Tag: tools


Sunday Data/Statistics Link Roundup (9/23/12)

  1. Harvard Business school is getting in on the fun, calling the data scientist the sexy profession for the 21st century. Although I am a little worried that by the time it gets into a Harvard Business document, the hype may be outstripping the real promise of the discipline. Still, good news for statisticians! (via Rafa via Francesca D.’s Facebook feed). 
  2. The counterpoint is this article which suggests that data scientists might be able to be replaced by tools/software. I think this is also a bit too much hype for my tastes. Certain things will definitely be automated and we may even end up with a deterministic statistical machine or two. But there will continually be new problems to solve which require the expertise of people with data analysis skills and good intuition (link via Samara K.)
  3. A bunch of websites are popping up where you can sign up and have people take your online courses for you. I’m not going to give them the benefit of a link, but they aren’t hard to find these days. The thing I don’t understand is, if it is a free online course, why have someone else take it for you? It’s free, its in your spare time, and the bar for passing is pretty low (links via Sherri R. redacted)….
  4. Maybe mostly useful for me, but for other people with Tumblr blogs, here is a way to insert Latex.
  5. Brian Caffo shares his impressions of the SAMSI massive data workshop.  He raises an important issue which definitely deserves more discussion: should we be focusing on specific or general problems? Worth a read. 
  6. For the people into self-tracking, Chris V. points to an app created by the University of Indiana that lets people track their sexual activity. The most interesting thing about that app is how it highlights a key and I suppose often overlooked issue with analyzing self-tracking data. Despite the size of these data sets, they are still definitely biased samples. It’s only a brave few who will tell the University of Indiana all about their sex life. 


Andrew Jaffe pointed me to prezi.com. It looks like a new way of making presentations. Andrew made an example here in just a couple of minutes. Here is one about Coca-Cola.

Things I like: 

  1. I go to a lot of Beamer/Powerpoint talks, these presentations at least look different and could be interesting. 
  2. It is cool how it is easy to arrange slides in a non-linear order and potentially avoid clicking forward a few slides then back a few slides
  3. I also like how the “global picture” of the talk can be shown in a display. 

Things I’m not worried about:

  1. All the zooming and panning might start to drive people nuts, like slide transitions in powerpoint. 
  2. There is serious potential for confusing presentations, organization is already a problem with some talks. 
  3. There is potential for people to spend too much time on making the prezi look cool and less on content. 

Update: From the comments Abhijit points out that David Smith put together a presentation on the R ecosystem using Prezi. Check it out here.