Articles by David Robinson

The ‘prisoner coin flipping’ puzzle: tidy simulation in R

May 4, 2020 | 0 Comments

Previously in this series The “lost boarding pass” puzzle The “deadly board game” puzzle The “knight on an infinite chessboard” puzzle The “largest stock profit or loss” puzzle The “birthday paradox” puzzle The “Spelling Bee honeycomb” puzzle Feller’s “coin-tossing” puzzle The “spam comments” puzzle I love 538’s Riddler column, ... [Read more...]

The ‘spam comments’ puzzle: tidy simulation of stochastic processes in R

April 13, 2020 | 0 Comments

Previously in this series: The “lost boarding pass” puzzle The “deadly board game” puzzle The “knight on an infinite chessboard” puzzle The “largest stock profit or loss” puzzle The “birthday paradox” puzzle The “Spelling Bee honeycomb” puzzle Feller’s “coin-tossing” puzzle I love 538’s Riddler column, and the April 10 puzzle ... [Read more...]

Feller’s coin-tossing puzzle: tidy simulation in R

January 17, 2020 | 0 Comments

Previously in this series: The “lost boarding pass” puzzle The “deadly board game” puzzle The “knight on an infinite chessboard” puzzle The “largest stock profit or loss” puzzle The “birthday paradox” puzzle I have an interest in probability puzzles and riddles, and especially in simulating them in R. I recently ... [Read more...]

The ‘Spelling Bee Honeycomb’ puzzle: efficient computation in R

January 6, 2020 | 0 Comments

Previously in this series: The “lost boarding pass” puzzle The “deadly board game” puzzle The “knight on an infinite chessboard” puzzle The “largest stock profit or loss” puzzle The “birthday paradox” puzzle I love 538’s Riddler column, and the January 3 puzzle is a fun one. I’ll quote: The New ...
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The birthday paradox puzzle: tidy simulation in R

January 3, 2020 | 0 Comments

Previously in this series: The “lost boarding pass” puzzle The “deadly board game” puzzle The “knight on an infinite chessboard” puzzle The “largest stock profit or loss” puzzle The birthday problem is a classic probability ... [Read more...]

The ‘largest stock profit or loss’ puzzle: efficient computation in R

December 24, 2019 | 0 Comments

Previously in this series: The “knight on an infinite chessboard” puzzle The “lost boarding pass” puzzle The “deadly board game” puzzle I recently came across an interview problem from A Cool SQL Problem: Avoiding For-Loops . Avoiding loops is a topic I always enjoy reading about, and the blog post didn’... [Read more...]

Exploring college major and income: a live data analysis in R

October 16, 2018 | 0 Comments

I recently came up with the idea for a series of screencasts: I've thought about recording a screencast of an example data analysis in #rstats. I'd do it on a dataset I'm unfamiliar with so that I can show and narrate my live thought process.Any suggestions for interesting datasets ... [Read more...]

Scientific debt

May 10, 2018 | 0 Comments

A very useful concept in software engineering is technical debt. Technical debt occurs when engineers choose a quick but suboptimal solution to a problem, or don’t spend time to build sustainable infrastructure. Maybe they’re using an approach that doesn’t scale well as the team and codebase expand (...
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Data science at DataCamp

April 10, 2018 | 0 Comments

In January, I was excited to make an announcement about a shift in my career: I have some exciting news: today I'm joining @DataCamp as their Chief Data Scientist 🎉📊📈 pic.twitter.com/wiN9J4qSjx— David Robinson (@drob) January 29, 2018 When I first discussed the role with the DataCamp CEO, I ...
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What digits should you bet on in Super Bowl squares?

February 4, 2018 | 0 Comments

My new office introduced me to a betting game I wasn’t previously familiar with: Super Bowl squares. It’s played with a ten-by-ten grid, like this one from printyourbrackets.com: Each row and column gets an assortment of digits from 0-9 represen...
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Advice to aspiring data scientists: start a blog

November 14, 2017 | 0 Comments

Last week I shared a thought on Twitter: When you’ve written the same code 3 times, write a functionWhen you’ve given the same in-person advice 3 times, write a blog post— David Robinson (@drob) November 9, 2017 Ironically, this tweet hints at a piece of advice I’ve given at least 3 dozen ... [Read more...]

Announcing “Introduction to the Tidyverse”, my new DataCamp course

November 9, 2017 | 0 Comments

For the last few years I’ve been encouraging a particular approach to R education, particularly teaching the dplyr and ggplot2 packages first and introducing real datasets early on. This week I’m excited to announce the next step: the release of Introduction to the Tidyverse, my new interactive course ...
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Don’t teach students the hard way first

September 21, 2017 | 0 Comments

Imagine you were going to a party in an unfamiliar area, and asked the host for directions to their house. It takes you thirty minutes to get there, on a path that takes you on a long winding road with slow traffic. As the party ends, the host tells you “... [Read more...]

Trump’s Android and iPhone tweets, one year later

August 9, 2017 | 0 Comments

A year ago today, I wrote up a blog post Text analysis of Trump’s tweets confirms he writes only the (angrier) Android half. My analysis, shown below, concludes that the Android and iPhone tweets are clearly from different people, posting during different times of day and using hashtags, links, ... [Read more...]

Teach the tidyverse to beginners

July 5, 2017 | 0 Comments

A few years ago, I wrote a post Don’t teach built-in plotting to beginners (teach ggplot2). I argued that ggplot2 was not an advanced approach meant for experts, but rather a suitable introduction to data visualization. Many teachers suggest I’m overestimating their students: “No, see, my students are ... [Read more...]

Two years as a Data Scientist at Stack Overflow

June 22, 2017 | 0 Comments

Last Friday marked my two year anniversary working as a data scientist at Stack Overflow. At the end of my first year I wrote a blog post about my experience, both to share some of what I’d learned and as a form of self-reflection. After another year, I’d ...
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