# Monthly Archives: December 2010

## Questions on the parallel Rao-Blackwellisation

December 21, 2010
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$Questions on the parallel Rao-Blackwellisation$

Pierre Jacob and I got this email from a student about our parallel Rao-Blackwellisation paper. Here are some parts of the questions and our answer: Although I understand how the strategy proposed in the paper helps in variance reduction, I do not understand why you set b=1 (mentioned in Section 3.2) and why it plays

## How Orbitz uses Hadoop and R to optimize hotel search

December 21, 2010
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Positional bias — the tendency for users to preferentially select results in the first few positions of a search — is a big issue for all kinds of search engines. But for online travel site Orbitz the stakes are higher than for a traditional Web search engine: if a customer chooses the first-listed hotel in a search for accommodations,...

## My favorite R packages (installed with one command)

December 21, 2010
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I just started a new job (working on social search awesomeness at Bing) and so I had to set up my “dev” environment with all of my usual tools (R, python,vim,etc). One thing that made this a bit easier is my habit of keeping an R script around that installs all of my common packages

## NppToR 2.5.2 Improves startup

December 21, 2010
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I’ve been getting lots of feedback that there are problems starting NppToR with some of the latest version. I took to the task of looking at that yesterday on the train home. I have made improvements to the way NppToR finds the RHome directory, not relying entirely on the windows registry. I also removed the

## R programming books

December 21, 2010
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My sabbatical is rapidly coming to an end, and I have to start thinking more and more about teaching. Glancing over my module description for the introductory computational statistics course I teach, I noticed that it’s a bit light on recommend/background reading. In fact it has only two books: A first course in statistical programming

## A Very Data Christmas

December 21, 2010
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This week Google announced its Ngram Viewer, which allows you to explore the use of words in thousands of texts overtime, going back two hundred years. Given the relatively long time period covered by this massive data set, it is fun to explore how language has changed overtime. Some texts, however, seem to transcend time.

## oro.nifti 0.2.4

December 21, 2010
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The R package oro.nifti contains functions for the input/output and visualization of medical imaging data that follow either the ANALYZE, NIfTI or AFNI formats.  This package is part of the Rigorous Analytics bundle.Orthographic display of stru...

## oro.nifti 0.2.4

December 21, 2010
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The R package oro.nifti contains functions for the input/output and visualization of medical imaging data that follow either the ANALYZE, NIfTI or AFNI formats.  This package is part of the Rigorous Analytics bundle.Orthographic display of stru...

## Back from Philly

December 20, 2010
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The conference in honour of Larry Brown was quite exciting, with lots of old friends gathered in Philadelphia and lots of great talks either recollecting major works of Larry and coauthors or presenting fairly interesting new works. Unsurprisingly, a large chunk of the talks was about admissibility and minimaxity, with John Hartigan starting the day