Blog Archives

Celebrity twitter followers by gender

May 25, 2014
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Celebrity twitter followers by gender

The most popular accounts on twitter have millions of followers, but what are their demographics like? Twitter doesn’t collect or release this kind of information, and even things like name and location are only voluntarily added to people’s profiles. Unlike Google+ … Continue reading →

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What are the most overrated films?

May 5, 2014
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What are the most overrated films?

“Overrated” and “underrated” are slippery terms to try to quantify. An interesting way of looking at this, I thought, would be to compare the reviews of film critics with those of Joe Public, reasoning that a film which is roundly-lauded by … Continue reading →

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Author inflation in academic literature

April 6, 2014
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Author inflation in academic literature

There seems to be a general consensus that author lists in academic articles are growing. Wikipedia says so, and I’ve also come across a published letter and short Nature article which accept this is the case and discuss ways of … Continue reading →

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Guardian data blog — UK general election analysis in R

March 18, 2014
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Guardian data blog — UK general election analysis in R

The Guardian newspaper has for a few years been running a data blog and has built up a massive repository of (often) well-curated datasets on a huge number of topics. They even have an indexed list of all data sets they’ve put … Continue reading →

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What are the most common RNG seeds used in R scripts on Github?

March 6, 2014
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What are the most common RNG seeds used in R scripts on Github?

In the R programming language, the random number generator (RNG) is seeded each session using the current time and process ID. Via the magic of the popular Mersenne Twister PRNG, the values stored in .Random.seed are used sequentially each time … Continue reading →

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Slidify: Modern, simple presentations written in R Markdown

February 24, 2014
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Slidify: Modern, simple presentations written in R Markdown

As a LaTeX fan I’m used to using Beamer for presentations, but the built-in themes are definitely starting to show their age — and writing a custom .sty file looks like a nightmare — so for a while I’ve been looking … Continue reading →

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Meticulously recreating bitmap plots in R

February 3, 2014
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Meticulously recreating bitmap plots in R

There’s a hard-fought drive on Wikimedia commons to convert those images that should be in vector format (i.e. graphs, diagrams) from their current bitmap form. At the time of writing, the relevant category has over 7000 images in the category … Continue reading →

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Analyse your bank statements using R

January 4, 2014
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Analyse your bank statements using R

Online banking has made reviewing statements and transferring money more convenient than ever before, but most still rely on external methods for looking at their personal finances. However, many banks will happily give you access to long-term transaction logs, and … Continue reading →

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9 reasons to use RStudio

October 16, 2012
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9 reasons to use RStudio

In no particular order, here are nine reasons why I really like the RStudio IDE for the R statistical programming language. 1) R benefits from an IDE – I accept that in some languages an IDE is unnecessary—Perl is the first example … Continue reading →

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