January 2010

Some Python Nooks and Crannies

January 31, 2010 | 0 Comments

I spent this weekend reading Learning Python (Second Edition for Python 2.3!) by Mark Lutz. Python is my favorite programming language, but my experience with it has been mostly anecdotal; I come up with my own solutions and functions and I Google whatever I do not know. I decided to spend ...
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Rcpp 0.7.4

January 31, 2010 | 0 Comments

Yesterday, and about nine days after release 0.7.3 of Rcpp (a set of R / C++ interface classes), Romain and I released version 0.7.4. It has been uploaded to CRAN and Debian, and mirrors should already have new versions. As before, my local page is ... [Read more...]

With With

January 31, 2010 | 0 Comments

No that is not a typo in the title. In my programming a came across a solution that I thought was pretty cool. I have a function that basically takes two objects and passes the elements of the objects to another function as arguments. This is a pret... [Read more...]

Congruential generators all are RANDUs!

January 30, 2010 | 0 Comments

In case you did not read all the slides of Regis Lebrun’s talk on pseudo-random generators I posted yesterday, one result from Marsaglia’s (in a 1968 PNAS paper) exhibited my ignorance during Regis’ Big’ MC seminar on Thursday. Marsaglia indeed showed that all multiplicative congruential generators lie on a ... [Read more...]

Big’MC seminar

January 29, 2010 | 0 Comments

Two very interesting talks at the Big’ MC seminar on Thursday: – Phylogenetic models and MCMC methods for the reconstruction of language history by Robin Ryder – Uniform and non-uniform random generators by Régis Lebrun which are both on topics close to my interest, evolution of languages (I’ll be a ...
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R creators win prestigious Statistical Computing and Graphics Award

January 29, 2010 | 0 Comments

The American Statistical Association recently created a new, bi-annual award to to recognize an individual or team for innovation in computing, software, or graphics that has had a great impact on statistical practice or research. The committee has just announced the winner (or in this, joint winners) of the first ... [Read more...]

Crayola crayon colors, 1949-present

January 29, 2010 | 0 Comments

Here's an example I featured in my list of 7 Awesome Things about R (awesome thing #3: graphics and data visualization). The Learning R blog features a reproduction of a graphic that recently appeared on Flowing Data. It shows the colors in a box of Crayola crayons: before 1949 there were only 8, but ... [Read more...]

Looking for a Bayésien PhD

January 28, 2010 | 0 Comments

I just got this email (yes, in French) looking for a Bayesian ready to work on algorithms: Dans le cadre de la société Vekia, nous recherchons un Docteur en statistiques bayésiennes pour un poste sur Lille à pourvoir dès que possible. Vekia est  un éditeur de logiciel pour ...
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Introduction to R webinar today, slides available

January 28, 2010 | 0 Comments

Just a quick reminder that I'll be hosting an introductory webinar about R today, The R Project: Data Analysis and Statistical Graphics for the Enterprise. It's at 9AM Pacific, so you might still have time to register for the live session at the link below. Otherwise, if you did catch ... [Read more...]

Advanced Graphics in R

January 27, 2010 | 0 Comments

Each quarter the UCLA Statistical Consulting Center hosts minicourses twice per week in R and LaTeX. Tonight was my turn to present. I presented Advanced Graphics in R. This was the same presentation I gave at the LA R Users’ Group in August will a fellow consultant. She and I ... [Read more...]

From the “blogosphere”? Hardly.

January 27, 2010 | 0 Comments

I generally skip over “From the Blogosphere”, a (mostly) weekly-summary of one or two blog posts in Nature’s “Authors” section (here is the latest). Why? Well, I’ve always suspected that the title is rather misleading. Now, I have the hard numbers to prove it. My feed reader contains ...
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Re-mapping Massachusetts Special election results

January 27, 2010 | 0 Comments

I had previously posted maps showing the difference in major party vote share between the 2008 Presidential election and the 2010 special Senate election in Massachusetts. Colleagues and readers of the Revolutions blog had some very insightful criticisms of these maps, in particular that the color scale was over-stating the swing in ... [Read more...]

How to combine Google maps and data in R

January 27, 2010 | 0 Comments

Every good artist needs a canvas, and when it comes to displaying geographic data placing those data in context -- on a map -- makes all the difference. A new package for R from Markus Loecher, RgoogleMaps, allows you to download a street or satellite map from Google simply by ... [Read more...]

Bayesian courses in København

January 26, 2010 | 0 Comments

I received this announcement about two incoming courses given in København by Andrew Lawson: 1) “*An Introduction to Bayesian Disease Mapping*” A Two-Day Course, April 12.- 13. 2010, University of Southern Denmark This course is designed to provide an introduction to the area of Bayesian disease mapping in applications to Public Health ...
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What programmers should know about Statistics

January 26, 2010 | 0 Comments

Reader KW pointed me to this rant essay from Ruby on Rails enfant terrible Zed Shaw on what computer programmers don't know about statistical analysis, but should. (Spoiler alert: a lot, apparently.) Perhaps surprisingly, building complex software systems often involves a lot of simulation, experimentation, and measurement for which statistical ... [Read more...]

What Countries are ‘Pulling their Weight’ for Haiti?

January 26, 2010 | 0 Comments

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 ...
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Free GIS Resources

January 26, 2010 | 0 Comments

Over the last couple of days I have utilised some excellent free GIS resources. I have listed these and some others below. Geospatial Analysis: This is the free online version of de Smith, Longley and Goodchild’s excellent book by the same title. It provides full coverage of current GIS ...
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