Blog Archives

Some love for ggplot2

August 25, 2014
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Some love for ggplot2

With all the recent buzz about ggvis (this, this, and this) it’s often easy to forget all that ggplot2 offers as a graphics package. True, ggplot is a static approach to graphing unlike ggvis but it has fundamentally changed the way we think about plots in R. I recently spent some time thinking about some

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Average dissertation and thesis length, take two

July 15, 2014
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Average dissertation and thesis length, take two

About a year ago I wrote a post describing average length of dissertations at the University of Minnesota. I've been meaning to expand that post by adding data from masters theses since the methods for gathering/parsing the records are transferable. This post provides some graphics and links to R code for evaluating dissertation (doctorate) and

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A simple workflow for using R with Microsoft Office products

June 5, 2014
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A simple workflow for using R with Microsoft Office products

The challenge of integrating Microsoft products with R software has been an outstanding issue for several years. Reasons for these issues are complicated and related to fundamental differences in developing proprietary vs open-source products. To date, I don’t believe there has been a satisfactory solution but I present this blog as my attempt to work

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How much code have you written?

May 3, 2014
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How much code have you written?

This past week I attended the National Water Quality Monitoring Conference in Cincinnati. Aside from spending my time attending talks, workshops, and meeting like-minded individuals, I spent an unhealthy amount of time in the hotel bar working on this blog post. My past experiences mixing coding and beer have suggested the two don’t mix, but

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Process and observation uncertainty explained with R

March 31, 2014
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Process and observation uncertainty explained with R

Once up on a time I had grand ambitions of writing blog posts outlining all of the examples in the Ecological Detective.1 A few years ago I participated in a graduate seminar series where we went through many of the examples in this book. I am not a population biologist by trade but many of

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Brief introduction on Sweave and Knitr for reproducible research

February 24, 2014
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Brief introduction on Sweave and Knitr for reproducible research

A few weeks ago I gave a presentation on using Sweave and Knitr under the guise of promoting reproducible research. I humbly offer this presentation to the blog with full knowledge that there are already loads of tutorials available online. This presentation is specific and slightly biased towards Windows OS, so it probably has limited

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A brief foray into parallel processing with R

January 21, 2014
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A brief foray into parallel processing with R

I’ve recently been dabbling with parallel processing in R and have found the foreach package to be a useful approach to increasing efficiency of loops. To date, I haven’t had much of a need for these tools but I’ve started working with large datasets that can be cumbersome to manage. My first introduction to parallel

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Visualizing neural networks in R – update

November 14, 2013
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Visualizing neural networks in R – update

In my last post I said I wasn’t going to write anymore about neural networks (i.e., multilayer feedforward perceptron, supervised ANN, etc.). That was a lie. I’ve received several requests to update the neural network plotting function described in the original post. As previously explained, R does not provide a lot of options for visualizing

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Sensitivity analysis for neural networks

October 7, 2013
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Sensitivity analysis for neural networks

I’ve made quite a few blog posts about neural networks and some of the diagnostic tools that can be used to ‘demystify’ the information contained in these models. Frankly, I’m kind of sick of writing about neural networks but I wanted to share one last tool I’ve implemented in R. I’m a strong believer that

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A nifty area plot (or a bootleg of a ggplot geom)

September 17, 2013
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A nifty area plot (or a bootleg of a ggplot geom)

The ideas for most of my blogs usually come from half-baked attempts to create some neat or useful feature that hasn’t been implemented in R. These ideas might come from some analysis I’ve used in my own research or from some other creation meant to save time. More often than not, my blogs are motivated

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