Monthly Archives: August 2010

New R User Group in Raleigh-Durham

August 18, 2010
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New local R user groups keep on popping up on a regular basis, which is great to see. The latest one is deep in SAS territory: it's the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill R Users Group in They don't have any meetings scheduled just yet (but when they do their gracious meetup hosts are Carrboro Creative Coworking). So if you're in the...

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R be dragons

August 18, 2010
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Hic sunt dracones used to be placed on maps, as a way to denote a dangerous or otherwise unexplored territory. We might as well write it all over R-related material used in introductory classes, because students seems to be really (…)Read the rest of this entry »

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Distributions in R

August 18, 2010
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One of the R language's most powerful features is its ability to deal with random distributions: not just generating random numbers from various distributions (based on a very powerful pseudo-random number generator), but also calculating densities, probabilities, and quintiles. John Cook provides a handy reference chart listing all of the distributions supported by standard R (reproduced below -- and...

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Bookshelf remodelling

August 18, 2010
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Bookshelf remodelling

I found time and read Gelman and Hill’s “Data Analysis Using Regression and Multilevel / Hierarchical Models“…Now, please do yourself a favour and get it (of course the paperback version ). Even for experienced or intermediate (myself) this will be a treat for your eyes and neurons. PS : (Confession) I didn’t like the Bayesian ...read more

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Twifficiency Scores

August 18, 2010
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Twifficiency Scores

Neil Kodner wrote a great post this morning about yesterday’s Twifficiency scores outbreak. He grabbed all the auto-tweeted scores he could find and plotted their distribution. I was struck by the asymmetry of the resulting distribution, which you can see below: Thankfully, Neil handed me the raw data for his plot, so I was able

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state-by-state pendulum

August 17, 2010
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state-by-state pendulum

By popular demand (!), my state-by-state pendulum (pendula?) for 2010 is up (big PDF), just in time for the election.  550px wide JPG version is inline, below. This follows the same formatting I used in the 2007 edition. We start with the 2PP ALP vote shares recorded at the last election (incorporating changes from electoral

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Ed Burnette on Software Patents

August 17, 2010
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Ed Burnette makes a point that hits home, with regard to software patents, and how engineers and programmers of modern companies are now being asked to write them: Unfortunately, the joke is on all of us. It’s on our economy, as we let patents choke down innovation and increase fear, uncertainty, and doubt in an

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Programming Language Popularity: StackOverflow and Ohloh

August 17, 2010
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Programming Language Popularity: StackOverflow and Ohloh

In the following example, programming language popularity is measured based upon two data sets.  The first is the number of  contributors associated with a language on ohloh.net.  The second is tag usage at stackoverflow.c...

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Unit Testing in R: The Bare Minimum

August 17, 2010
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Introduction This week I decided to start unit testing my R code, so I taught myself the bare minimum about the RUnit and testthat packages to be able to use them. Here’s what I found necessary to get started writing tests with both packages. RUnit Basic Example I’m going to assume that you’ve got a

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Animated Heatmap of WikiLeaks Report Intensity in Afghanistan

August 17, 2010
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Visualisation of Activity in Afghanistan using the Wikileaks data from Mike Dewar on Vimeo. The latest visualization of the WikiLeaks data compiled by our group is an animation of the intensity of report observations in Afghanistan over the six year period in the WikiLeaks data. Team member Mike Dewar did the vast majority of work for

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