An opportunity to teach, an opportunity to give back… If you’ve seen one of my data science education talks or attended one of my workshops in the last few years, you’ve probably heard me talk about the unvotes package in R. This package provides the voting history of countries in the United Nations General Assembly, along with information such as date, description, and topics for each vote. I love using data from this package in my teaching, especially on day one of class, because the data are rich while being accessible.

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KonMari your GitHub watchlist

First, if you don’t know what KonMari means, see here. My interpretation, based on having watched the Netflix series and not having read the books, is that you get rid of things that don’t give you joy. This is a huge oversimplification of Marie Kondo’s KonMari Method, but it’s the bit that’s relevant to this post. Now back to regular programming… As of two days ago I was watching over 2000 GitHub repositories!

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I attended useR! 2012 this past summer and one of the highlights of the conference was a presentation by Yihui Xie and JJ Allaire on knitr. As an often frustrated user of Sweave, I was very impressed with how they streamlined the process of integrating R with LaTeX and other document types, and I was excited to take advantage of the tools. It also occurred to me that these tools, especially the simpler markdown language, could be useful to the students in my introductory statistics course.

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Citizen Statistician

Learning to swim in the data deluge