useR 2012: impressions, tutorials

June 19, 2012 | 0 Comments

First of all, useR 2012 (the 8th International R User Conference) was, hands down, the best-organized conference I’ve had the luck to attend. The session chairs kept everything moving on time, tactfully but sternly; the catering was delicious and varied; … Continue reading → [Read more...]

Radical Education Reform? Think Bigger.

April 2, 2012 | 0 Comments

“My job is to teach you how to think.” –Hugh Young A few days ago John Naughton published an article summarizing his manifesto on how to reform computer science education. I agree computer science education is in need of drastic... [Read more...]

Stats 101 resources

March 9, 2012 | 0 Comments

A few friends have asked for self-study resources on learning (or brushing up on) basic statistics. I plan to keep updating this post as I find more good suggestions. Of course the ideal case is to have a good teacher … Continue reading → [Read more...]

How Not To Draw a Probability Distribution

March 7, 2012 | 0 Comments

If I google for “probability distribution” I find the following extremely bad picture: It’s bad because it conflates ideas and oversimplifies how variable probability distributions can generally be. Most distributions are not unimodal. Most dist... [Read more...]

Statistics project ideas for students

February 29, 2012 | 0 Comments

Here are a few ideas that might make for interesting student projects at all levels (from high-school to graduate school). I’d welcome ideas/suggestions/additions to the list as well. All of these ideas depend on free or scraped data, which means tha... [Read more...]

Separation of degrees

January 20, 2012 | 0 Comments

Scientific American has a short article on trends in undergraduate degrees over the past 20 years, illustrated with a great infographic by Nathan Yau. As a big fan of STEM (science, tech, engineering and math) education, I was pleased to … Continue reading → [Read more...]

Spinner Doctor

November 17, 2011 | 0 Comments

The setup Dan Meyer, a (former?) math teacher with some extraordinary ideas, has a nifty concept for teaching expected values: “So one month before our formal discussion of expected value, I’d print out this image, tack a spinner to it, … Continue reading → [Read more...]

Seriously … why don’t math classes use computers?…

August 31, 2011 | 0 Comments

Seriously … why don’t math classes use computers? Excel, simple Python scripts, Mathematica / Sage, everything beyond the TI-83. Kids could be creating totally sweet visuals instead of cribbing formulae. And thinking instead of copying. I can sa... [Read more...]

Relationship Between SAT & College Retention

January 21, 2011 | 0 Comments

Here is a quick analysis of the relationship between SAT score and student retention. The data is from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and analyzed using R. This was a quick analysis and would be careful about making any strong conclusions. The source for running this analysis along ... [Read more...]

Here is how to improve your charts, graphs, maps, and…

October 2, 2010 | 0 Comments

Here is how to improve your charts, graphs, maps, and plots: Erase non-data ink. Erase redundant data ink. Maximize the ratio of data to ink. Show data variation, not design variation. The surface area of graphical elements should be directly proportio... [Read more...]

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