Blog Archives

American Immigration Trends

March 22, 2009
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The New York Times has a beautiful visualization of immigration trends in the United States since 1880. I highly recommend spending a few minutes playing with the interactive display.

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Causation’s Mistreated Sibling Correlation

March 6, 2009
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Causation’s Mistreated Sibling Correlation

This is why I love XKCD, though surely the best part of this strip was the mouseover: “correlation doesn’t imply causation, but it does waggle its eyebrows suggestively and gesture furtively while mouthing, ‘look over there’.”

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Wanderlust

March 4, 2009
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We Americans have a reputation as being unworldly. Given the results of the most recent Pew survey, perhaps we deserve it. Evidently, the majority of us never move out of our home states.

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Click Tracks and Beat Detection

March 4, 2009
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Being a drummer, a programmer and a fan of statistical analysis, this post on the (unnaturally) perfect timing of drum parts recorded to a click track was a real delight to me. Of course, many claims in the post are odd: it seems hard to imagine that a...

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Color Schemes for R Bar Plots

March 1, 2009
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Color Schemes for R Bar Plots

A recurrent source of irritation for me is the absence of a good default behavior in R for choosing the color scheme for bar plots. A stacked bar plot looks only as good as the color scheme you use. In hope of finding a usable scheme that I could settl...

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Pearson vs. Spearman Correlation Coefficients

February 17, 2009
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Pearson vs. Spearman Correlation Coefficients

One of the misuses of statistical terminology that annoys me most is the use of the word “correlation” to describe any variable that increases as another variable increases. This monotonic trend seems worth looking for, but it plainly is not what m...

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Single Letter Frequencies in English

February 15, 2009
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Single Letter Frequencies in English

Every time that I read a paper that discusses the frequencies of single letters in English, I feel like I should sit down and calculate them for myself from a sample of English text. Today, I finally did. Here are the probabilities and negative log pro...

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Princeton Graduate Student Housing

February 8, 2009
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Princeton Graduate Student Housing

For any Princeton graduate students who are interested, here’s the success rate for graduate students applying for school housing. These charts were built using the data from the 2008-2009 Room Draw Statistics pamphlet provided by the Division of Hou...

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If I Had a Text File, I’d Hack Regexes in the Morning

February 4, 2009
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If I Had a Text File, I’d Hack Regexes in the Morning

Yesterday the topic of academic citation counts came up, so I decided that I should write up some tools for exploring cite counts. The first thing I did was to build a cheap screenscraper in Ruby for pulling citation count information from Google schol...

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Visualizing Eigenfactors

January 30, 2009
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These interactive graphics are simply beautiful. And they just so happen to be profoundly informative about the structure of modern science as well. Here’s to the hope that we will see more work from Moritz Stefaner soon that shows how our aesthetic ...

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