History Nerd

Created by Michael Hall, Community Manager at InfluxData
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What everyone's up to

Aug 31, 2021
Wrote a history paper
Advocated for LGBTQ
Wrote a paper on the gay liberation movement!
Aug 03, 2021
Published a Medium post
Wrote about computing history
Wrote about agile
+ 1
Now introducing: the "Agile Mythical Man-Months" series! Travel back in time with me to compare how IBM was almost destroyed by the OS/360 system, and what we can learn from it now.

This first part compares how Fred Brooks Jr suggested how teams should be organized, and how agile teams currently operate. The parallels are really fascinating to me, and I hope y'all think so too!

Typeset a Book in LaTeX
Researched Family History
Writing a Novel
Wrote in French
+ 2

Writing Family History Books

In the last two years, I have attempted to gather information I have about a branch in my family.

I started by writing a factual book, with proper bibliography. But then some family members found it a bit too academic and suggested a more creative approach.

So last year, I started a biographical novel on my great-grandfather's life. It's still a work in progress, and I find that I need to go back and forth between the two book projects whenever I find new information, so I can document it properly first, and then see how I can influence the novel to incorporate the new details.

Created a website
Used Machine Learning
Used AWS Rekognition
Analyzed Historical Pictures
Coded in Ruby
Coded in JavaScript
Designed a Website with Bootstrap
+ 5

Face Detection in Historical Photos

As an experiment in my Genealogy research, I started using Machine Learning (AWS Rekognition) to scan public historical photos (from Flickr and Reddit public albums).

So far, the PoC contains about a million faces from a bit over 400.000 images.

Eventually, the idea would be to integrate the system into tools such as Geni or MyHeritage and use it as automatic hints to find existing pictures or known people (based on know portraits).

Created a new Page on Wikipedia
Edited a Page on Wikipedia
Exploited Historical Documents
Uploaded an Image to Wikimedia Commons
Wrote French Content
+ 3

Added info on old Paris streets on Wikipedia

A couple of ancestors of mine purchased land in Paris in the 1860s and sold it in plots in the years that followed. These plots became a street, named after the owners.

I added info on Wikipedia 🇫🇷 about that street and adjacent streets allowing to access the plots, as per the notary documents I have been studying.


Launched a new website
Practiced Genealogy
Transcribed Historical Documents
+ 1

Ce site présente une collection de lettres de 1870 et 1871 (185 documents), envoyées par Louis Guillier et son épouse Clara à Adolphe Grünberg et son épouse Elisabeth au cours du siège de Paris, puis de la Commune de Paris.