Tom Kwok



Analysis of email metadata #

Emails in my undergraduate university mail box are analyzed and a calendar plot is generated for time series analysis of the frequency of emails.

Calendar plot of frequency of emails #

Calendar plot of frequency of emails

While the frequency of emails on any given day is dominated by the number of received emails, which include many mass emails, it appears to be an indirect metric of my activities at the university.

Bar plot of frequency of emails by day of week

The red bar plot shows the frequency of emails by day of week. The count on a weekend day is less than half of a weekday day. This observation is unsurprising since (i) university mass email service runs only on weekdays; and (ii) university officers and some professor do not post announcements or reply to emails on Saturdays, and more so on Sundays.

Bar plot of frequency of emails by hour of day

The green bar plot shows the frequency of emails by hour of day.

The peak at 12am (hour 0) can be attributed to the numerous confirmation receipts of submission of my assignments near the time of deadline.

Afterwards, there is generally low activity in sleepy times. The exception is an outbreak of emails from 3am to 6am (hour 3, 4 and 5), during which the university mass email system service emails.

Most other emails, usually sent by humans, are delivered during daytime starting from 9am (hour 9) at which a work day starts, with a dip during lunch break for university office staff at 1pm (hour 13), and ending at 6pm (hour 18).

The frequency of emails approximately halves after office hours, with a slight gradual increase towards midnight.

Pie plot of frequency of emails by domain name of sender

The pie plot shows a breakdown of the domain names of all sender email addresses by frequency.

Other notes #

Plots for the most frequent "From" and "Subject" fields and plots with data for my other personal email accounts are not posted.

It is now a good time for analysis since my undergraduate studies have just been completed for fulfilment of graduation requirements.

As a side note, my strategy in handling emails had been notification on all emails except those automatically marked as read by filter rules, supplemented with manual unsubscribing of marketing materials. Recently I made AppleScript's for use along with the native Mail application to create Gmail filter rules with Gmail API for actions on matching emails including mark as read, archive and delete.

My room during a summer stay at university resident hall (2018) (f/3.625, 1/8, ISO 400)

The view outside the windows in a university resident hall room (2018) (f/4, 1/4, ISO 200)

A one-second long-exposure photo of a pedestrian path on the main road where the university hall is located (2018) (f/4.375, 1/1, ISO 200)