Articles by John Myles White

Build a Recommendation System for R Packages

October 7, 2010 | John Myles White

On Dataists, a new collaborative blog for data hackers that I’m contributing to, we’ve just announced a data contest that’s custom made for R users. To win the contest, you need to build a recommendation system for R packages. To find out more, check out the official ... [Read more...]

ProjectTemplate Version 0.1-3 Released

October 2, 2010 | John Myles White

I’ve just released the newest version of ProjectTemplate. The primary change is a completely redesigned mechanism for automatically loading data. ProjectTemplate can now read compressed CSV files, access CSV data files over HTTP, read Stata, SPSS and RData binary files and even load MySQL database tables automatically. For my ... [Read more...]

Three-Quarter Truths: Correlation Is Not Causation

October 1, 2010 | John Myles White

Other than our culture’s implicit association between lies, damned lies and statistics, I think no idea has stifled the growth of statistical literacy as much as the endless repetition of the words correlation is not causation. This phrase seems to be primarily used to suppress intellectual inquiry by encouraging ...
[Read more...]

Higher Order Functions in R

September 23, 2010 | John Myles White

Introduction Because R is, in part, a functional programming language, the ‘base’ package contains several higher order functions. By higher order functions, I mean functions that take another function as an argument and then do something with that function. If you want to know more about the usefulness of writing ... [Read more...]

Seeing the Big Picture

September 23, 2010 | John Myles White

Here’s a nice snippet from a 2009 article by Kass that I read yesterday: According to my understanding, laid out above, statistical pragmatism has two main features: it is eclectic and it emphasizes the assumptions that connect statistical models with observed data. The pragmatic view acknowledges that both sides of ... [Read more...]

The FourierDescriptors Package

September 4, 2010 | John Myles White

Introduction I’ve just uploaded a new package to CRAN based on a stimulus generation algorithm that I use for my experiments on vision. The FourierDescriptors package provides methods for creating, manipulating and visualizing Fourier descriptors, which are a representational scheme used to describe closed planar contours. The canonical reference ... [Read more...]

MCMC Diagnostics in R with the coda Package

August 29, 2010 | John Myles White

This is a follow up to my recent post introducing the use of JAGS in R through the rjags package. In the comments on that post, Bernd Weiss encouraged me to write a short addendum that describes diagnostic functions that you should use to assess the output from an MCMC ... [Read more...]

Blegging for Data

August 28, 2010 | John Myles White

I’m in the middle of a new project that involves analyzing the packages that are currently on CRAN. As part of my work, I could really benefit from information about which packages are installed on people’s computers. If you’re willing to part with a bit of your ... [Read more...]


August 26, 2010 | John Myles White

Introduction As many people already know, I’ve recently uploaded a new R package called ProjectTemplate to GitHub and CRAN. The ProjectTemplate package provides a function, create.project(), that automatically builds a directory for a new R project with a clean sub-directory structure and automatic data and library loading tools. ... [Read more...]

Using JAGS in R with the rjags Package

August 20, 2010 | John Myles White

Get Everything Set Up I’m going to assume that you have access to a machine that will run JAGS. If you don’t, then you should be able to use WinBUGS, which is very easy to get set up. Unfortunately, the details of what follows may not help you ... [Read more...]

Twifficiency Scores

August 18, 2010 | John Myles White

Neil Kodner wrote a great post this morning about yesterday’s Twifficiency scores outbreak. He grabbed all the auto-tweeted scores he could find and plotted their distribution. I was struck by the asymmetry of the resulting distribution, which you can see below: Thankfully, Neil handed me the raw data for ... [Read more...]

Unit Testing in R: The Bare Minimum

August 17, 2010 | John Myles White

Introduction This week I decided to start unit testing my R code, so I taught myself the bare minimum about the RUnit and testthat packages to be able to use them. Here’s what I found necessary to get started writing tests with both packages. RUnit Basic Example I’m ... [Read more...]

The Price of Calculation

March 15, 2010 | John Myles White

In a world in which the price of calculation continues to decrease rapidly, but the price of theorem proving continues to hold steady or increase, elementary economics indicates that we ought to spend a larger and larger fraction of our time on calculation.1 Over the next ten years, I hope ... [Read more...]

Academics’ Slang: Orthogonal

January 12, 2010 | John Myles White

H. G. Wells famously said that, “statistical thinking will one day be as necessary for efficient citizenship as the ability to read and write.” I think we’re getting closer to that day: even the Supreme Court of the United States plan... [Read more...]

Outlawing Gay Marriage

January 10, 2010 | John Myles White

Given the recent votes on same-sex marriage in New Jersey and Portugal, I wanted to test a seemingly innocuous claim that touches upon very broad issues in political theory: does the degree of directness of a “democratic” vote predict whether the vote will promote or prohibit same-sex marriage? Naively, it ... [Read more...]
1 2 3 4 5 6

Never miss an update!
Subscribe to R-bloggers to receive
e-mails with the latest R posts.
(You will not see this message again.)

Click here to close (This popup will not appear again)