Looking for Historical Data

Index Numbers of Union Wages, Living Costs, and Salaries of Portland Teachers. http://rdc.reed.edu/i/8822dfcb-ffd5-4d25-9da5-bb348df8370b

Index Numbers of Union Wages, Living Costs, and Salaries of Portland Teachers. From Women’s Wages, Compared With Living Costs and General Community Standards, 1914-1932

When looking for relatively recent statistics, there are a number of databases that members of the Reed Community can access such as American FactFinder (1990 – present) and Proquest Statistical Abstract of the United States (1929 – present). Coverage of some of our newer databases go back even further in time like Data-Planet Statistical Datasets (1850 – present) and Social Explorer (1790 – present).

There is another place to look for historical data besides databases – inside historical documents themselves! Archives have been digitizing their collections for many years now and this is making new sources of data available online. For a local example, check out theses three reports from the Reed College Archives. The first two were written in whole or part by math professor Jessie Short.

Cost of Living Survey, Portland, Oregon
In 1924, the price of coffee in Portland was $0.35 per pound.

Women’s Wages, Compared With Living Costs and General Community Standards, 1914-1932
For the time period of the study, living costs in Portland peaked in 1919.

A study of unemployment in Portland, Oregon during the winter of 1913-1914
On January 18, 1914, Thomas Clark of Portland had a temperature of 103.2 degrees.

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Data analysis using Stata

Join me this morning for an hour-long introduction to using Stata. You’ll find slides, notes, data, a do file, and additional challenge exercises here (Reed login required). You can work your way through the do file to get a sense of some basics (the slides mirror this file), and/or attack the bonus problems if you would like to flex your Stata skills a bit on your own. Feel free to contact me with questions, or get in touch to chat one-on-one about your stats needs. Continue reading

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Mapping for everyone [Paideia workshop]

Join me in ETC 205 for a workshop on maps and mapping. Below find some tutorials / exercises and data for your perusal. Feel free to contact me with questions.

Social explorer : instructions | website

Adding x/y data in ArcGIS : instructions | data

Buffering in ArcGIS : instructions | data

 

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Data-related Paideia offerings

UPDATED with schedule adjustments for weather delays

The 2017 Paideia schedule is out; here we’ve highlighted a handful of data-related offerings including sessions on mapping, data visualization, and digital humanities as well as working with Stata, R, and multimedia materials.
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An Easy Way to Determine Federal Funder Data Requirements

Since 2013, more and more federal agencies have begun requiring data management plans (DMPs) with research funding proposals. Each funder has slightly different requirements for what should be included in the DMP and how the data created during the research project should be shared.  Continue reading

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Weapons of Math Destruction

Recently, whenever I am talking to my fellow data librarians, it is not long before someone brings up Cathy O’Neil’s new book Weapons of Math Destruction : How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy.

Alarmingly, closed-source algorithms are playing an increasing role in social policy. O’Neil examines some of the (bad) data used as inputs into these algorithms and the problematic assumptions made by their creators (e.g., predictive policing based on arrest records not crime reports, recidivism scores for first-time criminal sentencing, teacher value-added scores used to fire educators). Continue reading

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On research questions and process

Making the jump from a research question to a method for answering that question can be complicated. Head over to Teaching and Learning with Technology at Reed to read my recent post: Translating research from question to query. First few lines are below…

Earlier this term, I heard from students in Noelwah Netusil’s natural resources economics class. They were hoping I could help them identify how many homes are within the Johnson Creek floodplain.

This is certainly a spatial problem, so using some spatial system — in this case, a GIS* — is a good first step. Another important challenge as researcher is to translate your question into something your analytical tool can understand… [read more]

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Upcoming Zotero and EndNote Workshops (February 2016)

Need help with citation management? Interested in learning more about EndNote or Zotero? Join us for one (or more!) of our 30 minute drop-in workshops.

All workshops will be in Library L17 unless otherwise noted below.

endnote_128 Continue reading

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Paideia R Workshop: Interactive Data Visualization

idv

On 1/20 from 12pm-1pm in Vollum 126, I led a workshop on using R to produce data graphics that we can manipulate and interactive with.

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Paideia R Workshop: Shiny Interactive Data Analysis

probapp

(Screenshot of a shiny app developed with Logan Soich and available here.)

On 1/19 from 3pm-4pm in ETC 211, Dean Young and I led a workshop on getting started with the shiny package in R.

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