Cerebral Mastication

Something to chew on...

Bootstrapping the latest R into Amazon Elastic Map Reduce

I’ve been continuing to muck around with using R inside of Amazon Elastic Map reduce jobs. I’ve been working on abstracting the lapply() logic so that R will farm the pieces out to Amazon EMR. This is coming along really well, thanks in no small part to the Stack Overflow [r] community. I have no idea how crappy coders like me got anything at all done before the Interwebs. One of the immediate hurdles faced when trying to use AMZN EMR in anger is that the default version of R on EMR is 2.

Chicago R Meetup: Healthier than Drinking Alone

I’m kinda blown away by the number of folks who have joined the Chicago R User Group (RUG) in the last few weeks. As of this morning we have 65 people signed up for the group and 25 who have said that they are planning on attending the meetup this Thursday (yes, only 3 days away!) I’m very pleased that this many people in Chicago find the R language interesting and/or valuable.

Virtual Conference: R the Language

On Tuesday May 4th at 9:30 PM central, 10:30 eastern, I’ll be giving a live online presentation as part of the Vconf.org open conference series. I’ll be speaking about R and why I started using R a couple years ago. This is NOT going to be a technical presentation but rather an illustration of how an R convert was created and why R became part of my daily tool set.

Simulating Dart Throws in R

Back in November 2009 Wired wrote an article about some grad students who decided to try to stochastically model throwing darts. Because I don’t actually read printed material I didn’t see the article until a couple of months ago. My immediate thought was, “hey, I drink beer. I throw darts. I build stochastic models. Why haven’t I done this?” Well we all know why I haven’t done this. I have a job and a 2 year old daughter and I like my wife.

I don't even know how wrong I am!

[caption id=“attachment_705” align=“alignleft” width=“283” caption=““as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know.” US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, February 12, 2002”][/caption] I’ve been a long time reader of the blog “Messy Matters” (which invokes terrible images now that I am potty training a toddler).

Chicago R User Group... It's for the sexy people!

[caption id=“attachment_673” align=“alignleft” width=“169” caption=“Morris Day, y’all! “][/caption] I think we all know that Morris Day was talking about when he wrote the lyrics to “The Bird”: Yes! Hold on now, this dance ain't for everybody. Just the sexy people. White folks, you're much too tight. You gotta shake your head like the black folks. You might get some tonight. Look out! That’s right, he was talking about the new R User Group in Chicago!

The Future of Math is Statistics

The future of math is statistics… and the language of that future is R: I’ve often thought there was way too little “statistical intuition” in the workplace. I think Author Benjamin would agree.

Lookup Performance in R

Rumor has it that Joe Adler, author of the O’Reilly Book R in a Nutshell, has joined Linked In as a data scientist. But that does not keep him from still pumping out some interesting content over at OReilly.com. His latest article is about lookup performance in R. He does a great job giving code samples and explaining what he is doing. Worth reading, for sure.

Real-World, Real-Time Analytics

Stop wasting time reading my drivel. You need to head over the the DataWrangling.com blog and read Peter Skomoroch’s interview with Bradford Cross of FlightCaster. Peter wrote up this interview back in August 2009, so I’m a little late to this party. There’s some really great quotes in this interview. Here’s a few of my fav quotes from Cross: At Google, the research scientists prototype in python and R, and then port to C++ for the real scalable map reduce runs.

You can Hadoop it! It's elastic! Boogie woogie woog-ie!

[caption id=“attachment_594” align=“alignleft” width=“261” caption=“This blog’s name in Chinese! “][/caption] I just came back from the future and let me be the first to tell you this: Learn some Chinese. And more than just cào nǐ niáng (肏你娘) which your friend in grad school told you means “Live happy with many blessings”. Trust me, I’ve been hanging with Madam Wu and she told me it doesn’t mean that. So how did I travel to the future to visit with Madam Wu, you ask?