Blog Archives

The software behind this clickbait data visualization will blow your mind

February 13, 2015
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The software behind this clickbait data visualization will blow your mind

New media sites like Buzzfeed and Upworthy have mastered the art of "clickbait": headlines and content designed to drive as much traffic as possible to their sites. One technique is to use coy headlines like "If you take a puppy video break today, make sure this is the dog video you watch." (Gawker apparently spends longer writing a headline...

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R among top languages on GitHub

February 11, 2015
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R among top languages on GitHub

The site githut.info provides quarterly statistics on programming language activity on GitHub, by number of repositories, pushes, forks etc. Ranked by number of active repositories on GitHub, R is the 12th most popular programming language as of Q4 2014. JavaScript, Java and Python appear as the top 3 in the same list. As I've said before, such a high...

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In case you missed it: January 2015 roundup

February 9, 2015
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In case you missed them, here are some articles from January of particular interest to R users. Slides on reproducible data analysis with Revolution R Open and the checkpoint package. A review of a recent Bay Area R User Group meetup, featuring Hadley Wickham, Ryan Hafen and Nick Elprin. In an article at opensource.com, I explain why now is...

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Finding the dramatic arc of novels with sentiment analysis

February 6, 2015
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Finding the dramatic arc of novels with sentiment analysis

Sentiment analysis has been widely used to infer the mood of customers in emails, tweets and other short communications. The base assumption is that the sentiment is a fixed value: the email is either angry or happy; positive or negative. But in longer writings like a novel, we naturally expect the sentiment to vary over time. Can we apply...

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Quickcheck: Randomized unit testing for R

February 4, 2015
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Hadley Wickham's testthat package has been a boon for R package authors, making it easy to write tests to verify that your code is working directly, and alerting you when you make changes to your code that inadvertently breaks things. For the RHadoop project, though, developer Antonio Piccolboni needed a different testing framework, that included the possibility of writing...

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Paris’s history, captured in its streets

February 2, 2015
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Paris’s history, captured in its streets

The following image by Mathieu Rajerison has been doing the rounds of French media recently. It shows the streets of Paris, color-coded by their compass direction. It's been featured in an article in Telerama magazine, and even on French TV Channel LCI (skip ahead to 8:20 in the linked video. which also features an interview with Mathieu). Mathieu used...

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Reproducibility with Revolution R Open and the checkpoint package

January 30, 2015
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Thanks to everyone at the Chicago R User Group for giving me such a warm welcome for my presentation last night. In my talk, I gave an introduction to Revolution R Open, with a focus on how the checkpoint package makes sharing R code in a reproducible way easy: If you'd like to try out the checkpoint package, it's...

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Now’s a great time to learn R. Here’s how.

January 28, 2015
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In a recent article at opensource.com, I offer up some reasons why now is the time to learn R: data scientists are in high demand, R is the natural language for data scientists, and companies around the world are using R (and hiring R programmers) to make sense of new data sources. Sharp Sight Labs also offers some excellent...

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Microsoft acquires Revolution Analytics – news roundup

January 26, 2015
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There was a lot of news coverage on Friday and over the weekend about the news that Microsoft will acquire Revolution Analytics. Here are some links to just a few of the articles published. Wired: Microsoft is "heavily embracing the R programming language"; "the move deepens Microsof's investments in open source". TechCrunch: Microsoft's acquisition is to "bolster its analytics...

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xkcd on P-values

January 26, 2015
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xkcd on P-values

From the "statistician humour" department, today's xkcd cartoon will ring a bell for anyone who's ever published (or read!) a scientific article including a P-value for a statistical test: If finding P-value excuses is a common activity for you (and let's hope not!) then R has you covered with the Significantly Improved Significance Test. This R code from Rasmus...

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