Blog Archives

God-awful conference websites

August 5, 2015
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God-awful conference websites

What do I want in a conference website? Not this. I want to be able to browse sessions to find the ones I’m interested in. That means being able to see the session title and time as well as the speakers and talk titles. A super-long web page is perfectly fine. If you can’t show […]

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Memories of past JSMs

August 4, 2015
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Memories of past JSMs

The Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM) are the big statistics meetings in North America, “joint” among the American Statistical Association, Institute of Mathematical Statistics, International Biometric Society (ENAR and WNAR), Statistical Society of Canada, and others. JSM 2015 is next week, in Seattle. In anticipation, I thought I’d write down some of my main memories of […]

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Randomized Hobbit

June 22, 2015
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Randomized Hobbit

@wrathematics pointed me to his ngram R package for constructing and simulating from n-grams from text. I’d recently grabbed the text of the hobbit, and so I applied it to that text, with amusing results. Here’s the code I used to grab the text. Then calculate the ngrams with n=2. Simulate some number of words […]

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Initial steps towards reproducible research

December 4, 2014
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Initial steps towards reproducible research

In anticipation of next week’s Reproducible Science Hackathon at NESCent, I was thinking about Christie Bahlai’s post on “Baby steps for the open-curious.” Moving from Ye Olde Standard Computational Science Practice to a fully reproducible workflow seems a monumental task, but partially reproducible is better than not-at-all reproducible, and it’d be good to give people […]

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Car crash stats revisited: My measurement errors

November 3, 2014
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Car crash stats revisited: My measurement errors

Last week, I created revised versions of graphs of car crash statistics by state (including an interactive version), from a post by Mona Chalabi at 538. Since I was working on those at the last minute in the middle of the night, to be included as an example in a lecture on creating effective figures […]

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Interactive plot of car crash stats

October 31, 2014
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Interactive plot of car crash stats

I spent the afternoon making a D3-based interactive version of the graphs of car crash statistics by state that I’d discussed yesterday: my attempt to improve on the graphs in Mona Chalabi‘s post at 538. See it in action here. Code on gith...

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Improved graphs of car crash stats

October 29, 2014
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Improved graphs of car crash stats

Last week, Mona Chalabi wrote an interesting post on car crash statistics by state, at fivethirtyeight.com. I didn’t like the figures so much, though. There were a number of them like this: I’m giving a talk today about data visualization [slides | github], and I thought this would make a good example, so I spent […]

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Error notifications from R

September 5, 2014
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Error notifications from R

I’m enthusiastic about having R notify me when my script is done. But among my early uses of this, my script threw an error, and I never got a text or pushbullet about that. And really, I’m even more interested in being notified about such errors than anything else. It’s relatively easy to get notified […]

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Notifications from R

September 3, 2014
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Notifications from R

You just sent a long R job running. How to know when it’s done? Have it notify you by beeping, sending you a text, or sending you a notification via pushbullet. beepr You can use Rasmus Bååth’s beepr package to have your computer play a sound. Install it from CRAN with Then, at the bottom […]

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Yet another R package primer

August 28, 2014
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Yet another R package primer

Hadley Wickham is writing what will surely be a great book about the basics of R packages. And Hilary Parker wrote a very influential post on how to write an R package. So it seems like that topic is well covered. Nevertheless, I’d been thinking for some time that I should write another minimal tutorial […]

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