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Statistics

From statistics to data science, and vice versa

Carnegie Mellon statistics professor Cosma Shalizi considers the differences and similarities between statistics and data science. If people want to call those who do such jobs "data scientists" rather than…

Computing for data analysis

If you want to learn visualization, you should learn data. To learn data, you should learn statistics. Where to begin? The free analysis courses offered on Coursera, by Johns Hopkins…

How consumers suck at math

Derek Thompson for The Atlantic on how retail uses our numeric biases to their advantage: Now that I've just told you that consumers try to avoid additional payments, I should…

Data plural versus data singular

Kevin Drum on data is or data are: Now, I know that lots of people continue to foolishly disagree with me about this, but I'm curious how far they're willing…

Soda versus pop on Twitter

Edwin Chen, a data scientist at Twitter, explored the geographic differences in language usage of soda, pop, and coke. We've seen this before, so it shouldn't be surprising to see…

Mitt Romney pseudo-venn diagram, used incorrectly

The Mitt Romney campaign put this venn diagram up a few days ago, aiming to show the "promise gap." On the left is an Obama promise, and on the right…

How long it takes to get pregnant

The odds of getting pregnant after a certain time trying are surprisingly hard to come by. There are statistics here and there, but none provide a good overview of the…

Synchronized Swimming in Data and the Water Metaphor

The flood. The avalanche. The tsunami. Drowning in data. For the past few years, a couple of times a week, there's an article about all the data we have access…

Analysis of chords used in popular songs

Hooktheory, a system for learning to write music, analyzed 1,300 popular songs for how chords were used. The above shows chords that followed an E minor chord. This result is…

Why robbing banks for a living is a bad idea

In an article for Significance Magazine, economists Barry Reilly, Neil Rickman and Robert Witt explain why robbing banks stinks as a profession. The return on an average bank robbery is,…

This American Life on Blackjack

The newest episode of This American Life is on the game of Blackjack. Years ago one summer, I was a recent college graduate with a degree in engineering and a…

Profile of the Facebook Data Science Team

MIT Technology Review profiles the Facebook Data Science Team, described as a gathering of grad students at a top school and headed by Cameron Marlow, the "young professor." Back at…

Losing American Community Survey would be ‘disastrous’

Many want to get rid of the American Community Survey, a Census program which releases region-specific data annually. University of Michigan professor William Frey explains why cutting the survey would…

Reverse engineering targeted emails from 2012 Campaign

After noticing the Obama campaign was sending variations of an email to voters, ProPublica identified six distinct types with certain demographics and showed the differences. It was called the Message…

Hans Rosling one-minute TED talk

Screw the sword swallowing and giant screen of moving bubbles. Just get Rosling a handful of rocks and he draws a crowd. [via infosthetics]…

Why are so many men pregnant?

Garbage in, garbage out the old adage goes. Nigel Hawkes, Director of Straight Statistics, describes a sort of statistical whistleblowing letter to the British Medical Journal. A team from Imperial…

A Future Without Key Social and Economic Statistics for the Country

Robert Groves, director of the U.S. Census Bureau, on the Appropriations Bill: The Appropriations Bill eliminates the Economic Census, which measures the health of our economy. It terminates the American…

TV anachronisms

Princeton history graduate student Benjamin Schmidt explores changes in language through TV anachronisms. In Schmidt's most recent analysis, he examines Megan's use of "callback" in the last episode of Mad…

Why the American Community Survey is worth keeping

Jerzy Wieczorek, a statistician with the U.S. Census Bureau, explains why the American Community Survey is worthwhile. Besides the direct estimates from the ACS itself, the Census Bureau uses ACS…

House votes to cut the American Community Survey

Last month Republicans were pushing a bill to get rid of the American Community Survey, an 11-page questionnaire about housing, education, and other things. Yesterday, a bill passed to cut…

CNN transcript collection, 2000-2012

Thanks to the Internet Archive and CNN, thirteen years of transcripts, about a gigabyte compressed, is available to download as one file. For over a decade, CNN (Cable News Network)…

Common statistical fallacies

I've been reading papers on how people learn statistics (and thoughts on teaching the subject) and came across the frequently-cited work of mathematical psychologists Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman. In…