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Statistics

Challenges measuring crime worldwide

You would think that something so concrete, carefully recorded by authorities, wouldn't be too tough to tabulate, even if at a large scale. Not so.…

Texting on the toilet

I thought this riveting post on the New York Times Bits blog about the rise of the toilet texter deserved a graphic. Since their graphics…

More people want to learn statistics

Data is hot right now, so as you would expect, more people are signing up and applying to learn about it. Quentin Hardy for The…

The Fixie Bike Index and hipsters

Priceonomics takes the association of fixie bikes to hipsters, and creates the Fixie Bike Index. After starting with New York, they branch out to national…

Social network analysis used to convict slumlords

In working with tenants to help their city attorney convict a group of slumlords, an economic justice organization collected public data on housing violations that…

Lego mathematics and growing complexity in networks

Legos are the best toys ever invented. That's indisputable fact. So it's no surprise that Mark Changizi et al. at Duke University used the toys…

Predicting the future of prediction

Tarot cards don't cut it anymore as a predictors. We turn to data for a look to the future: "We're finally in a position where…

Teamwork and collaboration that built Watson

Team lead, David Ferrucci, recalls the early days of putting together the team that built Watson: Likewise, the scientists would have to reject an ego-driven…

Algorithm estimates who’s in control

Jon Kleinberg, whose work influenced Google's PageRank, is working on ranking something else. Kleinberg et al. developed an algorithm that ranks people, based on how…

When numbers are too factual

Carl Bialik, for The Wall Street Journal, reports on PSAs and the use of scary numbers: The Ad Council usually avoids statistics in PSAs. "We…

Causation is real, people

Stop global warming. Decrease the National Science Foundation's R&D budget. It's so easy. More lessons on correlation and causation found here.…

What Facebook knows about you

Facebook logs and saves a lot of data about you and what you do on their site. This shouldn't be surprising given the more time…

Fox News still makes awesome charts

Charts and graphs are great, because they can let you see a pattern that you might not see in a spreadsheet, but they only work…

Four degrees of separation

Testing the idea of six degrees of separation, first proposed by Frigyes Karinthy, the Facebook Data Team and researchers at the Università degli Studi di…

Finding best deals: Black Friday is for retailers

There's so much emphasis and attention on Black Friday, the day of sales after Thanksgiving in the states. People line up for hours before stores…

Statisticians and significant digits

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal on significant digits and statisticians' natural disbelief in numbers. Life is so hard. [Thanks, Michael]…

Analysis of Steve Jobs tribute messages

Apple has a page dedicated to Steve Jobs that displays messages from friends, colleagues, and fans. Neil Kodner downloaded those messages and extracted overall themes:…

When data guys triumph

Cade Massey and Bob Tedeschi for The New York Times on the book, now turned movie, "Moneyball" and how it's made data-backed thinking sound less…

A global mood ring called Twitter

In a follow-up to their mood maps, Scott Golder and Michael Macy of Cornell University look at mood cycles during the hours of the day:…

PDF data woes

We do not provide these tables in Excel or CSV format. You will have to cut and paste from the pdf. — A government group…

Teaching math with context and applications

Most of us have gone through the paces of algebra through calculus in high school. I remember lots of problems and fact sheets. Sol Garfunkel…

Geo API from Infochimps brings you closer to mapping fun

Mostly because of the popularity of smartphones, location data is all the rage nowadays. You're almost always connected no matter where you are. Rich location…