Monthly Archives: December 2009

Summarising data using bar charts

December 12, 2009
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Summarising data using bar charts

A bar graph is a frequently used type of display that compares counts, frequencies, totals or other summary measures for a series of categories, e.g. sales in different market sectors or in quarters in a financial year. The bar graph can be laid out with the categories either on the vertical or horizontal axis of

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Already a competitor?!

December 11, 2009
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Already a competitor?!

When looking around on Amazon, I found that “Introducing Monte Carlo Methods with R” was associated with another very recently published (same day as ours!) book, “Understanding Computational Bayesian Statistics“, by William Bolstad, that seems to mostly cover the same ground as us (with some connections with Bayesian Core for prior modelling in regression and

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new R package : bibtex

December 11, 2009
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I've pushed to CRAN the package bibtex package The package defines the read.bib function that reads a file in the bibtex format. The code is based on bibparse The read.bib function generates an object of class citationList, just like utils::citation

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Struggling with apply() in R

December 11, 2009
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Struggling with apply() in R

It’s common knowledge that I struggle wrapping my head around the apply functions in R. That is illustrated very clearly in the following discussion on Stack Overflow: Dirk’s comment is actually spot on. I’ve asked the same damn question at least 4-5 times. Only I didn’t really understand it was the same question. That’s one of

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Must-Have R Packages for Social Scientists

December 11, 2009
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Must-Have R Packages for Social Scientists

After recently having to think critically about the value of various R packages for social science research, I realized that others might find value in a post on “must-have” R packages for social scientists. After the immensely popular post on this topic for Python packages a follow-up seemed appropraite. If you conduct social

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R> if (done=TRUE) tweet me!

December 11, 2009
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R> if (done=TRUE) tweet me!

Let’s say that you’re fitting a cumbersome model so time is not to waste over a PC staring at the screen half anxious-half bored… Then, you can always leave and go on with meetings and all your daily routine and have R notify you the results! How? We will illustrate the situation above using some Bayesian Model

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Because it’s Friday: Detecting Cylons

December 11, 2009
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Because it’s Friday: Detecting Cylons

Battlestar Galactica (Ronald D Moore's reimagined version of the rather cheesy 70's sci-fi series) has been my favourite TV series (of any genre) of recent years, so I'm especially excited that Chris Bilder has given me the chance to blog about it. Chris, an Associate Professor in the Department of Statistics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, recently published an...

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A Lot of Deaths are Partly Self-Induced

December 11, 2009
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I’m a little surprised by Andrew Gelman’s post today, doubting the wisdom of a passage from Gary Becker’s work that reads: According to the economic approach, therefore, most (if not all!) deaths are to some extent “suicides” in the sense that they could have been postponed if more resources had been invested in prolonging life.

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Times Series Methods versus Recurrence Relations

December 10, 2009
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This term, I’ve been sitting in on Rene Carmona’s course on Modern Regression and Time Series Analysis. Much of the material on regression covered in the course was familiar to me already, but I’ve never felt that I had a real command of times series analysis methods. When Carmona defined the AR(p) model in class

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APIs: I wish the life sciences would learn from social networks

December 10, 2009
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APIs: I wish the life sciences would learn from social networks

I was prompted by a thread on the apparent decline of FriendFeed to look for evidence of declining participation in my networks. First, a quick and dirty Ruby script, tls.rb to grab the Life Scientists feed and count the likes and comments: #!/usr/bin/ruby require 'rubygems' require 'json/pure' require 'net/http' require 'open-uri' def format_date(d) if d

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