Blog Archives

Because it’s Thursday: Epidemiology of the Undead

April 1, 2010
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Because it’s Thursday: Epidemiology of the Undead

Noted statistician Andrew Gelman has teamed up with occultist George Romero to address the most serious public-health threat of out time: Zombies. They've published a paper in the journal Biomastika, "How many zombies do you know?" to propose the use of indirect survey methods to measure outbreaks of the undead: Abstract: The zombie menace has so far been studied...

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How ideological is Google?

March 31, 2010
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How ideological is Google?

Adam Bonica, a grad student in political science at NYU, recently published a ranking of the political slant of various professions, based on the amount and recipient (Republican or Democratic) of political donations by lawyers, lobbyists, physicians and many other occupations. This paper (PDF) gives the complete analysis, but the chart below (created using the ggplot2 graphics package in...

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Scientists misusing Statistics

March 30, 2010
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In ScienceNews this month, there's controversial article exposing the fact that results claimed to be "statistically significant" in scientific articles aren't always what they're cracked up to be. The article -- titled "Odds Are, It's Wrong" is interesting, but I take a bit of an issue with the sub-headline, "Science fails to face the shortcomings of Statistics". As it...

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Smoothing time series with R

March 29, 2010
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Smoothing time series with R

Smoothing is a statistical technique that helps you to spot trends in noisy data, and especially to compare trends between two or more fluctuating time series. It's a useful visualization tool that I'm pleased to see cropping up more and more in statistical graphics on the Web -- it's now a staple in econometric charts and is heavily used...

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Predicting Pizza

March 26, 2010
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Predicting Pizza

What's the secret to the best pizza in New York? That's what statistical consultant and R user Jared Lander sought to find out, by analyzing the rankings of NY pizza joints at MenuPages.com, and building a regression model for ratings based on variables like localion, price, number of reviews, and pizza-oven type (gas, coal or wood)? Here's a scatterplot...

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Future of Open Source Survey – Results

March 25, 2010
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The results of the 2010 Future of Open Source survey were presented at last week's Open Source Business Conference in San Francisco, and here are they are in slide format: While I was at the presentation I captured a few additional tidbits from the presentation that weren't in the slides. The continued growth of open-source generally was a prevalent...

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Statistical learning with MARS

March 24, 2010
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Steve Miller at the InformationManagement blog has been looking at predictive analytics tools for business intelligence applications, and naturally turns to the statistical modeling and prediction capabilities of R. Says Steve: The R Project for Statistical Computing continues to dazzle in the open source world, with exciting new leadership at Revolution Computing promising to align commercial R with business...

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Video: Hadley Wickham gives a short course on graphics with R

March 23, 2010
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Video: Hadley Wickham gives a short course on graphics with R

Hadley Wickham (the creator of the popular ggplot2 graphics package for R) has posted video of a 2-hour short course on Visualisation in R at his blip.tv channel. The video is split into four thirty-minute segments: Basic Graphics Displaying Large Data Data manipulation and transformations Polishing your plots for publication The course is peppered with self-guided exercises, for which...

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R 2.11.0 scheduled for April 22

March 22, 2010
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Announced this morning on the r-announce mailing list is the impending release of R 2.11.0, scheduled for April 22. As usual, the release soon goes into a beta-test phase, with updated sources to be available on the 22nd and binaries to follow a few days thereafter.

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Charting SVN commits with R

March 22, 2010
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Charting SVN commits with R

Want to get a quick sense of who are the most active committers to your SVN project? Using just a few lines of R code and the SVN log file, reader and new R user Rhys Kidd created this chart to review commits to the Freespace 2 Source Code Project: Rhys posts the 6 lines of R code to...

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