Monthly Archives: January 2010

What programmers should know about Statistics

January 26, 2010
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Reader KW pointed me to this rant essay from Ruby on Rails enfant terrible Zed Shaw on what computer programmers don't know about statistical analysis, but should. (Spoiler alert: a lot, apparently.) Perhaps surprisingly, building complex software systems often involves a lot of simulation, experimentation, and measurement for which statistical methods would be an asset. But according to Shaw,...

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What Countries are ‘Pulling their Weight’ for Haiti?

January 26, 2010
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What Countries are ‘Pulling their Weight’ for Haiti?

Using the data provided ReliefWeb on the Appeals and Funding to Haiti (h/t DataBlog) and the most recent GNP estimates, I decided to do a little “back of the envelope” analysis. With GNP as a proxy for a country’s wealth, the hypothesis is that pledges should roughly be a linear function of wealth, i.e., the

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Free GIS Resources

January 26, 2010
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Free GIS Resources

Over the last couple of days I have utilised some excellent free GIS resources. I have listed these and some others below. Geospatial Analysis: This is the free online version of de Smith, Longley and Goodchild’s excellent book by the same title. It provides full coverage of current GIS methodologies. It also provides extensive information

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ggplot2: Quick Heatmap Plotting

January 25, 2010
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ggplot2: Quick Heatmap Plotting

A post on FlowingData blog demonstrated how to quickly make a heatmap below using R base graphics. This post shows how to achieve a very similar result using ggplot2. Data Import FlowingData used last season’s NBA basketball statistics provided by databasebasketball.com, and the csv-file with the data can be downloaded directly from its website. >

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Mapping the Massachusetts election upset with R

January 25, 2010
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Mapping the Massachusetts election upset with R

The blog Offensive Politics has done some in-depth analysis of the recent Senate special-election upset in Massachusetts, comparing the results of victorious Republican candidate Scott Brown to those of the unsuccessful Republican Presidential candidate John McCain in 2008. It's pretty clear that Brown out-performed expectations with Democratic voters, but this chart of the change in Democratic voters from 2008...

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Robert Gentleman joins REvolution’s board of directors

January 25, 2010
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We're so excited here at REvolution Computing to announce that Robert Gentleman has joined our board of directors. Robert is one of the two originators of the R Project: a research project between Robert and Ross Ihaka in 1996 was the genesis of the R language. (Both Robert and Ross were profiled in an article in the New York...

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Mapping MA election results

January 25, 2010
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Mapping MA election results

The Swing State Project recently had some very interesting maps comparing last week’s election results from Massachusetts to 2008 presidential primary results. Their maps posted show some very interesting trends, but the maps themselves are lacking in information and the color schemes are pretty ugly. Using my own source data I recreated their election night

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rgdal and other GIS-related packages for Mac OS X

January 23, 2010
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rgdal and other GIS-related packages for Mac OS X

CRAN contains ready-made binary packages for nearly all of its packages, but rgdal is one which I keep finding myself trying to install from source whenever I upgrade R. Compiled versions of rgdal, along with prerequisites and complements like the GDAL framework, GRASS, and even the old FFTW3 can be found at KyngChaos’s Wiki: http://www.kyngchaos.com/software/frameworks

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R Tutorial Series: Regression With Interaction Variables

January 23, 2010
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R Tutorial Series: Regression With Interaction Variables

Interaction variables introduce an additional level of regression analysis by allowing researchers to explore the synergistic effects of combined predictors. This tutorial will explore how interaction models can be created in R.Tutorial Files Before we...

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Fluctuation plot using ggplot2 in R

January 22, 2010
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Found this nice way to visually summarize contingency tables using ggplot2 in R on Hadley Wickham's ggplot2 cheat sheet. Using the same data in my previous post on making scatterplots in small multiples, I'll demonstrate how to use ggfluctuation() to m...

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