Blog Archives

AI for Good: slides and notebooks from the ODSC workshop

November 13, 2018
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AI for Good: slides and notebooks from the ODSC workshop

Last week at the ODSC West conference, I was thrilled with the interest in my Using AI for Good workshop: it was wonderful to find a room full of data scientists eager to learn how data science and artificial intelligence can be used to help people and the planet. The workshop was focused around projects from the Microsoft AI...

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T-mobile uses R for Customer Service AI

November 9, 2018
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T-mobile uses R for Customer Service AI

T-Mobile, the global telecommunication company, is using R in production to automatically classify text messages to customer service and route them to an agent that can help. The [email protected] team used the keras library in R to build a natural language processing engine with Tensorflow, and deployed it to production as a docker container. The MRAN Time Machine ensures...

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Working with US Census Data in R

November 6, 2018
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Working with US Census Data in R

If you need data about the American populace, there's no source more canonical than the US Census Bureau. The bureau publishes a wide range of public sets, and not just from the main Census conducted every 10 years: there are more than 100 additional surveys and programs published as well. To help R users access this rich source of...

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Azure ML Studio now supports R 3.4

November 1, 2018
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Azure ML Studio now supports R 3.4

Azure ML Studio, the collaborative drag-and-drop data science workbench, now supports R 3.4 in the Execute R Script module. Now you can combine the built-in data manipulation and analysis modules of ML Studio with R scripts to accomplish other data tasks, as for example in this workflow for oil and gas tank forecasting. With the Execute R Script module...

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Spooky! Gravedigger in R

October 31, 2018
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Spooky! Gravedigger in R

Need something to distract the kids while they're waiting to head out Trick-or-Treating? You could have them try out a Creepy Computer Game in R! Engineer and social scientist Dr Peter Provost translated one of the old BASIC games from the classic book Creepy Computer Games into R: just have them type in this file (and yes, they do...

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When the numbers don’t tell the whole story

October 24, 2018
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Anscombe's Quartet is a famous collection of four small data sets — just 11 (x,y) pairs each — that was developed in the 1970s to emphasize the fact that sometimes, numerical summaries of data aren't enough. (For a modern take on this idea, see also the Datasaurus Dozen.) In this case, it takes visualizing the data to realize that...

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Computer Vision for Model Assessment

October 23, 2018
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Computer Vision for Model Assessment

One of the differences between statistical data scientists and machine learning engineers is that while the latter group are concerned primarily with the predictive performance of a model, the former group are also concerned with the fit of the model. A model that misses important structures in the data — for example, seasonal trends, or a poor fit to...

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Maryland’s Bridge Safety, reported using R

October 18, 2018
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Maryland’s Bridge Safety, reported using R

A front-page story in the Baltimore Sun reported last week on the state of the bridges in Maryland. Among the report's findings: 5.4% of bridges are classified in "poor" or "structurally deficient" condition 13% of bridges in the city of Baltimore are in "poor" condition Those findings were the result of analysis of Federal infrastructure data by reporter Christine...

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A small logical change with big impact

October 16, 2018
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In R, the logical || (OR) and && (AND) operators are unique in that they are designed only to work with scalar arguments. Typically used in statements like while(iter __ 1000 && eps __ 0.0001) continue_optimization() the assumption is that the objects on either side (in the example above, iter and eps) are single values (that is, vectors of...

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The Economist’s Big Mac Index is calculated with R

October 12, 2018
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The Economist’s Big Mac Index is calculated with R

The Economist's Big Mac Index (also described on Wikipedia if you're not a subscriber) was created (somewhat tongue-in-cheek) as a measure to compare the purchasing power of money in different countries. Since Big Macs are available just about everywhere in the world, the price of a Big Mac in Sweden — expressed in US dollars — gives an American...

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