Browsing Archives of Author »Ethan Brown«

New R-generated Video: Has StackOverflow Posting Behavior Changed Over Time?

October 5, 2011

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Sparks have been flying between my favorite data analysis language and my favorite programmer's Q & A site since long ago: R flirted with StackOverflow on September 10, 2008, 5 days before StackOverflow was even open to the public. R still hesitates to leave its original suitor, the loud and lively R-help mailing list, where […]

Howling Winds and Stochastic Tones

March 9, 2011

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My greatest pleasures in mathematics come from observing--and here, listening to--the interplay of simple and complex. With a few axioms and definitions you can create surprising worlds, and in what seems like a mess you can find beautiful regularities. It's damn sexy, frankly. Here, I use a simple recursive equation to directly generate my sounds […]

The Most Romantic Electro-Grunge Statistical Computing Song Ever Made

February 14, 2011

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Warning message: This song contains highly suggestive coefficients and graphic depictions of exuberant R-core lovin'. "Plotting Ihaka" is based on Rotting PiƱata by Sponge, and reflects a small measure of my boundless joy in the world of R. Despite being a firm proponent of muffins, I can confidently say that I would rather live in […]

Rhythms of Equality and Inequality

February 6, 2011

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Today I unveil my very first statistical YouTube video! I will do anything to keep you statisfied, and if that means YouTube, then so be it. But first, some exposition: In Panama, 10 percent of the population owned 45 percent of the income in 2000, whereas the bottom 10 percent owned only 0.6 percent. How […]

Listening for trends in US baby names over 130 years

January 25, 2011

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What happens when you mash together R's data crunching magic, Festival's speech synthesis power, and the audio wonders of the venerable music language Csound? You fall even more in love with free and open-source software, and you start hearing sounds like this: A single beat of the above sound represents the top 1000 baby names […]

Dial-a-statistic! Featuring R and Estonia

January 16, 2011

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Did you wake up this morning hoping that you would be able to listen to telephone beeps inspired by Estonian web site metrics? I knew you did! First things first: I came up with the slightly crazy idea of using the bleepy sounds that telephones make, called "dual-tone multifrequency" (DTMF) tones, as a tool in […]

Newcomb, Benford, and their Dirty, Dirty Logarithms

August 23, 2010

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Tom Taverner introduced me to Benford's Law as we were eating lunch together at a statistical computing conference: If you look at the first digits of data in many naturally-occuring datasets, a startling 30 percent of them are ones. "Pah!" I said. "That belies intuition! Why would one digit occur any more than another? I'd […]

Initial dosage of humility

August 3, 2010

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While keeping careful to never step within a three-mile radius of a dataset this past month, I've worked up grand vague dreams of all that I can do with them. Yet since I am deeply a beginner, both at statistics and at programming, the moment I tried starting to implement these ideas, I became overwhelmed […]