Posts Tagged ‘ random ’

Because it’s Thursday: Epidemiology of the Undead

April 1, 2010
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Because it’s Thursday: Epidemiology of the Undead

Noted statistician Andrew Gelman has teamed up with occultist George Romero to address the most serious public-health threat of out time: Zombies. They've published a paper in the journal Biomastika, "How many zombies do you know?" to propose the use of indirect survey methods to measure outbreaks of the undead: Abstract: The zombie menace has so far been studied...

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Because it’s Friday: Kittens, beware Tufte

March 19, 2010
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Because it’s Friday: Kittens, beware Tufte

Edward Tufte has been a tireless promoter of good infographics, and he's even taken some controversial steps to rid the world of chartjunk. But now he's gone too far: Then again, this chart from the Wall Street Journal could lead anyone to felinicide: What's wrong with a simple bar chart, WSJ? Mark Goetz: My New Wallpaper (via @sarahd23 and...

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In search of a random gamma variate…

March 16, 2010
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In search of a random gamma variate…

One of the most common exersices given to Statistical Computing,Simulation or relevant classes is the generation of random numbers from a gamma distribution. At first this might seem straightforward in terms of the lifesaving relation that exponential and gamma random variables share. So, it’s easy to get a gamma random variate using the fact that

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Because it’s Friday: 3d Mandelbrot

March 12, 2010
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Because it’s Friday: 3d Mandelbrot

To while away your Friday afternoon, why not explore the nooks and crannies of a 3-D version of the Mandelbrot set: And here's how to create your own 2-D Mandelbrot set in R.

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Happy Anniversary NYC R Meetup

March 12, 2010
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Happy Anniversary NYC R Meetup

Today is the one year anniversary of the NYC R Statistical Meetup. Starting as a small group meeting in a crowded conference room, Josh Reich established the meetup as the premiere gathering of data geeks in the tri-state area. Over the past year we have had 10 meetups, and two more upcoming on the

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Because it’s Friday: Why a Salad Costs More than a Big Mac

March 5, 2010
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Because it’s Friday: Why a Salad Costs More than a Big Mac

In the US, at least. Via The Consumerist: Incidentally, the US FDA doesn't publish pyramids like this any more: it's now a garish personalized 2-d triangle with stripes. But at least it doesn't make the error of dimension committed by the left-hand pyramid: that orange section is a hell of a lot larger than 74% of the volume. The...

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The Economist reports on the information explosion

March 1, 2010
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The current edition of The Economist includes a "special report on managing information", targeting the issue of the information explosion / data deluge / whatever you want to call it these days. It includes the usual attributes of the problem: data is being collected faster than we can store it, astronomers are creating petabytes of data daily, the usual....

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Because it’s Friday: Visualizing an email chain

February 26, 2010
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Because it’s Friday: Visualizing an email chain

We've all been there: someone sends an email to a mailing list with a Reply-To directing responses back to the mailing list. Before long, someone replies (unwittingly, to everyone) to ask to be taken of the list. And before long, the entire affair devolves into an endless cycle of requests to unsubscribe and pleas to stop mailing the entire...

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Because it’s Friday: Evolution in song

February 5, 2010
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With thanks to my favourite science blog Bad Astronomy, the late great Carl Sagan sings again, this time on the topic of evolution. He's joined by autotuned Richard David Attenborough and Jane Goodall. Great stuff. Bad Astronomy: The Unbroken Thread

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What Countries are ‘Pulling their Weight’ for Haiti?

January 26, 2010
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What Countries are ‘Pulling their Weight’ for Haiti?

Using the data provided ReliefWeb on the Appeals and Funding to Haiti (h/t DataBlog) and the most recent GNP estimates, I decided to do a little “back of the envelope” analysis. With GNP as a proxy for a country’s wealth, the hypothesis is that pledges should roughly be a linear function of wealth, i.e., the

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