Statistician: the dream job

So what is the ultimate job? According to Hal Varian, chief economist at Google, it is being a statistician (see this interview)
Here he is on YouTube with a longer comment:
Statistics – Dream Job of the next decade
From a keynote presentation to the…

Time series packages on R

There is now an official CRAN Task View for Time Series. This will replace my earlier list of time series packages for R, and provide a more visible and useful entry point for people wanting to use R for time series analysis. If I have missed anything …

LaTeX tips

While reading students’ theses and papers recently, I came across various examples of poor latex-ing that I thought would be useful to catalogue.
Don’t set both width and height when using \includegraphics. It distorts the figure. Instead,…

Tracking changes in LaTeX files

When I write a paper, it usually goes through many versions before being submitted to a journal. I keep track of the different versions by renaming the file when I’m about to make major changes, or when I receive a new version from a coauthor. Th…

Tracking changes in text files

A common issue that arises with text files (e.g., R code) is to identify changes that have been made between versions. I usually number my R files as file1.R, file2.R, etc. (with “file” replaced by something more meaningful),with the number…

Supervision award

Last night I received the Vice-Chancellor’s postgraduate supervision award at a function at Government House. I am deeply honoured that my students thought to nominate me for the award. I think I was as surprised as anyone to win, and some people…

LaTeX books

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Time management

I am frequently asked how I manage my time, and how I manage to get so much done. I don’t know that my approach is right for everyone, but in case it helps here are some comments on how I work.
One of the main traps that people fall into is to do…

LaTeX workshop

I gave a one-day LaTeX workshop today.
Here is the blurb:
LaTeX is an extremely powerful markup language for creating structured documents. It is particularly well-suited for documents containing mathematics, but can be used for any document. Those wh…

Words to avoid

According to Andrew Gelman, we should avoid these words in research writing:
Note that
Interestingly
Obviously
It is clear that
It is interesting to note that
very
quite
of course
Notice that
I agree with him that all of these are overused, …

Giving a research seminar

An expanded version of this post is available in my article on “Giving an academic talk”.
With conference season almost upon us, it is timely to discuss what makes a good conference presentation. Here is a suggested structure.
A motivating example dem…

Forecasting and time series books

People often ask me for recommendations on forecasting books and time series books. So here is list of eight good books to which I often refer.
(Updated 8 November 2017)
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R workshop

There was an R workshop on 28-29 June, just before the Australian Statistical Conference. I put in an appearance on the second day giving two talks.
Time series and forecasting in R
handout slides Building R packages for Windows
handout slides

Dodgy forecasting

A few years ago I did some forecasting work for a commonwealth government department and found that they were forecasting a $5 billion budget using the FORECAST command in Excel. Worse, they were fitting a regression through only three observations and…

About Hyndsight

I was thinking of writing a book on doing research in statistics. Instead, I decided to write a blog covering the same material, plus other things that might be of interest to my research team. Topics covered include LaTeX, R, writing and preparing a t…

Indexing in LaTeX

I’m in the final stages of preparing my new exponential smoothing book for publication and have been learning about some LaTeX indexing tools.
The standard subject index is created using the following procedure:
Include \index{entry} commands wh…

Tables in LaTeX

(Updated May 2017)
Making tables in LaTeX is one of the few areas where LaTeX can be more difficult than a WYSIWYG editor.
Here are some pointers to tools and packages that I have found useful.
tablesgenerator.com: a web-based tool for generating LaTe…