Blog Archives

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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How R gets built on Windows

October 11, 2018
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How R gets built on Windows

I wasn't at the Use of R in Official Statistics (uRos2018) conference in the Netherlands last month, but I'm thankful to Jeroen Ooms for sharing the slides from his keynote presentation. In addition to being a postdoc staffer at ROpenSci, Jeroen maintains the official repository for the daily R builds on Windows — you might recognize his name from...

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R Consortium grant applications due October 31

October 9, 2018
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R Consortium grant applications due October 31

Since 2015, the R Consortium has funded projects of benefit to, and proposed by, the R community. Twice a year, the R Consortium Infrastructure Steering Committee reviews grant proposals and makes awards based on merit and funds available. (Those funds come, in turn, from the annual dues paid by R Consortium members.) If you'd like to propose a project...

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A few upcoming R conferences

October 5, 2018
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Here are some conferences focused on R taking place in the next few months: Oct 26: Nor'eastR Conference (Providence, RI). A one-day R conference, organized by grassroots R community members in the Northeastern US. Oct 27: SatRdays Belgrade (Serbia). Another city joins the popular SatRDays series of one-day, community led conferences. Nov 7: EARL Seattle (Seattle, WA). The EARL...

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In case you missed it: September 2018 roundup

October 3, 2018
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In case you missed them, here are some articles from September of particular interest to R users. R code by Barry Rowlingson to replicate an XKCD comic about curve fitting. The rayshader package creates 3-D relief maps in R with perspective, shadows, and depth of field. The R Developer's Guide to Azure, with links to documentation for Azure cloud...

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AI, Machine Learning and Data Science Announcements from Microsoft Ignite

October 2, 2018
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Microsoft Ignite, Microsoft's annual developer conference, wrapped up last week and many of the big announcements focused on artificial intelligence and machine learning. The keynote presentation from Microsoft's Cloud AI lead Eric Boyd showcases the major developments, or you can check out his accompanying blog post for a written summary. In this post, I'll dive down into the details...

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XKCD "Curve Fitting", in R

September 28, 2018
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XKCD "Curve Fitting", in R

You probably saw this XKCD last week, which brought a grimace of recognition to statisticians everywhere: It's so realistic, that Barry Rowlingson was able to reproduce all but two of the "charts" above with a simple R function (and a little help from the xkcd ggplot2 theme): And now for @revodavid et al, with the xkcd package and font!...

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