May 13, 2014

Pindown: Failed Dreams

I had never thought of a use for Brett Terpstra’s Marky the Markdownifier before listening today’s Systematic. Why would I want to turn a webpage into Markdown?

When I heard that Marky has an API, I was inspired. Pinboard has a “description” field that allows up to 65 ...

Apr 02, 2014

Symlinking Your Data

I frequently work with private data. Sometimes, it lives on my personal machine rather than on a database server. Sometimes, even if it lives on a remote database server, it is better that I use locally cached data than query the database each time I want to do analysis on ...

Mar 10, 2014

Expressiveness Counts

Education data often come in annual snapshots. Each year, students are able to identify anew, and while student identification numbers may stay the same, names, race, and gender can often change. Sometimes, even data that probably should not change, like a date of birth, is altered at some point. While ...

Feb 27, 2014

Latinos in Rhode Island Face Housing Burden

We burden Latinos (and other traditionally underserved communities) with expensive housing because of the widespread practice of using homestead exemptions in Rhode Island. By lowering the real estate tax rate, typically by 50%, for owner occupied housing, we dramatically inflate the tax rate paid by Rhode Islanders who are renting ...

Feb 18, 2014

Appreciating the Beauty of dplyr

Hadley Wickham has once again1 made R ridiculously better. Not only is dplyr incredibly fast, but the new syntax allows for some really complex operations to be expressed in a ridiculously beautiful way.

Consider a data set, course, with a student identifier, sid, a course identifier, courseno, a quarter ...