• Mapping America’s Most Sinful Cities

    Posted to Mapping

    Forbes, with the help of Mavin Digital, ranked and mapped cities based on the seven deadly sins - lust, gluttony, avarice, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride.

    For each sin we stretched our imagination to find a workable proxy--murder rates for wrath, per capita billionaires for avarice--then culled the available data sources to rank the cities. Some of the results were surprising: Salt Lake City as America's Vainest City. Some were not: Detroit as America's Most Murderous.

    It's always good to remember to take these with a grain of salt, since you don't really know much about the metrics used and how useful these metrics really are. Usually, rankings like these involve a lot of assumptions about the data.

    They are of course still interesting and fun to look at though. Apparently, I moved from one America's most gluttonous cities to one of the most violent and lustful.

    Gluttony

    Lust

  • What Can You Do With a Degree In Statistics? – A Follow Up

    Posted to Statistics

    This past Friday, Columbia University stat graduate students hosted a symposium on careers for students in statistics. Kenneth Shirley, a stat post doc, was nice enough to write this guest post about the conference so that we can all learn from it. There were two panels - academic and industry - including representation from Google, AT & T, and Pfizer.

    Yesterday's conference at Columbia about career opportunities for Statistics Ph.D. graduates was a great success. It was organized by the graduate students in Columbia’s Stats department and advertised on the web here:

    http://www.stat.columbia.edu/career_conf08/

    Andrew Gelman made some opening remarks, and then there were two panel discussions, each with five professional statisticians. The first panel consisted of academic statisticians, and the second panel consisted of industry statisticians. Here are some comments I found interesting.
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  • Personal Transactions as a Network Graph Over Time

    Posted to Data Art

    Transactions Graph, by Burak Arikan, is a piece placing personal transactions in network graph. Each node represents a transaction while connections (or edges) shows a relationship between transactions based on time and spending category. The thicker the edge the greater the total of the two connected transactions. Viewers are also able to scroll through time to watch how transactions evolve.
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  • Regularities and Patterns Within a Literary Space

    Posted to Data Art

    Stefanie Posavec, maps literary works at the Sheffield Galleries On the Map exhibit. There are several parts to Stefanie's piece mapping sentence length, writing style, and structure. From the looks of things, it looks like the parsing process was manual and involved a lot of highlighting and circling of things. I could be wrong though. For some reason, long and manual labor makes me appreciate things more.
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  • Chernoff Faces to Display Baseball Managers From 2007 MLB Season

    Check out this lovely use of Chernoff Faces by Steve Wang of Swarthmore College. This method of visualization was developed by none other than mathematician-statistician-physicist Herman Chernoff in 1973. These faces were designed on the premise that people could easily understand facial expressions. With that in mind, Chernoff used facial characteristics to represent multivariate data.

    If you like, you can make your own Chernoff faces with this R library.

  • 21 (Eco)Visualizations for Energy Consumption Awareness

    Posted to Visualization

    Energy consumption grows more and more concern, and with the popularity of Mr. Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, just about everyone is at the very least, semi-aware of energy consumption. These 21 visualizations and designs were created to increase that awareness, so that maybe, a few more people will turn off the light when they leave a room. I think Peter Crabb said it best (which I borrowed from Tiffany Holmes' ecoviz paper):

    [P]eople do not use energy; they use devices and products. How devices and products are designed determines how we use them, which in turn determines rates of energy depletion.

    Here they are - 21 dashboards, ambient devices, games, and calculators.  Continue Reading 

  • Your Notes, Snapshots, and Memories Accessible From Everywhere – Evernote

    I just signed up for an EverNote account, which lets you store all of your notes online from all of your devices - tablet, paper, mobile phone, laptop, PDA.
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  • World Internet City-to-City Connections and Density Maps

    Posted to Data Sources, Mapping

    Chris Harrison put together a series of Internet maps that show how cities are interconnected by router configuration. Similar to Aaron Koblin's Flight Patterns, Chris chose to map only the data, which makes an image that looks a lot like strands of silk stretched from city to city. With these maps, viewers gain a sense of connectivity in the world - and as expected the U.S. and Europe are a lot brighter than the rest.
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  • Greatest Data Visualization of All Time

    Posted to Miscellaneous

    Let me introduce you to the greatest data visualization of all time. FlowingData readers, greatest data visualization of all time. Greatest data visualization of all time, FlowingData readers. It will blow your mind and affect you to your very core. I haven't felt this way since 1987 when I first started to walk.

    ...and OF COURSE the YouTube embed isn't working, so I guess the link will have to suffice. Ladies and gentleman, be prepared to get up and dance. Here is the greatest visualization that you will ever see. You can thank me in the comments.

  • Winner of the Edward Tufte Book is…

    Posted to Contests

    Congratulations, Cody, the winner of a brand new copy of The Visual Display of Quantitative Information!

    Thank You Everyone

    Thank you to everyone who left comments and participated in this celebratory contest over the past ten days and for all of the congratulatory wishes. I read every single comment and it only confirms my belief that FlowingData readers are awesome. My favorite discussions were those around the Google API and the redesign of Dolores Labs color cloud. I was also amused by the introduction of the term statcore by Dibyo.

    I had a lot of fun running this contest, and really felt like there was this excitement revolving around data. That makes me happy. I hope that now, even though there's no prize up for grabs, that all of you will continue to leave comments and add to the conversation. Interacting with all of you is one of my favorite parts about FlowingData.

    Also, thanks a lot to Andrew, Kaiser, and Tony for helping me promote the contest.

    More Contests Ahead

    On that note, seeing how this contest was so successful, you should look forward to more contests ahead. I'm thinking end of April. Maybe Tufte's second book? Or maybe a movie. I don't know, what do you guys think should be the prize for the next FlowingData contest?

    Thanks again, everyone. Here's to the start of a good week.

    P.S. Don't forget to tell your friends! We're still working towards 5,000.

  • What Interests Do Your Facebook Friends Have in Common?

    Nexus, by Ivan Kozik, lets you explore your Facebook social network and find out what your friends have in common. Nexus kind of caught me off guard, because it actually does a decent job of showing you commonalities. I was expecting something like Friend Wheel or Friends Density, which are Facebook bling more than anything else.
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  • Upgraded to WordPress 2.5 – Hopefully All Went Well

    Posted to Site News

    I just upgraded to WordPress 2.5. I've been due for an upgrade for quite some time now, but I kept putting it off due to fear. The upgrade took about 10 minutes and everything seems to have gone smoothly (other than losing the functionality of my popular post plugin). If you see any weirdness or catch any bugs, please let me know. Thanks!

  • Warning: Nerdy Waters Ahead – Baby Got Stats and Too Logit

    Posted to Miscellaneous

    John Hopkins BiostatThis just might be nerdy statistics overload even for me. A group from the John Hopkins biostatistics department has created parodies of Sir Mix-A-Lot's Baby Got Back and MC Hammer's Too Legit To Quit. For your listening pleasure - Baby Got Stats and Too Logit.

    The songs are in MP3 format, so you can put them on your iPod and play them over and over and over again. One play-through was enough for me, but clearly, it's only a matter of time before this biostat group hits main stream.

    [via Freakonomics]

    Update: Here's the video version for your viewing pleasure.

  • Translating Data Into Information that Changes Us

    Posted to Statistics

    Wondering what statistics is for? This is what.

    Data are a whole lot of meaningful patterns. We can generate data indefinitely, we can exchange data forever... we can store data, retrieve data and file them away. All this is great fun and maybe useful, maybe lucrative, but we have to ask why. The purpose is regulation and that means translating data into information. Information is what changes us. My purpose is to effect change - to impart information.

    Platform for Change by Stafford Beer

  • Last Chance to Win Tufte’s Visual Display of Quantitative Information

    Posted to Site News

    A quick reminder - there's just three more days to put in your contest entry to win Edward Tufte's Visual Display of Quantitative Information. Leave a comment on any FlowingData post after March 19 to this Sunday March 30. I'll announce the winner on March 31. Good luck!

    Here's the original contest announcement for those who missed it.

  • A Little Bit of Design Goes a Long Way With Infographics

    Posted to Data Art, Design

    If I've learned anything about designing information graphics, it's that attention to detail and small changes make a mediocre graphic into a really useful and usually more attractive one. It's what sets New York Times graphics apart from those in other publications and especially those in academic papers. Something like a short annotation can add context or a line shifted slightly to the left can make data look less cluttered.
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  • Position Available for Professor of Statistics at UCLA

    Posted to News

    While we're on the topic of what you plan to do with your PhD in statistics - UCLA department of statistics recently announced that it is looking for a new professor.

    Applications and nominations are invited for the position of Professor of Statistics, any level (tenure-track Assistant Professor, tenured Associate Professor or tenured Full Professor), in the Department of Statistics at the University of California, Los Angeles.

    The position targets candidates with high quality research, a strong teaching record, and with expertise preferably in one or more of the following areas: Environmental Statistics, Social Statistics, and Spatial Statistics. Qualified candidates must have a Ph.D. in Statistics or Biostatistics. The position is effective July 1, 2009.

    UCLA department of statistics is one of the best stat programs in the country with a talented faculty and really cool students. Albeit, I might be a little biased, but still. If you're interested, go for it; or if you know anyone who might be qualified, do them a solid and forward them the information.

  • What Are You Going to Do With Your PhD in Statistics?

    Posted to Statistics

    Statistics graduate students at Columbia University are hosting a symposium on careers for PhDs in statistics.

    Current confirmed speakers include industry statisticians at Google, AT&T Labs-Research, National Institutes of Health, and Pfizer, Inc and academic statisticians from statistics, marketing, and biostatistics departments at Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania and Rutgers University.

    The Symposium will be held at Columbia University in New York on April 4, 2008 from 1-5pm. A wine and hors d'oeuvre reception will follow so that there will be ample time to chat informally with our guests, and a student mixer after that is also in the works.

    The conference is free and they're offering a $40 travel reimbursement for students who would like to attend. Consider going if you're in the area. It should be interesting. Here's the online registration.

    If anyone actually does end up going, let me know. I'd love for you to share your experience here. For the current and future stat PhDs or masters students, what are you doing or planning to do with your degree? Other than framing it, I'm still searching for my answer.

    [via Statistical Modeling]

  • Facebook Security Upgrade Rendered Useless – Private Photos Leaked

    Just when you thought it was safe to upload those photos from that wild Friday night to Facebook, this happens:

    A security lapse made it possible for unwelcome strangers to peruse personal photos posted on Facebook Inc.'s popular online hangout, circumventing a recent upgrade to the Web site's privacy controls.

    The dumbest part is how easy it has been all this time to find private photos. All it took was a modified URL with a photo ID to "hack" into Paris Hilton, Mark Zuckerberg, or anyone else's private albums. I don't know the whole story, but given Facebook's excellent reputation, you'd think that they would know better. The security hole has been plugged for now, and I am sure the Facebook group is working hard to make sure there are no other leaky areas.

    This leak probably couldn't have been more poorly timed for Facebook with the release of their new security measures as well as MySpace's not so distant and a bit too familiar photo breach.

    This really makes you wonder - what's next?

    Photo by Meredith Farmer

    [via ReadWriteWeb]

  • Data is Going to Change How and Where You Drive – Dash GPS Navigation

    Posted to Statistics

    Dash, an Internet-connected GPS device, is going to change the way you drive by making use of traffic data. Where does the data come from? Well, that's the best part.
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