# Statistics

1 posts

Janelle Shane, who likes to play with output from neural networks, teamed up with knitters in a discussion forum to produce abstract designs. Shane generates the kitting patterns, and the knitters bring the computer output to life. She calls the project SkyKnit. The neural network produces slightly flawed instructions, but the knitters can figure things out: Knitters are very good at debugging patterns, as it turns out. Not only are...

Neural networks have shown usefulness with a number of things, but here is an especially practical use case. Chris Rodley used neural networks to create a hybrid of a dinosaur book and a flower book. The world may never be the same again. Tags: dinosaurs, flowers, neural network

This post is part 2 of an appreciation of the chart project by Google Newslab, advised by Alberto Cairo, on the gender and racial diversity of the newsroom. Part 1 can be read here. In the previous discussion, I left out the following scatter bubble plot. This plot is available in two versions, one for gender and one for race. The key question being asked is whether the leadership in...

Hans Rosling was able to build excitement around data like no other. Truth and progress was his rally cry. Before he died, he was working on a book with his Gapminder co-founders Anna Rosling Rönnlund and Ola Rosling. The book, Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think, is out now. Ordered and looking forward to it. Tags: book, facts, Hans Rosling, world

This comic from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal speaks to me. You can quantify all the things to look at said things more objectively. However, there are always other things that cannot be quantified and in real life, they are often intertwined with the numeric portion of the data. Split apart the quantitative and qualitative, and you end up making all decisions based on stab percentage. Tags: humor, SMBC

This is a fun drawing experiment in R by Antonio Sánchez Chinchón. A simple process: convert an image to black and white, sample the black points, and then solve the Traveling Salesman Problem for those points. Draw the resulting path for something like the above. Grab the R code to try it with your own images and settings. Tags: R, traveling salesman

There are many ways to estimate how similar two cities are — weather, demographics, taxes, etc. Jed Kolko from job site Indeed and Josh Katz for The Upshot used the distribution of job offerings. Just enter your city or a nearby metro, and you get something like this: I punched in cities I’ve lived in or visited, and the results looked pretty good. The analysis is based on job postings...

Emily Baumgaertner reporting for The New York Times: But critics of the change and experts in the Census Bureau itself have said that, amid a fiery immigration debate, the inclusion of a citizenship question could prompt immigrants who are in the country illegally not to respond. That would result in a severe undercount of the population — and, in turn, faulty data for government agencies and outside groups that rely...

Issie Lapowsky for Wired: The change that’s already come to Pennsylvania may not have been possible without the research Kennedy and three other expert witnesses brought to light. They took the stand with a range of analyses, some based in complex quantitative theory, others, like Kennedy’s, based in pure cartography. But they all reached the same conclusion: Pennsylvania’s map had been so aggressively gerrymandered for partisan purposes that it silenced...

Army ants function without a leader and yet accomplish very organized-looking things, such as building bridges across gaps: Researchers from the Swarm Lab believe they can break down the bridge-building process into a simple, two-rule system. Rule 1: If fellow ants are walking over you, stay put. Rule 2: If the number of ants walking over you isn’t higher than some rate, get moving again. Full paper here (pdf). Tags:...