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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Did Wages Detach from Productivity in 1973? An Investigation

This is the third and final blog post in my series on income inequality (read the other two here and here). This post discusses the detachment of compensation from productivity that occurred around 1973. I look at the data and use R for exploring this break, along with why it may have occurred. R code is with the analysis, in the spirit of reproducible research.

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How the House Makes a Profit: A R Shiny App for Explaining the Key Idea to Gambling

As many of you may know, I teach statistics at the University of Utah. Below is a post about how industries based on chance events, such as casinos or insurance companies, are able to guarantee a profit. I have also included R code for a Shiny app that demonstrates the ideas discussed in the blog post.

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On Game Development as a Hobby

One day I was looking around on GameJolt and saw a Fireside article by a developer called @jacklehamster, entitled: “That time I chose to leave my gamedev passion on the side of the road; A story about my love and hate relationship with game programming.” It’s about his romance with game programming: his sections are entitled, “It was love at first sight,” “The younger years,” “The breakup,” “Missing my first love,” “An unstoppable passion,” “Fear of commitment,” and “The way I see it.” Maybe this article touched on me because I was still fresh from a breakup I did not want to happen, and any inkling of romance could make me miss it terribly. But for whatever reason, this article (a very good one I encourage everyone to read) seemed to inspire a lot of thought in me, particularly about his need for game development to be a career, and his slight aversion to leave game development as “just a hobby.”

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Information and Beauty

I went and explored Candy Chang’s website containing projects she initiated in cities. These projects strike me as almost the definition of “pinpricks of change,” being so simple and elegant yet make a difference in a community, adding a certain “spice” (for a lack of a better word) that adds character. I really liked the elegance and the visual appeal of her projects. I especially like some of the guides she has made for renters and street vendors, which contain all the information these people (who often are vulnerable) need in order to get by and at the same time are visually appealing. I think it was from this project I learned the most.

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