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Statistics

Using search data to find drug side effects

Along the same lines as Google Flu Trends, researchers at Microsoft, Stanford and Columbia University are investigating whether search data can be used to find interactions between drugs. They recently…

Netflix data and puppets

Andrew Leonard for Salon fears what might come of the creative process if movies are based on algorithms and data and that we might turn into puppets. For years Netflix…

This pie chart is amazing.

From the Winnipeg Sun. Something isn't right here. [via]…

Porn star demographics

Jon Millward explored porn star demographics using a data scrape from the Internet Adult Film Database: hair color, race, and birthplace, among other things. (There aren't any dirty pictures, but…

Analysis of LEGO brick prices over the years

Reality Prose has an excellent analysis on the changing price of LEGO bricks over the years and a misconception that cost has gone up. According to the chart above, based…

Philosophy of data

David Brooks for The New York Times on the philosophy of data and what the future holds: If you asked me to describe the rising philosophy of the day, I’d…

The most poisoned name in US history

Biostatistics PhD candidate Hilary Parker dived into the most poisoned names in US history. Her own name topped the list. There were several fad names such as Deneen, Catina, and…

Using data to find a husband

When it was time to settle down with the right man, Amy Webb joined two dating sites, created a profile, and went on some horrible dates. Her solution was to…

Data Analysis (with R) on Coursera

Jeff Leek, an Assistant Professor of Biostatistics at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, is teaching a course on data analysis on Coursera, appropriately named Data Analysis. This…

Statistical network of basketball

By now, everyone's heard of Moneyball. Applying statistics to baseball to build the best team for the buck. Naturally, there's a lot of interest these days in applying the same…

The differences between machine learning, data mining, and statistics

From machine learning to data mining. From statistics to probability. A lot of it seems similar, so what are the differences? Statistician William Briggs explains in an FAQ. What's the…

A new kind of resource

Jer Thorp talks ethics in the data-as-new-oil metaphor: [W]e need to change the way that we collectively think about data, so that it is not a new oil, but instead…

Machines and built-in morality

With Google's driverless cars now street legal in California, Florida, and Nevada, Gary Marcus for the New Yorker ponders a world where machines need a built-in morality system. That moment…

Archive of datasets bundled with R

R comes with a lot of datasets, some with the core distribution and others with packages, but you'd never know which ones unless you went through all the examples found…

Incredibly divided nation in a map

I knew things were bad, but I didn't know they were this bad. Obama has his work cut out for him. [Thanks, @adamsinger]…

How Silver predictions performed

By way of Rafa Irizarry from Simply Statistics, a plot of Nate Silver's probabilities for Barack Obama winning a state versus the percentage of vote in each state, as of…

A quick lesson on making predictions

Political analyst and statistician Nate Silver has gotten some flack lately for consistently projecting a 70-plus percent chance of a Barack Obama win this election. But as Jeff Leek explains,…

Data on decades of Boy Scout expulsions released

The Los Angeles Times released nearly 5,000 records of allegations from the Boy Scouts of America as a browseable map and searchable list. You can also download the data. This…

The birthday problem explained

How many people does it take for there to be a 50% chance that a pair in the group has the same birthday? Only 23 people. What about a 99%…

Data for good, not bad

I'm so glad there are people like Jake Porway in the world. The founder and executive director of DataKind gives his quick pitch on "using data in the service of…

Hiring a data scientist

Thomas H. Davenport and D.J. Patil give the rundown on what a data scientist is, what to look for and how to hire them. It's an article in Harvard Business…

Humans predicting the weather

Nate Silver says the weatherman is not a moron. Still, most people take their forecasts for granted. Like a baseball umpire, a weather forecaster rarely gets credit for getting the…