the links on my website. One is that the public folder is no longer in use. I thought maybe that since I gave out individual links to items in the public folder those wouldn’t be affected — apparently they are though. So I need to go and update many of those public links.

The second is that HTML pages served up via Dropbox are not rendered anymore in browser. So I can’t use Dropbox as a simple website server for some pages. You can always still download the page and view the HTML (same as a say a PDF), but I realize this is a bit more inconvenient. In some cases I will have to convert those Dropbox links to pages on my WordPress blog. (Which adds another layer of complexity, as sometimes I use those as supplementary materials for academic papers, which require anonymity. Not sure how to deal with that though.)

Be patient, I have quite a few links I need to fix in various places, so it will take me awhile. If you spot a broken link, please let me know (via comment or email). Also if you cannot download any of my posted material (e.g. folks in China cannot access Dropbox) always feel free to send an email and I will distribute it that way. See my about page or my CV page for my email address.