Blog Archives

Code Snippets in Revolution R

October 4, 2010
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Ajay Ohri has been trying out the Code Snippets feature in Revolution R (available free to academics), and has found it handy for writing code for statistical analysis: Now even if you are averse to using a GUI /or GUI creators don’t have your particular analysis you can basically type in code at an extremely fast pace. It is...

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Because it’s Friday: I hate pennies

October 1, 2010
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I was brought up in Australia, where we got rid of 1¢ and 2¢ coins in my childhood. Nobody missed them, at least as I recall. I certainly didn't: they were useless, even at the age when I might by lollies (candy) for 2¢ apiece. But then again, I'd never buy one, and with the new changes if I...

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Fibonacci 1-liners

October 1, 2010
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The other day, as an excuse to play around with custom iterators, I created some completely over-engineered code to calculate the Fibonacci sequences. But surely such a simple function can be implemented in fewer than my 15 lines? (Rick Wicklin, who writes the SAS blog The Do Loop, thinks so too.) We could use such a function to more...

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Mandelbrot Set, evolved

September 30, 2010
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Mandelbrot Set, evolved

The Mandelbrot Set is perhaps the most famous fractal of all time. It's simple in its definition: iterate the complex equation zn+1 = zn2 + c (starting with z0 = 0) for various values of c, and if doesn't go to infinity then c is part of the Mandelbrot Set. The result, however, is amazingly complex. Thinking of c...

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NewTwitter design based on a Golden Spiral

September 29, 2010
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NewTwitter design based on a Golden Spiral

I finally got the new version of Twitter yesterday, and it looks great. And that's no accident: according to the designer, the layout of the new Twitter interface is based on the Golden Spiral: You can describe the Golden Spiral by laying consecutive squares in a spiral fashion, each square being smaller than the last by a factor of...

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Google Summer of Code advances R

September 28, 2010
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For the third year running, the Google Summer of Code program has sponsored a number of students working with R, and has again resulted in several new contributions expanding R in various fields. Dirk Eddelbuettel, who coordinated the R-related projects for GSoC in 2010, summarized the results, with details about the new packages now available for R thanks to...

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Some hints for the R Beginner: Avoiding "blank screen syndrome"

September 27, 2010
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For new users, starting R for the first time can be a little daunting. Luckily, Patrick Burns of Burns Statistics has put together a handy tutorial to help the first-time R user get beyond "blank screen syndrome": So you have successfully started R on your machine. Here's where the trouble sometimes starts -- there's a big, huge prompt daring...

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Because it’s Friday: Statistician vs Scientist

September 24, 2010
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This video brings flashbacks for my days as a statistics consultant to a medical school. Some days we just weren't speaking the same language... (With thanks to reader MK for the tip: "It's funny because it is true...".)

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R/Finance 2011 Call for Papers

September 23, 2010
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Held annually in Chicago, R/Finance is the conference for R users in the financial services industry. This year's conference included presentations from practitioners and researchers at institutions like Invesco Asset Management, Black Mesa Capital, and some of the leading academic institutions from around the world. Next year's conference, to be held 29-30 April 2011, could include you. If you're...

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Guidelines for efficient R programming

September 22, 2010
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R is designed to make it easy to clearly express statistical ideas in code, but when it come to writing code that runs as fast as possible, there are a few tips, tricks and caveats to be aware of. As part of the BioConductor conference this past summer, Martin Morgan prepared a tutorial on efficient R programming. (Patrick Abouyen...

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