Blog Archives

Why Are We Still Teaching t-Tests?

September 15, 2014
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Why Are We Still Teaching t-Tests?

My posting about the statistics profession losing ground to computer science drew many comments, not only here in Mad (Data) Scientist, but also in the co-posting at Revolution Analytics, and in Slashdot.  One of the themes in those comments was that Statistics Departments are out of touch and have failed to modernize their curricula.  Though

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Good for TI, Good for Schools, Bad for Kids, Bad for Stat

September 6, 2014
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Good for TI, Good for Schools, Bad for Kids, Bad for Stat

In my last post, I agreed with Prof. Xiao-Li Meng that Advanced Placement (AP) Statistics courses turn off many students to the statistics field, by being structured in a manner that makes for a boring class.  I cited as one of the problems the fact that the course officially requires TI calculators.  This is a

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Statistics: Losing Ground to CS, Losing Image Among Students

August 26, 2014
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Statistics:  Losing Ground to CS, Losing Image Among Students

The American Statistical Association (ASA)  leadership, and many in Statistics academia. have been undergoing a period of angst the last few years,  They worry that the field of Statistics is headed for a future of reduced national influence and importance, with the feeling that: The field is to a large extent being usurped by other

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A Matrix Powers Package, and Some General Edifying Material on R

August 16, 2014
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A Matrix Powers Package, and Some General Edifying Material on R

Here I will introduce matpow, a package to flexibly and conveniently compute matrix powers.  But even if you are not interested in matrices, I think many of you will find that this post contains much general material on R that you’ll find useful.  Indeed, most of this post will be about general R issues, not

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New freqparcoord Example

August 5, 2014
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New freqparcoord Example

In my JSM talk this morning, I spoke about work done by Yingkang Xie and myself, on a novel approach to the parallel coordinates method of visualization.  I’ve made several posts to this blog in the past on freqparcoord, our implemention of our method. My talk this morning used some recently-available NYC taxi data.  You

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Code Snippet: Extracting a Subsample from a Large File

August 1, 2014
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Code Snippet:  Extracting a Subsample from a Large File

Last week a reader of the r-help mailing list posted a query titled “Importing random subsets of a data file.”  With a very large file, it is often much easier and faster–and really, just as good–to just work with a much smaller subset of the data. Fellow readers then posted rather sophisticated solutions, such as storing

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A Handy Trick for Remote Graphics

July 22, 2014
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A Handy Trick for Remote Graphics

I often create plots that require quite a bit of computation.  Ideally I would run this on what I’ll call Machine A, which is a very fast machine, but I am often far away, on Machine B.  So, I’d like to run my computation on B but display it on A. For the platforms I

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Rth: a Flexible Parallel Computation Package for R

June 17, 2014
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Rth:  a Flexible Parallel Computation Package for R

I’ve been mentioning here that I’ll be discussing a new package, Rth, developed by me and Drew Schmidt, the latter of pbdR fame.  It’s now ready for use!  In this post, I’ll explain what goals Rth has, and how to use it. Platform Flexibility The key feature of Rth is in the word flexible in

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Rth: a Flexible Parallel Computation Package for R

June 17, 2014
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Rth:  a Flexible Parallel Computation Package for R

I’ve been mentioning here that I’ll be discussing a new package, Rth, developed by me and Drew Schmidt, the latter of pbdR fame.  It’s now ready for use!  In this post, I’ll explain what goals Rth has, and how to use it. Platform Flexibility The key feature of Rth is in the word flexible in

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R beats Python! R beats Julia! Anyone else wanna challenge R?

May 21, 2014
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R beats Python!  R beats Julia!  Anyone else wanna challenge R?

Before I left for China a few weeks ago, I said my next post would be on our Rth parallel R package. It’s not quite ready yet, so today I’ll post one of the topics I spoke on last night at the Berkeley R Language Beginners Study Group. Thanks to the group for inviting me,

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