Blog Archives

Visualizing the Language Used by Academics when Protected by Anonymity

March 7, 2011
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Those in the political science discipline probably remember their first encounter with poliscijobrumors.com. For those outside, you have probably never heard of this particular message board, and you would have no reason to. As the URL suggests, the board specializes in rumor, gossip, back-bitting, mudslinging, and the occasional lucid thread on the political science

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Top 15 Daily Tweeters of #25bahman for the Past Five Days

February 16, 2011
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Top 15 Daily Tweeters of #25bahman for the Past Five Days

My friend Michael Bommarito has been doing the data community quite a service, capturing and sharing all of the traffic on Twitter related to the Iranian protests. Specifically, he has all of the tweets containing the #25bahman hast-tag, and made them available for anyone to download. I am unable to resist the temptation to explore a

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Building a Better Word Cloud

January 27, 2011
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Building a Better Word Cloud

A few weeks ago I attended the NYC Data Visualization and Infographics meetup, which included a talk by Junk Charts blogger Kaiser Fung. Given the topic of his blog, I was a bit shocked that the central theme of his talk was comparing good and bad word clouds. He even stated that the

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A Very Data Christmas

December 21, 2010
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A Very Data Christmas

This week Google announced its Ngram Viewer, which allows you to explore the use of words in thousands of texts overtime, going back two hundred years. Given the relatively long time period covered by this massive data set, it is fun to explore how language has changed overtime. Some texts, however, seem to transcend time.

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Examples for infochimps Package, and Intro Slides

December 15, 2010
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Examples for infochimps Package, and Intro Slides

Tomorrow I am headed out of town for a few weeks, so posting will be lighter than the usual lightness. My first stop is Chicago, and tomorrow night I will be speaking about my R package for the infochimps API at the Chicago R Users Group. If you are in the Chicagoland area and

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Jeromy Anglim on Reproducible Research and R

December 6, 2010
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Jeromy Anglim, fellow social scientist and R aficionado from across the globe, gave a great talk to the Melbourne R Users Group last week on the joys of creating reproducible results. A subject near and dear to me, but not one that is given enough attention in research training. Jeromy discusses tools for generating reproducible

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Fun with infochimps: Animated Blog Post Hit Map

December 3, 2010
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In a few weeks I will be visiting Chicago, and JD Long—the organizer of the local R users group—has graciously invited me to give a presentation. Ostensibly, the presentation will be on my recently released infochimps package, so I thought it was a good time to start actually putting together some examples and documentation for

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My First R Package: infochimps

November 20, 2010
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I have finally taken the plunge and created my first R package! As frequent readers will know, I often sing the praises of infochimps, a startup out of Austin, TX attempting to be the world’s data clearinghouse. While infochimps is an excellent resource for data sets, they also provide their own set excellent data

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Co-authorship Network of SSRN Conflict Studies eJournal

November 10, 2010
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As part of my on-going research simulating network structure using graph motifs I have been collecting novel data sets to test and benchmark the method. Since I am a political scientist studying conflict, it was suggested to me to collect a co-authorship network within this sub-discipline. Such a network is useful for several reasons;

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Where People Share Links About NYC

October 27, 2010
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Where People Share Links About NYC

Last week I participated in bit.ly’s fourth hackabit hack-a-thon, which is a wonderful opportunity for NYC area hackers to get together, eat pizza, drink energy drinks, and stay up late hacking with some of the best data geeks around. I was lucky enough to saddle up next to Hilary Mason, bit.ly’s lead scientist, recently named

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