Category: analysis

Computing the optimal road trip across South America

By popular request, I’ve created another follow-up to my posts about computing optimal road trips across the U.S. and Europe. This time, I made an optimal road trip around South America. If you’d like to get into the nitty-gritty of

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Computing the optimal road trip across Europe

As a follow-up to my post about computing optimal road trips across the U.S., I thought it’d be fun to make a road trip map for Europe as well. If you’d like to get into the nitty-gritty of how these

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Computing the optimal road trip across the U.S.

Last week, Tracy Staedter from Discovery News proposed an interesting idea to me: Why not use the same algorithm from my Where’s Waldo article to compute the optimal road trip across every state in the U.S.? Visiting every U.S. state

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Revisiting the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon

In early 1994, three Albright College students were watching Footloose during a heavy snowstorm. By pure coincidence, the next movie that came on the television was The Air Up There, another popular film starring Kevin Bacon. Intrigued by the coincidence,

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Here’s Waldo: Computing the optimal search strategy for finding Waldo

As I found myself unexpectedly snowed in this weekend, I decided to take on a weekend project for fun. While searching for something to catch my fancy, I ran across an old Slate article claiming that they found a foolproof

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A data-driven guide to creating successful reddit posts, redux

A couple years ago, I wrote an article using massive data set of reddit posts to tackle one of the more popular questions about reddit: How do I get a highly-upvoted post on reddit? In light of the recent findings

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Does a bigger film production budget result in more ticket sales?

If you take a stroll down a list of the most expensive films of all time, you’ll notice that most of the films are from the past 15 years. Every year, more and more money is being poured into producing

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What caused the upsurge of unique American baby names in the 1970s?

Last week, I was exploring the ever-popular U.S. baby names data set and noticed a peculiar trend: The number of unique baby names has continued to rise dramatically for the last ~130 years — with the exception of the past

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The ebb and flow of movies redux

Six years ago, the NY Times published one of my favorite interactive graphics entitled, “The ebb and flow of movies.” This brilliant graphic concisely visualized over two decades of box office sales with the now-popular streamgraph. The colors indicated how

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The key to Magnus Carlsen’s success as a chess grandmaster

For the fifth installment of my series of posts analyzing a data set of over 650,000 chess tournament games ranging back to the 15th century, I wanted to focus in on Magnus Carlsen and try to understand what makes him

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