Blog Archives

R 3.3.0 now available

May 5, 2016
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R 3.3.0 now available

R 3.3.0, a major annual update to the R Language, was released earlier this week and is now available from your local CRAN mirror for Windows, Mac (OSX 10.6 or later) and Linux systems. (Or as always, you can build it yourself from sources). This update — codenamed "Supposedly Educational" — makes a number of significant improvements to R,...

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Because it’s Friday: The time-travelling jukebox

May 3, 2016
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Because it’s Friday: The time-travelling jukebox

If you're looking for some musical nostalgia this weekend, look no further than How Music Taste Evolved, from design firm Polygraph (and with a hat tip to Pogue). Choose any month from the past six decades, and then sit back and watch the top 5 songs on the Billboard chart of the day move up and down and listen...

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Tufte-style graphics in R

April 29, 2016
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Tufte-style graphics in R

It's not an overstatement to say that, at least for me personally, Edward Tufte's book The Visual Display of Quantitative Information was transformative. Reading this book got me and, I feel confident saying, many many other data scientists passionate about visualizing data. This is the book that popularized Minard's chart depicting Napoleon's march on Russia, introduced the world to...

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Webinar April 28: Effective Graphs with Microsoft R Open

April 25, 2016
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Webinar April 28: Effective Graphs with Microsoft R Open

Naomi Robbins, author of Creating More Effective Graphs and Forbes contributor has teamed up with daughter Dr Joyce Robbins to present a new webinar this Thursday April 28, Creating Effective Graphs with Microsoft R Open. The webinar will demonstrate how to create a variety of useful graphics with R: comparisons, distributions, trends over time, relationships, divisions of a whole,...

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Microsoft R Open 3.2.4 now available

April 22, 2016
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Microsoft R Open 3.2.4 now available

M icrosoft R Open 3.2.4, Microsoft's enhanced distribution of R, is now available for download from mran.microsoft.com. This update is based on R 3.2.4-revised, and includes several improvements and some minor bug fixes from the R Core Group. Improvements include long-vector support for the smooth function, a new stringsAsFactors options when using rbind with data frames, and better rounding...

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Pride and Prejudice and Z-scores

April 20, 2016
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Pride and Prejudice and Z-scores

You might think literary criticism is no place for statistical analysis, but given digital versions of the text you can, for example, use sentiment analysis to infer the dramatic arc of an Oscar Wilde novel. Now you can apply similar techniques to the works of Jane Austen thanks to Julia Silge's R package janeaustenr (available on CRAN). The package...

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Exploring NYC Taxi Data with Microsoft R Server and HDInsight

April 19, 2016
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Exploring NYC Taxi Data with Microsoft R Server and HDInsight

As I mentioned yesterday, Microsoft R Server now available for HDInsight, which means that you can now run R code (including the big-data algorithms of Microsoft R Server) on a managed, cloud-based Hadoop instance. Debraj GuhaThakurta, Senior Data Scientist, and Shauheen Zahirazami, Senior Machine Learning Engineer at Microsoft, demonstrate some of these capabilities in their analysis of 170M taxi...

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A scalable data science platform with Microsoft R Server and Spark

April 18, 2016
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If you want to train a statistical model on very large amounts of data, you'll need three things: a storage platform capable of holding all of the training data, a computational platform capable of efficently performing the heavy-duty mathematical computations required, and a statistical computing language with algorithms that can take advantage of the storage and computation power. Microsoft...

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Microsoft Data Science VM now available as a Linux instance

April 13, 2016
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Microsoft Data Science VM now available as a Linux instance

Microsoft's Linux Data Science Virtual Machine is now available for use on the Azure Marketplace. Like the Windows-based instance of the Data Science VM, this pre-built system based on Linux CentOS 7.2 includes all the tools you'll need to analyze data, including Microsoft R Open, Anaconda Python, Jupyter Notebooks and a PostgreSQL database instance. It also includes a suite...

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The FBI’s aerial surveillance program, visualized with R

April 11, 2016
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The FBI’s aerial surveillance program, visualized with R

Buzzfeed's Peter Aldhous and Charles Seife broke a major news story last week: the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Homeland Security operate more than 200 small aircraft (mainly Cessnas and some helicopters) which routinely circle various sites near US cities, presumably to gather data with onboard cameras and electonic equipment. The data behind the story weren't...

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