Computing optimal road trips on a limited budget

About a year ago, I wrote an article introducing the concept of optimizing road trips using a combination of genetic algorithms and Google Maps. During that time, I’ve given some thought to how I could make that algorithm more useful

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How long does the average man last in bed?

A couple weeks ago, I ran across a research paper that inadvertently answered one of those awkward questions that so few people get the chance to talk about: How long does the average man last in bed? I was particularly

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Why is Reddit replacing Imgur?

In a surprise move this week, Reddit has started rolling out their own in-house image hosting service. This appears to be a direct move to replace the many image hosting services that have sprung up around Reddit—Imgur, in particular. Here’s

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TPOT: A Python tool for automating data science

Machine learning is often touted as: A field of study that gives computers the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed. Despite this common claim, anyone who has worked in the field knows that designing effective machine learning systems is

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Why did so many Japanese families avoid having children in 1966?

Last week, I was presenting at a conference and discussing the merits of animated visualizations vs. small multiples. On one of my slides, I presented the following chart that shows the total fertility rate (i.e., the average number of children

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Spurious Extrapolations: Novel and unique research abstracts

Last Christmas, BMJ published a funny article exploring the mentions of positive and negative words in research abstracts over the past 40 years. I’ve recreated their research for two of the phrases below — “novel” and “unique.” Your eyes aren’t

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Spurious Extrapolations: What if U.S. college tuition costs keep rising?

For this post, I’m going to test run a new post series called Spurious Extrapolations, where I extrapolate time series far beyond reason and envision what would happen if the trend continued. Let me know what you think of the

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The correct way to use pie charts

Pie charts are the most widely berated chart in data visualization. Many articles have been written over the years describing why pie charts are bad, and why we should no longer use them. Even key members of the data visualization

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Why posts get removed from /r/DataIsBeautiful

I’ve been a moderator of /r/DataIsBeautiful — one of the largest online communities dedicated to data analysis and visualization — for the past 2 1/2 years. During that time, I’ve reviewed thousands of data visualizations created by amateurs and professionals

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What data visualization tools do /r/DataIsBeautiful OC creators use?

One of the most common questions that newcomers to data [science/visualization/analysis] ask is: “What tools should I use to create data visualizations?” While I always recommend learning design principles before tools, I thought I’d take a stab at answering that

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