Data or Die

In the 2016 election, few spectators realized Donald Trump’s data advantage until after he’d won.

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On Programming Languages; Why My Dad Went From Programming to Driving a Bus

In Data Science from Scratch, a book introducing data science using Python, Joel Grus said the following about R (pg. 302):

Although you can totally get away with not learning R, a lot of data scientists and data science projects use it, so it’s worth getting familiar with it.

In part, this is so that you can understand people’s R-based blog posts and examples and code; in part, this is to help you better appreciate the (comparatively) clean elegance of Python; and in part, this is to help you be a more informed participant in the never-ending “R versus Python” flamewars.

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A Political Cartoon and a Markov Chain

Pat Bagley is easily my favorite political cartoonist, period. For the politically aware in Utah, he is almost legendary, enjoying superstar status. I’ve been aware of him since I was a kid, and I always loved his cartoons. Not only does his artistic style appeal to me, he has a way of illustrating a situation in politics that explains it more clearly than a thousand words. His cartoons are humorous, though darkly so. And with every one, you can’t help but feel he’s had the last word.

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Where to Go from Here? Tips for Building Up R Experience

At the University of Utah, I teach the R lab that accompanies MATH 3070, “Applied Statistics I.”” None of my students are presumed to have any programming experience, and they never hesitate to remind me of that fact, especially when they are starting out. When I create assignments and pick problems, I often can write a one- or three-line solution in thirty seconds that students will sometimes spend four hours trying to solve. They then see my solution and slap their foreheads at its simplicity. I can be tricky with my solutions. For example, suppose you wish to find the sample proportion for a certain property. A common approach (or at least the one used in the textbook our course uses, Using R for Introductory Statistics by John Verzani) looks like this:

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Using Microsoft’s Emotion API to Settle an Old Argument

So Tuesday happened. I have a lot to say about our President-elect, and you’ll probably see a couple posts about him in the next few weeks. But that’s for later. Today, I’m writing about a more pressing issue, one that has been subject to debate for years without resolution, and I plan to settle this debate once and for all.

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Deceit in Politics; An Analysis of PolitiFact Data

Naturally, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have been accused of lying; if I had told you in 2012 that both candidates from both political parties were being accused of lies, you would likely have given me a blank, disinterested stare; this alone is not shocking. What is shocking, though, is the level of deceit and how central a theme it was to this campaign season.

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Is Hillary Clinton a Progressive? An Investigation Using Statistical Methods

There was once a time where only the most extreme leftists would accuse Hillary Clinton of not being a true progressive, prior to, say, 2008. Even after 2008, Hillary Clinton was seen as perhaps being a more moderate Democrat, but still, ultimately, a progressive. Republicans certainly would call Clinton a leftist and still continue to believe so.

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