Blog Archives

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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Testing an R package’s interactive graphs

August 2, 2014
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Testing an R package’s interactive graphs

I’ve been working on an R package, R/qtlcharts, with D3-based interactive graphs for quantitative trait locus mapping experiments. Testing the interactive charts it produces is a bit of a pain. It seems like I pretty much have to just open a series of examples in a web browser and tab through them manually, checking that […]

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UseR 2014, days 3-4

July 21, 2014
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UseR 2014, days 3-4

Three weeks ago, I’d commented on the first two days of the UseR 2014 conference. I’m finally back to talk about the second half. Dirk Eddelbuettel on Rcpp Dirk Eddelbuettel gave a keynote on Rcpp [slides]. The goal of Rcpp is to have “the speed of C++ with the ease and clarity of R.” He […]

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Why hadn’t I written a function for that?

July 17, 2014
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Why hadn’t I written a function for that?

I’m often typing the same bits of code over and over. Those bits of code really should be made into functions. For example, I’m still using base graphics. (ggplot2 is on my “to do” list, really!) Often some things will be drawn with a slight overlap of the border of the plotting region. And in […]

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2014 UseR conference, days 1-2

July 2, 2014
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2014 UseR conference, days 1-2

I’m at UCLA for the UseR Conference. I attended once before, and I really enjoyed it. And I’m really enjoying this one. I’m learning a ton, and I find the talks very inspiring. In my comments below, I give short shrift to some speakers (largely by not having attended their talks), and I’m critical in […]

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