Blog Archives

Can R and ggvis help solve Serial’s murder?

December 22, 2014
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Can R and ggvis help solve Serial’s murder?

Like much of America, I followed season one of Sarah Koenig’s true-crime podcast Serial with an interest that bordered on obsession. Serial tells the story of the Baltimore 1999 murder of high-schooler Hae Min Lee, and of state prisoner Adnan Syed, who was convicted of the crime but to this day maintains his innocence. One especially gripping episode of...

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Don’t teach built-in plotting to beginners (teach ggplot2)

December 15, 2014
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Don’t teach built-in plotting to beginners (teach ggplot2)

I have some experience teaching R programming (see, for instance, my online course). One of the atypical choices I make is to start by teaching Hadley Wickham’s ggplot2 package, rather than the built-in R plotting (see these videos). Many times that I mention this choice to others involved in statistics education, they treat it like a mistake to teach a...

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Are high-reputation users quitting Stack Overflow?

December 14, 2014
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Are high-reputation users quitting Stack Overflow?

I spend a good amount of time on the programming Q+A site StackOverflow (and a smaller amount of time on its statistics sister site, Cross Validated). Recently this question on Meta Stack Overflow (the website’s discussion forum) caught my attention, raising the question of whether Stack Overflow had become “more negative” recently. It wasn’t the first time that I’d...

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