Blog Archives

Simulating dinosaur populations, with R

November 30, 2018
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So it turns out that the 1990 Michael Crichton novel Jurassic Park is, indeed, a work of fiction. (Personal note: despite the snark to follow, the book is one of my all-time favorites — I clearly remember devouring it in 24 hours straight while ill in a hostel in France.) If the monsters and melodrama didn't give it away,...

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R now supported in Azure SQL Database

November 28, 2018
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Azure SQL Database, the database-as-a-service based on Microsoft SQL Server, now offers R integration. (The service is currently in preview; details on how to sign up for the preview are provided in that link.) While you've been able to run R in SQL Server in the cloud since the release of SQL Server 2016 by running a virtual machine,...

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Cognitive Services in Containers

November 19, 2018
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I've posted several examples here of using Azure Cognitive Services for data science applications. You can upload an an image or video to the service and extract information about faces and emotions, generate a caption describing a scene from a provided photo, or speak written text in a natural voice. (If you haven't tried the Cognitive Services tools yet,...

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In case you missed it: October 2018 roundup

November 15, 2018
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In case you missed them, here are some articles from October of particular interest to R users. Peter Provost ports some 80's-era BASIC programs for kids to R. In a podcast for Fringe FM, I discuss the ethics of AI, Microsoft and Open Source, and the R Community. Roundup of AI, Machine Learning and Data Science news from October...

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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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