Blog Archives

New R User Group in Toronto

October 11, 2010
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Canadian R user Leo Guelman contacted me last week to ask if there was an R User Group in Toronto. There wasn't one last week, but there's one now: Leo has taken the initiative to start a new useR group. The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) R User's Group is now active on meetup.com, and taking suggestions for their first...

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A competition to predict popular R packages

October 8, 2010
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A competition to predict popular R packages

What makes an R package popular? The number of people that use a given R package is a common point of discussion, but it turns out that it's kind of tricky to get hard and fast data to answer this question. You can look at the "I use this" number on crantastic.org, but that's a self-reported number (many more...

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R is Hot: Part 1

October 7, 2010
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This is Part 1 of a five-part article series, with new parts published each Thursday. You can download the complete article from the Revolution Analytics website. How Did a Statistical Programming Language Invented in New Zealand Become a Global Sensation? Much in the same way that social networking, reality TV and craft beer were considered marginal fads before gaining...

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R is Hot

October 6, 2010
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Our mission at Revolution Analytics is to make R the statistical analysis tool of choice in the workplace. But even though R is pervasive in academia and rising in popularity generally, we still sometimes get blank faces when we demonstrate R to potential new clients. Sure, most people have heard of R -- it's been hard to miss in...

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The Data Science Venn Diagram

October 5, 2010
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The Data Science Venn Diagram

Whenever I'm asked, "Who uses R?", I usually rattle off a long list of job titles: statistician, analyst, quant, researcher ... and that's before all the domain-specific titles. It would be nice if there were a simple, succinct phrase to describe the process of working with, analyzing, and communicating with real data. At the new blog, "dataists", the inaugural...

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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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