Blog Archives

nice student project

March 24, 2019
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In all of my undergraduate classes, I require a term project, done in groups of 3-4 students. Though the topic is specified, it is largely open-ended, a level of “freedom” that many students are unaccustomed to. However, some adapt quite well. The topic this quarter was to choose a CRAN package that does not use … Continue reading nice...

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R > Python: a Concrete Example

November 20, 2018
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R > Python: a Concrete Example

I like both Python and R, and teach them both, but for data science R is the clear choice. When asked why, I always note (a) written by statisticians for statisticians, (b) built-in matrix type and matrix manipulations, (c) great graphics, both base and CRAN, (d) excellent parallelization facilities, etc. I also like to say … Continue reading R...

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Example of Overfitting

November 16, 2018
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I occasionally see queries on various social media as to overfitting — what is it?, etc. I’ll post an example here. (I mentioned it at my talk the other night on our novel approach to missing values, but had a bug in the code. Here is the correct account.) The dataset is prgeng, on wages of … Continue reading Example...

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Manifold Visualization: Second Example

October 1, 2018
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Manifold Visualization: Second Example

In last night’s post, I introduced prVis(), a new visualization tool which we have invented, available in our polyreg package. Recall that prVis() is intended as a simpler alternative to recent visualization tools like t-SNE and UMAP. Here I will post another example. The dataset is prgeng, included in the package. It consists of wage … Continue reading Manifold...

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Manifold Visualization: Polynomials to the Rescue

October 1, 2018
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Manifold Visualization: Polynomials to the Rescue

Our arXiv paper and the associated R package polyreg caused a bit of a stir, both pro and con, when we first announced them here in June. The discussion even spread as far as Twitter, Reddit and Hacker News. We’ll be announcing a revised paper, and various new features to the package, very soon. But … Continue reading Manifold...

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What, No Parentheses?

August 25, 2018
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I’m about to show you an R trick. Various readers may find it cool, useful and interesting, or stupid, useless and an evil deed undermining the sanctity of R’s functional programming nature (“All bow”). But I hope many of you will find the material here rather intriguing if not useful. All this involves a trick … Continue reading What,...

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Update on Polynomial Regression in Lieu of Neural Nets

July 1, 2018
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Update on Polynomial Regression in Lieu of Neural Nets

There was quite a reaction to our paper, “Polynomial Regression as an Alternative to Neural Nets” (by Cheng, Khomtchouk, Matloff and Mohanty), leading to discussions/debates on Twitter, Reddit, Hacker News and so on. Accordingly, we have posted a revised version of the paper. Some of the new features: Though originally we had made the disclaimer … Continue reading Update...

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Neural Networks Are Essentially Polynomial Regression

June 20, 2018
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You may be interested in my new arXiv paper, joint work with Xi Cheng, an undergraduate at UC Davis (now heading to Cornell for grad school); Bohdan Khomtchouk, a post doc in biology at Stanford; and Pete Mohanty,  a Science, Engineering & Education Fellow in statistics at Stanford. The paper is of a provocative nature, … Continue reading Neural...

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Women in R

June 8, 2018
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Last week I gave one of the keynote addresses at R/Finance 2018 in Chicago. I considered it an honor and a pleasure to be there, both because of the stimulating intellectual exchange and the fine level of camaraderie and hospitality that prevailed. I mentioned at the start of my talk that the success of this … Continue reading Women...

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Xie Yihui, R Superstar and Mensch

February 23, 2018
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Xie Yihui, R Superstar and Mensch

Yesterday a friend told me, “Yihui has written the most remarkably open blog post, and you’ve got to read it.” I did and it was. Though my post here is not about R per se, it is about a great contributor to R, our Yihui, Dr. of Statistics and (according to him) Master of Procrastination. … Continue reading Xie...

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