Blog Archives

Machine Learning in R: Start with an End-to-End Test

November 13, 2019
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Machine Learning in R: Start with an End-to-End Test

As a data scientist, you will likely be asked one day to automate your analysis and port your models to production environments. When that happens you cross the blurry line between data science and software engineering, and become a machine learning engineer. I’d like to share a few tips on how to make that transition

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R collation order

August 7, 2019
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You need to declare generic functions in S4 before you can define methods for them. If no definition exists you will see the following error: Generic functions are declared with the setGeneric() function, which must precede the call to setMethod(): But when you develop an R package you may have several classes that define their

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Connecting to SQL Server from R on a Mac with a Windows domain user

July 23, 2019
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Connecting to an SQL Server instance as a Windows domain user is relatively straightforward when you run R on Windows, you have the right ODBC driver installed, and your network is setup properly. You normally don’t need to supply credentials, because the ODBC driver uses the built-in Windows authentication scheme. Assuming your odbcinst.ini file includes

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The opinionated estimator

April 11, 2016
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The opinionated estimator

You have been lied to. By me. I taught once a programming class and introduced my students to the notion of an unbiased estimator of the variance of a population. The problem can be stated as follows: given a set of observations $(x_1, x_2, …, x_n)$, what can you say about the variance of the

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Biblical kings and boxplots

January 11, 2016
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Biblical kings and boxplots

When you read through the biblical books of Kings, you may have been struck by a phrase that repeats itself for every monarch: In the Xth year of (king of kingdom B), (name of king) became king of (kingdom A). He reigned N years, and did (evil|good) in the sight of the Lord. If you’ve

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Book review: Advanced R

December 7, 2015
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Book review: Advanced R

I would like to call this the best second book on R, except that I wouldn’t know what the first one would be. I learned R from classes and tutorials about 10 years ago, used it on my PhD and four articles, and use it today on a daily basis at work; yet only now,

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Bayesian tanks

November 20, 2015
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Bayesian tanks

The frequentist vs bayesian debate has plagued the scientific community for almost a century now, yet most of the arguments I’ve seen seem to involve philosophical considerations instead of hard data. Instead of letting the sun explode, I propose a simpler experiment to assess the performance of each approach. The problem reads as follows (taken

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