31 posts
Datasets for teaching data science

Rafael Irizarry introduces the dslabs package for real-life datasets to teach data science: [I] try to avoid using widely used toy examples, such as the mtcars dataset, when I teach data science. However, my experience has been that finding examples that are both realistic, interesting, and appropriate for beginners is not easy. After a few years of teaching I have collected a few datasets that I think fit this criteria....

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Q&A with Di Cook

Statistics professor Di Cook was one of the first people I ever talked to about visualization. She has a short Q&A over at StatsChat. I spent a few years doing that [a research assistant] and then realised I’d really like to make art, because some of the research-assistant work I was doing was computer graphics for data online. It fed into my art instincts from teenage years, so I spent...

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Visual explainer for hierarchical modeling

Hierarchical models, or multilevel models, are used to represent data that might vary on, you guessed, different levels. Michael Freeman, from the University of Washington Information School, provides an introduction to the method using a scrolling format. The transitions give a good sense of how the model can change, depending on your approach. Tags: model, scrollytelling, teaching

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Data exploration banned

Statistician John Tukey, who coined Exploratory Data Analysis, talked a lot about using visualization to find meaning in your data. You don’t always know what you’re looking, so you explore it visually. Etyn Adar, who teaches information visualization at the University of Michigan, makes a good case for banning the phrase in his students’ project proposals. For all the clever names he created for things (software, bit, cepstrum, quefrency) what’s...

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Teaching materials for visualization

Enrico Bertini, who has taught information visualization at New York University for the past few years, put up his class materials for open use. There are lecture slides, exercises, and a course diary of his own teaching experiences. Should be useful if you want to teach or learn on your own. Back in my day, I didn’t have formal visualization courses. I checked out paper books from the library, pieced...

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DrawMyData lets you plot points manually and then download the data

When you have graphs to draw or statistical concepts to teach, you need your data and you need it now. You can look for a suitable dataset, or you can simulate a result, but that can be annoyingly tedious. DrawMyData by Robert Grant is a simple tool that lets you click an x-y plot to draw points, and then you can just download the the x-y coordinates as a CSV...

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