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Statistics

Statistically ignorant

Ipsos MORI, primarily a marketing research group I think, released results of their study on public perception of demographics versus reality, on numbers such as immigration, religion, and life expectancy.…

Fallacy of point-and-click analysis

Jeff Leek touches on concerns about point-and-click software to find the insights in your data, magically and with little to no effort. I understand the sentiment, there is a bunch…

Deviations from the mean

As a way to bring context to the rarity of the 18-inning baseball game between the Washington Nationals and the San Francisco Giants this past weekend, Ross Benes compared other…

A simulation of the traveling salesman problem

In a nutshell, the traveling salesman problem is as follows: "Given a list of cities and the distances between each pair of cities, what is the shortest possible route that…

Evolution of movies

We know that movies have changed over the decades. We've seen it in declining ratings and box office hits versus Oscar winners. However, these are changes that come along with…

How to be not ignorant about the world

Recurring TED talker Hans Rosling returns with his son and Gapminder Foundation co-founder Ola Rosling and an update on their latest work: the Ignorance Project. They hope to shift people's…

Emotional dynamics of literary classics

As a demonstration of efforts in estimating happiness from language, Hedonometer charts emotion over time for literary classics. The above is the collection of charts for Adventures of Huckleberry Finn…

Unintentional Venn diagram suggests opposite meaning

Most people probably wouldn't think much about this poster that shows the values of Thomson Reuters. But when you think of the graphic as a Venn diagram, it's hard to…

Not automatic

It's an absolute myth that you can send an algorithm over raw data and have insights pop up. — Jeffrey Heer in For Big-Data Scientists, 'Janitor Work' Is Key Hurdle…

Crisis Text Line releases trends and data

Crisis Text Line is a service that troubled teens can use to find help with suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety, and other issues via text messaging. The long-term hope was to…

How charity: water uses data to do more good

Scott Harrison, the founder and CEO of charity: water, describes how the organization uses data to improve what they do, both on the ground and internally. The first is program…

Variance be damned

Daniel Colman won $15.3 million in the The Big One for One Drop poker tournament, but he seems annoyed about it. What he had to say after the win: First…

Geography.

By way of David Kennerr, something in this CNN frame seems off.…

Markov Chains explained visually

Adding on to their series of graphics to explain statistical concepts, Victor Powell and Lewis Lehe use a set of interactives to describe Markov Chains. Even if you already know…

Visual Microphone estimates sound from vibrations in objects

A group of researchers from MIT, Microsoft Research, and Adobe Research are experimenting with seemingly inanimate objects as a proxy for sound in the vicinity. They call it the Visual…

This is Statistics

Statistics has an image problem. To the general public, it's old, out of touch, and boring. It's a problem because we place stock in a younger generation who we (1)…

How well we don’t understand probability

All Things Considered on NPR ran a fine series on how we interpret probability and uncertainty. It came in five bits (plus one follow-up), each five to ten minutes long.…

A more visual world data portal

One of the most annoying parts of downloading data from large portals is that you never quite know what you're gonna get. It's a box of chocolates. It's government data…

Large-ish data packages in R

If you've played around with R enough, there comes a time when you just need some data to mess around with. Maybe it's to learn a new method or to…

Polling for stress

NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health conducted a survey about peoples' stress levels and factors contributing to the stress. It took place for…

Data science, big data, and statistics – all together now

Terry Speed, a emeritus professor in statistics at University of California at Berkeley, gave an excellent talk on how statisticians can play nice with big data and data science. Usually…

Subpar Captain America

Animation Domination High-Def has a Captain America video of things that America is not so good at, relative to other countries. And they even cited their data source, the CIA…