Monthly Archives: April 2016

First Thoughts on Automatically Generating Accessible Text Descriptions of ggplot Charts in R

April 29, 2016
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First Thoughts on Automatically Generating Accessible Text Descriptions of ggplot Charts in R

In a course team accessibility briefing last week, Richard Walker briefly mentioned a tool for automatically generating text descriptions of Statistics Canada charts to support accessibility. On further probing, the tool, created by Leo Ferres, turned out to be called iGraph-Lite: … an extensible system that generates natural language descriptions of statistical graphs, particularly those

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Bad Neighbours (no, not the movie)

April 29, 2016
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Bad Neighbours (no, not the movie)

Another day, another compulsion to see if I can do any better than someone’s solution. This one also comes from the FiveThiryEight Puzzler challenge courtesy of Xi’an The original challenge this time was The misanthropes are coming. Suppose there is...Continue Reading →

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Bad Neighbours (no, not the movie)

April 29, 2016
By
Bad Neighbours (no, not the movie)

Another day, another compulsion to see if I can do any better than someone's solution. This one also comes from the FiveThiryEight Puzzler challenge courtesy of Xi'an The original challenge this time was The misanthropes are coming. Suppose there is...Continue Reading →

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Tufte-style graphics in R

April 29, 2016
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Tufte-style graphics in R

It's not an overstatement to say that, at least for me personally, Edward Tufte's book The Visual Display of Quantitative Information was transformative. Reading this book got me and, I feel confident saying, many many other data scientists passionate about visualizing data. This is the book that popularized Minard's chart depicting Napoleon's march on Russia, introduced the world to...

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Reasons to Move your Surveys Online

April 29, 2016
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Reasons to Move your Surveys Online

When I was collecting data for my last project, I printed off reams upon reams of paper for my questionnaires, information sheets etc. I did not particularly like it at the time but I could not see a different way of doing it. However, when it was completed and I had a pile of paper

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Cross-Validation: Estimating Prediction Error

April 29, 2016
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Cross-Validation: Estimating Prediction Error

What is cross-validation? Cross-Validation is a technique used in model selection to better estimate the test error of a predictive model. The idea behind cross-validation is to create a number of partitions of sample observations, known as the validation sets, from the training data set. After fitting a model on to the training data, its Related PostInteractive Performance Evaluation...

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testthat 1.0.0

April 28, 2016
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testthat 1.0.0

testthat 1.0.0 is now available on CRAN. Testthat makes it easy to turn your existing informal tests into formal automated tests that you can rerun quickly and easily. Learn more at http://r-pkgs.had.co.nz/tests.html. Install the latest version with: install.packages("testthat") This version of testthat saw a major behind the scenes overhaul. This is the reason for the

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Talk on regtools and P-Values

April 28, 2016
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Talk on regtools and P-Values

I’m deeply greatful to Hui Lin and the inimitable Yihui Xie for arranging for me to give a “virtual seminar talk” to the Central Iowa R Users Group. You can view my talk, including an interesting Q&A session, online. (The actual start is at 0:34.) There are two separate topics, my regtools package (related to … Continue reading Talk...

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Playing with Twitter Data

April 28, 2016
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Playing with Twitter Data

Last Friday, the Institute for Social Sciences hosted a great one-day conference on various aspects of the reproducability crisis, Making Social Science Transparent. It was the first time I’ve done much tweeting during an event like this, and while it felt a little silly, it was also fun, it was nice to hear what was resonating with other people...

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The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Text

April 28, 2016
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The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Text

When I went to the rOpenSci unconference about a month ago, I started work with Dave Robinson on a package for text mining using tidy data principles. What is this tidy data you keep hearing so much about? As described by Hadley Wickham, tidy data has a specific structure: each variable is a column each observation is a row ...

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