Blog Archives

A statistical review of ‘Thinking, Fast and Slow’ by Daniel Kahneman

November 11, 2013
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A statistical review of ‘Thinking, Fast and Slow’ by Daniel Kahneman

I failed to find Kahneman’s book in the economics section of the bookshop, so I had to ask where it was.  ”Oh, that’s in the psychology section.”  It should have also been in the statistics section. He states that his collaboration with Amos Tversky started with the question: Are humans good intuitive statisticians? The wrong The post A...

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Translating between R and SQL: the basics

November 8, 2013
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An introductory comparison of using the two languages. Background R was made especially for data analysis and graphics.  SQL was made especially for databases.  They are allies. The data structure in R that most closely matches a SQL table is a data frame.  The terms rows and columns are used in both. A mashup There The post Translating...

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The joy of data analysis

October 24, 2013
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The joy of data analysis

Music and snow. Poke my eyes out Perhaps your immediate response is: “I’d rather poke my eyes out with a burning stick than do data analysis.” There’s a completely different reaction from a lot of people who have experienced data analysis. Music It’s not entirely clear why humans like music so much. Part of it The post The...

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A first step towards R from spreadsheets

October 16, 2013
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A first step towards R from spreadsheets

Move your data analysis to a computing environment specifically designed for it. Why R and not spreadsheets? Here are three reasons: complexity graphics money Spreadsheets are easily overwhelmed.  Very complex things can be done in spreadsheets — it is just that complex spreadsheets are inefficient and dangerous. Graphics should be considered vital when doing anything with The post A...

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An R debugging example

May 21, 2013
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The steps taken to fix an R problem. Task To prepare for the Portfolio Probe blog post called “Implied alpha and minimum variance”, I tried to update a matrix of daily stock prices using a function I had written for the purpose. Error When I tried to do what I wanted, I got: > univclose130518 The post An...

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Living it up with computational errors

May 13, 2013
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How to have a better chance of a good outcome. Making mistakes There’s been a lot of talk recently about data analysis problems with spreadsheets.  If you’ve not stuck your head out of your cave lately, then you can catch some of the discussion by doing an internet search for: Reinhart Rogoff There are several The post Living...

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Interview with a forced convert from Matlab to R

April 17, 2013
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Interview with a forced convert from Matlab to R

Here is an interview with Ron Hochreiter, Assistant Professor at WU Vienna University Economics and Business. In 25 words or less tell us what you do (using German words is cheating). I consider myself as a data scientist (teaching and research) with roots in Mathematical Programming, i.e. Optimization under Uncertainty (Stochastic Programming). You were an The post Interview...

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R and social media

April 10, 2013
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R is a piece of software, but it is also a community. Help community The most visible aspect of the R community is help.  This is also the most useful to new users.  The initial sense of cooperation with R was driven mainly by people helping each other. You don’t need to actively participate in The post R...

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On the acceptance of R

March 20, 2013
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Some history and a prediction. Past A discussion broke out on the R-help mailing list in January 2006 about a technical report put out by the statistical computing group at UCLA.  The report in question talked mainly about SAS, SPSS and Stata.  It talked briefly — and not especially positively — about R.  Someone accused The post On...

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The options mechanism in R

March 2, 2013
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Customization in R. Basics Several features benefit from being customizable — either because of personal taste or specifics of the environment. The way R implements this flexibility is through the options function.  This both sets and reports options.  For example, we can see the names of the options that are set by default: > names(options()) The post The...

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