Articles by rstats on Robert Hickman

The Riddler – June 26th

June 28, 2020 | 0 Comments

#for working with polygons library(sf) library(sfheaders) library(tidyverse) library(gtools) set.seed(22081992) Riddler Express This weeks express deals with an erratic driver: In Riddler City, the city streets follow a grid layout, running north-south and east-west. You’re driving north when you decide to play a little game. ... [Read more...]

#TidyTuesday – Building Stalk Portfolios with R

May 16, 2020 | 0 Comments

Every Tuesday, the R4DataScience community posts a dataset online as part of #TidyTuesday as practice wrangling and modelling data. For the week of 5th May 2020, the dataset concerned the video game Animal Crossing. Intro Radiohead - How I Made My Millions I don’t play Animal Crossing (unfortunately Nintendo ... [Read more...]

An Introduction to Modelling Soccer Matches in R (part 2)

April 25, 2020 | 0 Comments

I wrote this one pretty quickly compared to part 1 (which goes much deeper into mathematical concepts), and only realized after how much of a similarity it has to many of Ben Torvaney’s posts on the subject. This probably isn’t a coincidence given how much I’ve used his ... [Read more...]

Advent Calendar of Football Trivia Analyses

November 30, 2019 | 0 Comments

One of the most consistent fonts of posts on this blog is The Guardian’s football trivia page The Knowledge. A particular reason for this is that the small contained questions lend themselves to small blogposts that I can turn around in an hour or two, as opposed to being ... [Read more...]

R-inforcement Learning Part One- Tic Tac Toe

November 27, 2019 | 0 Comments

I’m extremely biased, but to me, one of the real success* stories in neuroscience over the last (just over) two decades has been in studying reward signals. Since the seminal 1997 paper, a lot of work has gone into figuring out how the brain assigns value to outcomes. *ugh, maybe. ... [Read more...]

Scraping Dynamic Websites with PhantomJS

July 5, 2019 | 0 Comments

For a recent blogpost, I required data on the ELO ratings of national football teams over time. Such a list exists online at and so in theory this was just a simple task for rvest to read the html pages on that site and then fish out the ... [Read more...]

The Guardian Knowledge June 2019

July 5, 2019 | 0 Comments

Most Wednesday’s I enjoy reading The Knowledge blog on the Guardian’s website and reading the football trivia therein. When time (and questions) allow, I like to answer some of the questions posed, example of which are here, here, and here. League of Nations The first question comes from ... [Read more...]

An Introduction to Modelling Soccer Matches in R (part 1)

May 29, 2019 | 0 Comments

For anyone watching football, being able to predict matches is a key aspect of the hobby. Whether explicitly (e.g. when betting on matches, or deciding on recruitment for an upcoming season), or more implicitly when discussing favourites to win the league in the pub, almost all discussion of the ... [Read more...]

Riddler 1st February 2019

February 2, 2019 | 0 Comments

Riddler Classic In my spare time I enjoy solving 538’s The Riddler column. This week I had a spare few hours waiting for the Superbowl to start and decided to code up a solution to the latest problem to keep me busy. The question revolves around a card game in ... [Read more...]

Which English County Has Won the Most Points

January 20, 2019 | 0 Comments

Every so often a question on The Guardian’s The Knowledge football trivia section piques my interest and is amenable to analysis using R. Previously, I looked at club name suffixes and young World Cup winners last August. This week (give or take), a question posed on twitter caught my ... [Read more...]

The Knowledge 4th August 2018

August 3, 2018 | 0 Comments

The Guardian publish a weekly set of questions and answers on a variety of football minutiae at The Knowledge. Forutnately, some of these are extremely tractable using R, so I thought I’d have a go at working through the archives to see if I can shed light on any ... [Read more...]

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