How to outrun a crashing alien spaceship

June 11, 2012 | 0 Comments

Hollywood movies are obsessed with outrunning explosions and outrunning crashing alien spaceships. For explosions the movies give the optimal (but unusable) solution: run straight away. For crashing alien spaceships they give the same advice, but in this case it is wrong. We demonstrate the correct angle to flee. Running from ... [Read more...]

Why I don’t like Dynamic Typing

February 25, 2012 | 0 Comments

A lot of people consider the static typing found in languages such as C, C++, ML, Java and Scala as needless hairshirtism. They consider the dynamic typing of languages like Lisp, Scheme, Perl, Ruby and Python as a critical advantage (ignoring other features of these languages and other efforts at ... [Read more...]

My Favorite Graphs

December 5, 2011 | 0 Comments

The important criterion for a graph is not simply how fast we can see a result; rather it is whether through the use of the graph we can see something that would have been harder to see otherwise or that could not have been seen at all. – William Cleveland, The ... [Read more...]

The cranky guide to trying R packages

February 13, 2011 | 0 Comments

This is a tutorial on how to try out a new package in R. The summary is: expect errors, search out errors and don’t start with the built in examples or real data. Suppose you want to try out a novel statistical technique? A good fraction of the time ... [Read more...]

Must Have Software

May 28, 2010 | 0 Comments

Having worked with Unix (BSD, HPUX, IRIX, Linux and OSX), Windows (NT4, 2000, XP, Vista and 7) for quite a while I have seen a lot of different software tools. I would like to quickly exhibit my “must have” list. These are the packages that I find to be the single “must ... [Read more...]

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