It all begins with someone who puts trust in you

I would like to dedicate this post to Prof. Gleen Crellin, who 4-years-ago put trust in me, who does not have any technical background except a 10 credit summer database certificate, and gave me my very first database development job. Prof. Crellin lost his battle to cancer in May 2017. My thoughts go to his family.

Prof. Glenn Crellin

Prof. Glenn Crellin

It all begins with someone who puts trust in you. After the 11-week Summer certificate program and right before I started graduate school program, I was itching to find a real life project and use all that knowledge I leaned. I love real estate (and you already know that), so I naturally looked up real estate research centers at my home school University of Washington.  That’s how I found Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies.   There was no job posted – whatever the worst they could say is no – but I contacted the program manager anyway.  She forwarded my inquiry to Glenn, and that’s how my life started to change.

First email I sent to Runstad center's program manager.

First email I sent to Runstad center’s program manager.

I have to say, I did not do a great job on this first project.  I learned a ton about the importance of requirements gathering and how to collaborate with existing technical team. It was hard – I didn’t really know what I was doing.  I realized the project was in a downward spiral and I reached out to Glenn.  He put his hand together, looked at me, and said: “I know. I wanted to give you this chance and I know you tried hard. It’s alright.”

I want to remember this for the rest of my career. Thank you Glenn.


Wow it’s been a long time!

Hello world! It’s been a long time since I updated this blog. Now seems like a good time.

I finally registered for Tableau Public, check out my fascinations here. Obviously this is going to be mostly neighborhood / real estate related.

It was kinda fun to go back in to to look for treasure again. I started with a list of page visit data for I was positively impressed to see that Socrata, a local business, now supplies a direct OData streaming on the site!



Bounce Rate to Exit Rate in Seattle.Gov/Neighborhoods pages

Bounce Rate to Exit Rate in Seattle.Gov/Neighborhoods pages

I was not surprised to see that there is a slight negative correlation between median unique page view to median bounce rate. If I go on the site and open one of the links, read it for the first time, my view would be counted as a unique view. I would insinuate that the more unique views a page gets, the higher chance that a viewer is actually reading the page (and not bouncing, which is leaving the page within 2-3 seconds).


From this scatter plot, I learned that people probably dont get their school information here – the “major-institutions-and-school” page groups has very low unique views but a ~45% bounce rate.   It also appears that the ‘equitable-outreach-and-engagement” gets most the attention here, pretty high unique views and very low bounce rate.  Curious? Let’s give them some more page views here.


A Week of Mining Seattle’s Craigslist Apartment Pricing

I should run this for my house 😉

Jay's Life

Everyone is freaking out over San Francisco astronomically high rent prices right now when Seattle real-estate isn’t that far behind.

I was walking down the street once in the university district around the University of Washington when I saw construction being built. And then more construction. And then MORE construction down the block. Ridiculous. Looking at a half-torn up flyer, the prices for these new apartments coming out in 2015 were around 1300 per bedroom for a two bedroom apartment! I quickly went home and started trying to figure out how fast rent was rising in Seattle.

One fun way to do this was by working on a project that I have since put off for school back in November. Since reliably the best place to find apartments has been on Craigslist, I created a script using Scrapy to grab listings of apartments on Seattle craigslist and filtered them for…

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Predicting and Plotting Crime in Seattle

Cool research!

Jay's Life

I have recently been watching “The Wire” and along with my Amazon Prime membership looking better and better, it’s actually given me some things to think about. Besides making me an expert police detective, it has steadily been making an impact on how I view a city. It sounds kind of cheesy, but I never really understood how nice Seattle is when looking at the kind of crime that a city like Baltimore can experience on a day to day basis.

There is also a way to quantitatively determine this than having me describe to you how the bleak images of Baltimore’s project are far worse than those of Seattle. Socrata is a company based in Pioneer Square in downtown Seattle that has worked with governments to release open data to the public . Their most popular data-set on the Seattle city page however is the “Seattle Police Department 911 Incident Response” with currently…

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Data Visualization with D3

I haven’t been able to talk much about real estate lately.. perhaps it’s because I have been sooo busy with MSIM (click to see program description in case you are wondering what it is).  I want to show off some of the course assignments I have done lately.

Crime Vs. Economy

My teammate and I made this visualization with D3:

D3.js is a JavaScript library for manipulating documents based on data. D3 helps you bring data to life using HTML, SVG, and CSS. D3’s emphasis on web standards gives you the full capabilities of modern browsers without tying yourself to a proprietary framework, combining powerful visualization components and a data-driven approach to DOM manipulation.

We used GeoJson for a US map with state boundaries, and the blue-purple shows the median household income in that state. The lighter the purple, the lower the median income. The yellow circle shows the number of violent crime per 100,000 people in that state. The bigger the circle, the more crime incident per 100,000 people. You can change year on the slider bar. Data range is 2007 to 2013.  If you hover your mouse over a state, detail data for crime and income will show up on the bottom right.

This is my very first javascript project and not to mention D3. Never heard of it before this class. A great example of fancy D3 would be New York Time’s Upshot blog. It is so cool that I wish one day I would be this good.

Below is the interactive map I made 🙂

Visualization is here: 

To download all the files (html, css, json, csv) to try it yourself, go to

I also shared it on github: 

Passing On What We Didn’t Learn

One of my favorite blogger. He’s words always click. Not because I had similar experience – fortunately I grew up from a loving family and supportive, educated parents – Scott’s blogs always make me think. Hope this article does the trick with you too.

My father was an orphan. He grew up with a brother, little supervision, and almost no “life lessons” from a parental figure. His relatives were racist, religious bigots.

My mother is one of three girls. She came from a long line of alcohol and cigarettes, empties and ignorance.

Neither one of my parents really inherited much of worth from their forebearers . My grandmother, by her own admission, hated me. Eventually, as the years progressed, she learned to hate others as well. By most accounts she was a nasty piece of work. My grandfather drank beer for breakfast and filled his work thermos with scotch, in order to cope. He was, according to legend, a very bright man. Very sad. He taught me how many cases of Canadian beer fit in the back of a Buick. Marketable skills…

Parenting is a ridiculous proposition, when it comes down to it. Take a…

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