The little bit I've done with Ruby on Rails was an opportunity to delve into HTML as a spec/standard/language. I love HTML as a medium for written expression—tend to be quite digressive and referential in my writing and I love how I can drop clues or actual links to my references without having to interrupt the flow.

    This site is actually an opportunity for me to dip a toe back into these waters, though I must confess that I am cheating a bit by using the bootstrap framework.

  • Data Driven Documents (D3)

    This looks to be a perfect culmination of HTML & other web standards—a means for bringing what would otherwise be static data visualizations alive and enabling the viewer to make their own discoveries about the data. Plus they can be distributed as single html files! No more cramming everything into stultifying rich text or portable document format. I am in.

  • javascript + jQuery

    This pretty much goes with the HTML/CSS territory. Can't do fun webby things without javascript, and near as I can tell, jquery seems to be the app framework that's sticking around. I've read jQuery In Action and played around a bit, but it's powerful unnatural stuff.

  • Machine learning / Natural Language Processing

    Working on the pathology report text classifier we used on a study to do rapid cancer case ascertainment was an absolute blast, and whet my appetite for getting further in to that. More recently I've used ML to predict impending hospitalizations in Kaiser patients (improving on the predictions offered by the ACG software even!) which has been huge fun.

  • Python

    In the last few months I've taken on a python project (the aforementioned ML prediction of hospitalization, for which I used scikit-learn) and have quite liked it. It's not ruby (sigh) but it's fast and there's such a community built up around it.