Posts by Tags

A/B testing

Astronomy

Goldbach’s Celestial Atlas

1 minute read

Published:

Christian Goldbach, Prussian mathematician. Probably most famous for the Goldbach conjecture, one of the oldest unsolved problems in mathematics:

Every even integer greater than 2 can be expressed as the sum of two primes.
Read more

Brewer color palettes

WVPlots and Color Controls

3 minute read

Published:

I've put a new release of the WVPlots package up on CRAN. This release adds consistent palette and/or other color controls to most of the functions in the package. Read more

Browsing my Bookshelf

Dragons of Probability

4 minute read

Published:

"No insults, please!" said Pugg. "For I am not your usual uncouth pirate, but refined and with a Ph.D. and therefore extremely high-strung."
-- from "The Sixth Sally, or how Trurl and Klapaucius Created a Demon of the Second Kind to Defeat the Pirate Pugg"
Read more

Cesar Aira

A Moment’s Digression

1 minute read

Published:

I had a data nerd moment while reading a novel the other day. I got in an argument with the book. But I think the book started it. It's a frivolous discussion, probably, but sometimes those are the most fun. Read more

Christian Goldbach

Goldbach’s Celestial Atlas

1 minute read

Published:

Christian Goldbach, Prussian mathematician. Probably most famous for the Goldbach conjecture, one of the oldest unsolved problems in mathematics:

Every even integer greater than 2 can be expressed as the sum of two primes.
Read more

Gian-Carlo Rota

Bon Mots from Professor Rota

2 minute read

Published:

As I've posted previously, we are writing a data science book. The preview of the first chapter of our book should come out in about a month or so. We are almost finished with the revisions to the first four chapters, and we've started refining the outline of the next three. Exciting! It happens that I've been rereading mathematician Gian-Carlo Rota's collection of essays, Indiscrete Thoughts, and I've found a few passages that really speak to me, now that I'm in book-writing mode. Enjoy. Read more

Jacob Schwartz

Mathematics versus Computer Science

1 minute read

Published:

…until the development of computers the possibility of dealing successfully with the complex itself was never really envisaged. Perhaps the most successful substitute for such a possibility, as well as the nearest approach to it, came in mathematics. … To find the simple in the complex, the finite in the infinite -- that is not a bad description of the aim and essence of mathematics.</p>
Read more

Linda Hall Library

Goldbach’s Celestial Atlas

1 minute read

Published:

Christian Goldbach, Prussian mathematician. Probably most famous for the Goldbach conjecture, one of the oldest unsolved problems in mathematics:

Every even integer greater than 2 can be expressed as the sum of two primes.
Read more

Manning Publications

NASA

Practical Data Science with R

Big News! Practical Data Science with R is content complete!

less than 1 minute read

Published:

It's been a while since I've posted here, but I have good news: the last appendix has gone to the editors. The book is now content complete. What a relief! We are hoping to release the book late in the first quarter of next year. In the meantime, you can still get early drafts of our chapters through Manning’s Early Access program, if you haven’t yet. The link is here. Read more

Python

The vtreat package two ways

less than 1 minute read

Published:

We recently did a couple of talks about our vtreat data treatment package: one for the Python version, and one for the R version. If you are fitting machine learning models on messy real-world data, then you might find vtreat useful. Do check out one of the introductory talks below. Read more

Recent post on Win-Vector blog, plus some musings on Audience

2 minute read

Published:

I put a new post up on Win-Vector a couple of days ago called "The Geometry of Classifiers", a follow-up post to a recent paper by Fernandez-Delgado, et al. that investigates several classifiers against a body of data sets, mostly from the UCI Machine Learning Repository. Our article follows up the study with seven additional additional classifier implementations from scikit-learn and an interactive Shiny app to explore the results. Read more

R

The vtreat package two ways

less than 1 minute read

Published:

We recently did a couple of talks about our vtreat data treatment package: one for the Python version, and one for the R version. If you are fitting machine learning models on messy real-world data, then you might find vtreat useful. Do check out one of the introductory talks below. Read more

WVPlots and Color Controls

3 minute read

Published:

I've put a new release of the WVPlots package up on CRAN. This release adds consistent palette and/or other color controls to most of the functions in the package. Read more

Recent post on Win-Vector blog, plus some musings on Audience

2 minute read

Published:

I put a new post up on Win-Vector a couple of days ago called "The Geometry of Classifiers", a follow-up post to a recent paper by Fernandez-Delgado, et al. that investigates several classifiers against a body of data sets, mostly from the UCI Machine Learning Repository. Our article follows up the study with seven additional additional classifier implementations from scikit-learn and an interactive Shiny app to explore the results. Read more

R packages

WVPlots and Color Controls

3 minute read

Published:

I've put a new release of the WVPlots package up on CRAN. This release adds consistent palette and/or other color controls to most of the functions in the package. Read more

SVM

Balancing Classes Before Training Classifiers - Addressing a Folk Theorem

1 minute read

Published:

We’ve been wanting to get more into training over at Win-Vector, but I don’t want to completely give up client work, because clients and their problems are often the inspiration for cool solutions – and good blog articles. Working on the video course for the last couple of months has given me some good ideas, too. Read more

Shiny

Recent post on Win-Vector blog, plus some musings on Audience

2 minute read

Published:

I put a new post up on Win-Vector a couple of days ago called "The Geometry of Classifiers", a follow-up post to a recent paper by Fernandez-Delgado, et al. that investigates several classifiers against a body of data sets, mostly from the UCI Machine Learning Repository. Our article follows up the study with seven additional additional classifier implementations from scikit-learn and an interactive Shiny app to explore the results. Read more

Stanislaw Lem

Dragons of Probability

4 minute read

Published:

"No insults, please!" said Pugg. "For I am not your usual uncouth pirate, but refined and with a Ph.D. and therefore extremely high-strung."
-- from "The Sixth Sally, or how Trurl and Klapaucius Created a Demon of the Second Kind to Defeat the Pirate Pugg"
Read more

The Cyberiad

Dragons of Probability

4 minute read

Published:

"No insults, please!" said Pugg. "For I am not your usual uncouth pirate, but refined and with a Ph.D. and therefore extremely high-strung."
-- from "The Sixth Sally, or how Trurl and Klapaucius Created a Demon of the Second Kind to Defeat the Pirate Pugg"
Read more

WVPlots

WVPlots and Color Controls

3 minute read

Published:

I've put a new release of the WVPlots package up on CRAN. This release adds consistent palette and/or other color controls to most of the functions in the package. Read more

Win-Vector

Good News: We’re Writing a Book!

less than 1 minute read

Published:

I’m happy to announce that John Mount and I have just signed a contract with Manning Publications to write a book on Data Science. We have both talked about doing this for quite a while, and we are excited that we finally have the opportunity. Read more

analysis

I Write, Therefore I Think

8 minute read

Published:

I came across an interesting article in The Atlantic a little while back that discussed the connection between writing and thinking. New Dorp, a Staten Island high school in a poor and working-class neighborhood, was able to improve student performance when they realized that their students couldn’t write. These underperforming students often could read and could do math. The majority of them were well-behaved, and seemed to want to learn. Yet they couldn't pass standard proficiency tests, and couldn't graduate. All because they couldn't form complex sentences. Read more

bandit problems

blogging

Recent post on Win-Vector blog, plus some musings on Audience

2 minute read

Published:

I put a new post up on Win-Vector a couple of days ago called "The Geometry of Classifiers", a follow-up post to a recent paper by Fernandez-Delgado, et al. that investigates several classifiers against a body of data sets, mostly from the UCI Machine Learning Repository. Our article follows up the study with seven additional additional classifier implementations from scikit-learn and an interactive Shiny app to explore the results. Read more

On Writing Technical Articles for the Nonspecialist

10 minute read

Published:

I came across a post from Emily Willingham the other day: "Is a PhD required for Good Science Writing?". As a science writer with a science PhD, her answer is: is it not required, and it can often be an impediment. I saw a similar sentiment echoed once by Lee Gutkind, the founder and editor of the journal Creative Nonfiction. I don't remember exactly what he wrote, but it was something to the effect that scientists are exactly the wrong people to produce literary, accessible writing about matters scientific. Read more

book announcement

Good News: We’re Writing a Book!

less than 1 minute read

Published:

I’m happy to announce that John Mount and I have just signed a contract with Manning Publications to write a book on Data Science. We have both talked about doing this for quite a while, and we are excited that we finally have the opportunity. Read more

books

A Moment’s Digression

1 minute read

Published:

I had a data nerd moment while reading a novel the other day. I got in an argument with the book. But I think the book started it. It's a frivolous discussion, probably, but sometimes those are the most fun. Read more

Dragons of Probability

4 minute read

Published:

"No insults, please!" said Pugg. "For I am not your usual uncouth pirate, but refined and with a Ph.D. and therefore extremely high-strung."
-- from "The Sixth Sally, or how Trurl and Klapaucius Created a Demon of the Second Kind to Defeat the Pirate Pugg"
Read more

career

classifier performance

Balancing Classes Before Training Classifiers - Addressing a Folk Theorem

1 minute read

Published:

We’ve been wanting to get more into training over at Win-Vector, but I don’t want to completely give up client work, because clients and their problems are often the inspiration for cool solutions – and good blog articles. Working on the video course for the last couple of months has given me some good ideas, too. Read more

Recent post on Win-Vector blog, plus some musings on Audience

2 minute read

Published:

I put a new post up on Win-Vector a couple of days ago called "The Geometry of Classifiers", a follow-up post to a recent paper by Fernandez-Delgado, et al. that investigates several classifiers against a body of data sets, mostly from the UCI Machine Learning Repository. Our article follows up the study with seven additional additional classifier implementations from scikit-learn and an interactive Shiny app to explore the results. Read more

coding

Design, Problem Solving, and Good Taste

5 minute read

Published:

I ran across this essay recently on the role of design standards for scientific data visualization. The author, Jure Triglav, draws his inspiration from the creation and continued use of the NYCTA Graphics Standards, which were instituted in the late 1960s to unify the signage for the New York City subway system. Read more

computer science

Mathematics versus Computer Science

1 minute read

Published:

…until the development of computers the possibility of dealing successfully with the complex itself was never really envisaged. Perhaps the most successful substitute for such a possibility, as well as the nearest approach to it, came in mathematics. … To find the simple in the complex, the finite in the infinite -- that is not a bad description of the aim and essence of mathematics.</p>
Read more

creative interests

On Balance

7 minute read

Published:

One of my favorite cheesy movies is a gem from 1984 called The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. For those who haven't seen it, Buckaroo Banzai is a brilliant young neurosurgeon and particle physicist who spends his days conducting cutting-edge research. At night, he and his research colleagues -- all engineers and scientists and doctors -- rock New Jersey as a band called the Hong Kong Cavaliers. In between the brilliant science and the rock-star night life, the Cavaliers find time to save the world from an alien invasion led by none other than John Lithgow. Read more

creative process

On Balance

7 minute read

Published:

One of my favorite cheesy movies is a gem from 1984 called The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. For those who haven't seen it, Buckaroo Banzai is a brilliant young neurosurgeon and particle physicist who spends his days conducting cutting-edge research. At night, he and his research colleagues -- all engineers and scientists and doctors -- rock New Jersey as a band called the Hong Kong Cavaliers. In between the brilliant science and the rock-star night life, the Cavaliers find time to save the world from an alien invasion led by none other than John Lithgow. Read more

data analysis

data cleaning

The vtreat package two ways

less than 1 minute read

Published:

We recently did a couple of talks about our vtreat data treatment package: one for the Python version, and one for the R version. If you are fitting machine learning models on messy real-world data, then you might find vtreat useful. Do check out one of the introductory talks below. Read more

data science

On Writing Technical Articles for the Nonspecialist

10 minute read

Published:

I came across a post from Emily Willingham the other day: "Is a PhD required for Good Science Writing?". As a science writer with a science PhD, her answer is: is it not required, and it can often be an impediment. I saw a similar sentiment echoed once by Lee Gutkind, the founder and editor of the journal Creative Nonfiction. I don't remember exactly what he wrote, but it was something to the effect that scientists are exactly the wrong people to produce literary, accessible writing about matters scientific. Read more

data science book update

data treatment

The vtreat package two ways

less than 1 minute read

Published:

We recently did a couple of talks about our vtreat data treatment package: one for the Python version, and one for the R version. If you are fitting machine learning models on messy real-world data, then you might find vtreat useful. Do check out one of the introductory talks below. Read more

design

Design, Problem Solving, and Good Taste

5 minute read

Published:

I ran across this essay recently on the role of design standards for scientific data visualization. The author, Jure Triglav, draws his inspiration from the creation and continued use of the NYCTA Graphics Standards, which were instituted in the late 1960s to unify the signage for the New York City subway system. Read more

differential privacy

education

Bon Mots from Professor Rota

2 minute read

Published:

As I've posted previously, we are writing a data science book. The preview of the first chapter of our book should come out in about a month or so. We are almost finished with the revisions to the first four chapters, and we've started refining the outline of the next three. Exciting! It happens that I've been rereading mathematician Gian-Carlo Rota's collection of essays, Indiscrete Thoughts, and I've found a few passages that really speak to me, now that I'm in book-writing mode. Enjoy. Read more

I Write, Therefore I Think

8 minute read

Published:

I came across an interesting article in The Atlantic a little while back that discussed the connection between writing and thinking. New Dorp, a Staten Island high school in a poor and working-class neighborhood, was able to improve student performance when they realized that their students couldn’t write. These underperforming students often could read and could do math. The majority of them were well-behaved, and seemed to want to learn. Yet they couldn't pass standard proficiency tests, and couldn't graduate. All because they couldn't form complex sentences. Read more

empathy

folk theorems

Balancing Classes Before Training Classifiers - Addressing a Folk Theorem

1 minute read

Published:

We’ve been wanting to get more into training over at Win-Vector, but I don’t want to completely give up client work, because clients and their problems are often the inspiration for cool solutions – and good blog articles. Working on the video course for the last couple of months has given me some good ideas, too. Read more

genuineness

ggplot2

WVPlots and Color Controls

3 minute read

Published:

I've put a new release of the WVPlots package up on CRAN. This release adds consistent palette and/or other color controls to most of the functions in the package. Read more

good news

Big News! Practical Data Science with R is content complete!

less than 1 minute read

Published:

It's been a while since I've posted here, but I have good news: the last appendix has gone to the editors. The book is now content complete. What a relief! We are hoping to release the book late in the first quarter of next year. In the meantime, you can still get early drafts of our chapters through Manning’s Early Access program, if you haven’t yet. The link is here. Read more

Good News: We’re Writing a Book!

less than 1 minute read

Published:

I’m happy to announce that John Mount and I have just signed a contract with Manning Publications to write a book on Data Science. We have both talked about doing this for quite a while, and we are excited that we finally have the opportunity. Read more

good old days

A Trip to the Virtual Attic

2 minute read

Published:

When the world feels like it’s falling apart around you, it feels good to solve little problems that are completely under your control. And that’s what I’ve been doing this past week. This was originally posted at Multo. Read more

Back to Where I was Before (Almost)

1 minute read

Published:

Back in the good old days, ninazumel.com was a static site that I maintained myself, in pure HTML. But that (to me) was so much of a hassle that I never did even the little bit of site maintenance that the website required. So I moved it to wordpress.com. Read more

gradient boosting

graphical perception

Design, Problem Solving, and Good Taste

5 minute read

Published:

I ran across this essay recently on the role of design standards for scientific data visualization. The author, Jure Triglav, draws his inspiration from the creation and continued use of the NYCTA Graphics Standards, which were instituted in the late 1960s to unify the signage for the New York City subway system. Read more

graphics

Design, Problem Solving, and Good Taste

5 minute read

Published:

I ran across this essay recently on the role of design standards for scientific data visualization. The author, Jure Triglav, draws his inspiration from the creation and continued use of the NYCTA Graphics Standards, which were instituted in the late 1960s to unify the signage for the New York City subway system. Read more

job stress

What’s Wrong with a Low(er)-Stress Job?

4 minute read

Published:

So there's this article that's been making the rounds called "The 10 Least Stressful Jobs of 2013"; perhaps you've read it. I don't normally bother with articles like that, but it came to my attention because some of my old graduate-school friends (who are professors) threw a mini-rant on social media over the fact that University Professor is the Number One least stressful job of the year, according to the article. And just now, I tripped over a blog post where a librarian takes umbrage over the fact that they also on the list. Read more

kepler

life balance

On Balance

7 minute read

Published:

One of my favorite cheesy movies is a gem from 1984 called The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. For those who haven't seen it, Buckaroo Banzai is a brilliant young neurosurgeon and particle physicist who spends his days conducting cutting-edge research. At night, he and his research colleagues -- all engineers and scientists and doctors -- rock New Jersey as a band called the Hong Kong Cavaliers. In between the brilliant science and the rock-star night life, the Cavaliers find time to save the world from an alien invasion led by none other than John Lithgow. Read more

logisitic regression

Balancing Classes Before Training Classifiers - Addressing a Folk Theorem

1 minute read

Published:

We’ve been wanting to get more into training over at Win-Vector, but I don’t want to completely give up client work, because clients and their problems are often the inspiration for cool solutions – and good blog articles. Working on the video course for the last couple of months has given me some good ideas, too. Read more

machine learning

Balancing Classes Before Training Classifiers - Addressing a Folk Theorem

1 minute read

Published:

We’ve been wanting to get more into training over at Win-Vector, but I don’t want to completely give up client work, because clients and their problems are often the inspiration for cool solutions – and good blog articles. Working on the video course for the last couple of months has given me some good ideas, too. Read more

Recent post on Win-Vector blog, plus some musings on Audience

2 minute read

Published:

I put a new post up on Win-Vector a couple of days ago called "The Geometry of Classifiers", a follow-up post to a recent paper by Fernandez-Delgado, et al. that investigates several classifiers against a body of data sets, mostly from the UCI Machine Learning Repository. Our article follows up the study with seven additional additional classifier implementations from scikit-learn and an interactive Shiny app to explore the results. Read more

marketing

mathematics

Mathematics versus Computer Science

1 minute read

Published:

…until the development of computers the possibility of dealing successfully with the complex itself was never really envisaged. Perhaps the most successful substitute for such a possibility, as well as the nearest approach to it, came in mathematics. … To find the simple in the complex, the finite in the infinite -- that is not a bad description of the aim and essence of mathematics.</p>
Read more

Bon Mots from Professor Rota

2 minute read

Published:

As I've posted previously, we are writing a data science book. The preview of the first chapter of our book should come out in about a month or so. We are almost finished with the revisions to the first four chapters, and we've started refining the outline of the next three. Exciting! It happens that I've been rereading mathematician Gian-Carlo Rota's collection of essays, Indiscrete Thoughts, and I've found a few passages that really speak to me, now that I'm in book-writing mode. Enjoy. Read more

model significance

musings

On Being a Data Scientist

5 minute read

Published:

When people ask me what it means to be a data scientist, I used to answer, "it means you don't have to hold my hand." By which I meant that as a data scientist (a consulting data scientist), I can handle the data collection, the data cleaning and wrangling, the analysis, and the final presentation of results (both technical and for the business audience) with a minimal amount of assistance from my clients or their people. Not no assistance, of course, but little enough that I'm not interfering too much with their day-to-day job. Read more

opinion

What’s Wrong with a Low(er)-Stress Job?

4 minute read

Published:

So there's this article that's been making the rounds called "The 10 Least Stressful Jobs of 2013"; perhaps you've read it. I don't normally bother with articles like that, but it came to my attention because some of my old graduate-school friends (who are professors) threw a mini-rant on social media over the fact that University Professor is the Number One least stressful job of the year, according to the article. And just now, I tripped over a blog post where a librarian takes umbrage over the fact that they also on the list. Read more

permutation test

popularity

priorities

On Balance

7 minute read

Published:

One of my favorite cheesy movies is a gem from 1984 called The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. For those who haven't seen it, Buckaroo Banzai is a brilliant young neurosurgeon and particle physicist who spends his days conducting cutting-edge research. At night, he and his research colleagues -- all engineers and scientists and doctors -- rock New Jersey as a band called the Hong Kong Cavaliers. In between the brilliant science and the rock-star night life, the Cavaliers find time to save the world from an alien invasion led by none other than John Lithgow. Read more

psychology

quotes

Mathematics versus Computer Science

1 minute read

Published:

…until the development of computers the possibility of dealing successfully with the complex itself was never really envisaged. Perhaps the most successful substitute for such a possibility, as well as the nearest approach to it, came in mathematics. … To find the simple in the complex, the finite in the infinite -- that is not a bad description of the aim and essence of mathematics.</p>
Read more

random forest

Balancing Classes Before Training Classifiers - Addressing a Folk Theorem

1 minute read

Published:

We’ve been wanting to get more into training over at Win-Vector, but I don’t want to completely give up client work, because clients and their problems are often the inspiration for cool solutions – and good blog articles. Working on the video course for the last couple of months has given me some good ideas, too. Read more

reading

A Trip to the Virtual Attic

2 minute read

Published:

When the world feels like it’s falling apart around you, it feels good to solve little problems that are completely under your control. And that’s what I’ve been doing this past week. This was originally posted at Multo. Read more

A Moment’s Digression

1 minute read

Published:

I had a data nerd moment while reading a novel the other day. I got in an argument with the book. But I think the book started it. It's a frivolous discussion, probably, but sometimes those are the most fun. Read more

Dragons of Probability

4 minute read

Published:

"No insults, please!" said Pugg. "For I am not your usual uncouth pirate, but refined and with a Ph.D. and therefore extremely high-strung."
-- from "The Sixth Sally, or how Trurl and Klapaucius Created a Demon of the Second Kind to Defeat the Pirate Pugg"
Read more

Bon Mots from Professor Rota

2 minute read

Published:

As I've posted previously, we are writing a data science book. The preview of the first chapter of our book should come out in about a month or so. We are almost finished with the revisions to the first four chapters, and we've started refining the outline of the next three. Exciting! It happens that I've been rereading mathematician Gian-Carlo Rota's collection of essays, Indiscrete Thoughts, and I've found a few passages that really speak to me, now that I'm in book-writing mode. Enjoy. Read more

science writing

On Writing Technical Articles for the Nonspecialist

10 minute read

Published:

I came across a post from Emily Willingham the other day: "Is a PhD required for Good Science Writing?". As a science writer with a science PhD, her answer is: is it not required, and it can often be an impediment. I saw a similar sentiment echoed once by Lee Gutkind, the founder and editor of the journal Creative Nonfiction. I don't remember exactly what he wrote, but it was something to the effect that scientists are exactly the wrong people to produce literary, accessible writing about matters scientific. Read more

scikit-learn

Recent post on Win-Vector blog, plus some musings on Audience

2 minute read

Published:

I put a new post up on Win-Vector a couple of days ago called "The Geometry of Classifiers", a follow-up post to a recent paper by Fernandez-Delgado, et al. that investigates several classifiers against a body of data sets, mostly from the UCI Machine Learning Repository. Our article follows up the study with seven additional additional classifier implementations from scikit-learn and an interactive Shiny app to explore the results. Read more

self-employment

self-promotion

sessionized data

sincerity

site migration

Back to Where I was Before (Almost)

1 minute read

Published:

Back in the good old days, ninazumel.com was a static site that I maintained myself, in pure HTML. But that (to me) was so much of a hassle that I never did even the little bit of site maintenance that the website required. So I moved it to wordpress.com. Read more

sklearn

Recent post on Win-Vector blog, plus some musings on Audience

2 minute read

Published:

I put a new post up on Win-Vector a couple of days ago called "The Geometry of Classifiers", a follow-up post to a recent paper by Fernandez-Delgado, et al. that investigates several classifiers against a body of data sets, mostly from the UCI Machine Learning Repository. Our article follows up the study with seven additional additional classifier implementations from scikit-learn and an interactive Shiny app to explore the results. Read more

social media

social networks

star-charts

Goldbach’s Celestial Atlas

1 minute read

Published:

Christian Goldbach, Prussian mathematician. Probably most famous for the Goldbach conjecture, one of the oldest unsolved problems in mathematics:

Every even integer greater than 2 can be expressed as the sum of two primes.
Read more

star-finding

stepwise regression

teaching

Bon Mots from Professor Rota

2 minute read

Published:

As I've posted previously, we are writing a data science book. The preview of the first chapter of our book should come out in about a month or so. We are almost finished with the revisions to the first four chapters, and we've started refining the outline of the next three. Exciting! It happens that I've been rereading mathematician Gian-Carlo Rota's collection of essays, Indiscrete Thoughts, and I've found a few passages that really speak to me, now that I'm in book-writing mode. Enjoy. Read more

On Writing Technical Articles for the Nonspecialist

10 minute read

Published:

I came across a post from Emily Willingham the other day: "Is a PhD required for Good Science Writing?". As a science writer with a science PhD, her answer is: is it not required, and it can often be an impediment. I saw a similar sentiment echoed once by Lee Gutkind, the founder and editor of the journal Creative Nonfiction. I don't remember exactly what he wrote, but it was something to the effect that scientists are exactly the wrong people to produce literary, accessible writing about matters scientific. Read more

technical writing

On Writing Technical Articles for the Nonspecialist

10 minute read

Published:

I came across a post from Emily Willingham the other day: "Is a PhD required for Good Science Writing?". As a science writer with a science PhD, her answer is: is it not required, and it can often be an impediment. I saw a similar sentiment echoed once by Lee Gutkind, the founder and editor of the journal Creative Nonfiction. I don't remember exactly what he wrote, but it was something to the effect that scientists are exactly the wrong people to produce literary, accessible writing about matters scientific. Read more

the things you learn

Goldbach’s Celestial Atlas

1 minute read

Published:

Christian Goldbach, Prussian mathematician. Probably most famous for the Goldbach conjecture, one of the oldest unsolved problems in mathematics:

Every even integer greater than 2 can be expressed as the sum of two primes.
Read more

thinking

I Write, Therefore I Think

8 minute read

Published:

I came across an interesting article in The Atlantic a little while back that discussed the connection between writing and thinking. New Dorp, a Staten Island high school in a poor and working-class neighborhood, was able to improve student performance when they realized that their students couldn’t write. These underperforming students often could read and could do math. The majority of them were well-behaved, and seemed to want to learn. Yet they couldn't pass standard proficiency tests, and couldn't graduate. All because they couldn't form complex sentences. Read more

translation

Dragons of Probability

4 minute read

Published:

"No insults, please!" said Pugg. "For I am not your usual uncouth pirate, but refined and with a Ph.D. and therefore extremely high-strung."
-- from "The Sixth Sally, or how Trurl and Klapaucius Created a Demon of the Second Kind to Defeat the Pirate Pugg"
Read more

variable selection

video presentation

The vtreat package two ways

less than 1 minute read

Published:

We recently did a couple of talks about our vtreat data treatment package: one for the Python version, and one for the R version. If you are fitting machine learning models on messy real-world data, then you might find vtreat useful. Do check out one of the introductory talks below. Read more

visualization

WVPlots and Color Controls

3 minute read

Published:

I've put a new release of the WVPlots package up on CRAN. This release adds consistent palette and/or other color controls to most of the functions in the package. Read more

Design, Problem Solving, and Good Taste

5 minute read

Published:

I ran across this essay recently on the role of design standards for scientific data visualization. The author, Jure Triglav, draws his inspiration from the creation and continued use of the NYCTA Graphics Standards, which were instituted in the late 1960s to unify the signage for the New York City subway system. Read more

vtreat

The vtreat package two ways

less than 1 minute read

Published:

We recently did a couple of talks about our vtreat data treatment package: one for the Python version, and one for the R version. If you are fitting machine learning models on messy real-world data, then you might find vtreat useful. Do check out one of the introductory talks below. Read more

words

I Write, Therefore I Think

8 minute read

Published:

I came across an interesting article in The Atlantic a little while back that discussed the connection between writing and thinking. New Dorp, a Staten Island high school in a poor and working-class neighborhood, was able to improve student performance when they realized that their students couldn’t write. These underperforming students often could read and could do math. The majority of them were well-behaved, and seemed to want to learn. Yet they couldn't pass standard proficiency tests, and couldn't graduate. All because they couldn't form complex sentences. Read more

writing

A Trip to the Virtual Attic

2 minute read

Published:

When the world feels like it’s falling apart around you, it feels good to solve little problems that are completely under your control. And that’s what I’ve been doing this past week. This was originally posted at Multo. Read more