Data Analysis using Stata: Workshop, 10/8/14

Update: A half-dozen students joined me for a whirlwind hour of data analysis using Stata on Wednesday. Through hands-on exercises, we worked through some basic analyses and some common errors and other roadblocks. If you missed the workshop, the materials are linked below.

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Practice the Tones

Using tones to distinguish lexical and grammatical meaning is not always an easy task for native speakers of non-tonal languages. When I taught Chinese many years ago, the tones were the biggest headache for my students. As adults, my students were good at learning vocabulary and grammar (adults learn these differently from children who acquire Chinese as their first language, but that’s a whole different topic), but almost all of them struggled more or less with the tones. At the time, I had always wished there was a tool that could show the students the Pinyin of the characters and pronounce it for them, so that my students could get help whenever they practice. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find anything at the time, but such tools exist now and are available at Reed.

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Choropleth Maps Revisited

Since my original post on choropleth maps a little over a month ago I have been thinking about ways to display all of the data in Table 1 (i.e. Reed College enrollment by state from 2007-2013) in a single choropleth map. Yesterday, I read about a relatively new R package called rMaps. According to the developer Ramnath Vaidyanathan’s github page, “rMaps makes it easy to create, customize and share interactive maps from R, with a few lines of code. It supports several javascript based mapping libraries like Leaflet, DataMaps and Crosslet, with many more to be added.”

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R Workshop on 10/1/2014

I will be leading a workshop on R tomorrow from 4:30 to 5:30 pm in ETC 205.

The workshop is designed to be useful for users with all levels of experience. The workshop will include a basic overview of R and RStudio, but will primarily focus on showing students how to make interactive graphs and maps using the googleVis package in R. Everyone in attendance will produce a .html file with a series of interactive data displays.

You can access the slide deck, which was built entirely in R, for the presentation here.

See you tomorrow afternoon!

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Clickers in chemistry: a classic case of data munging

Clickers are a common piece of educational technology across college campuses, used for in-class quizzes or to allow many voices to “speak” in a class discussion. At Reed, clickers are most commonly used in the first two years of Chemistry courses, which are some of our larger classes (75 students per section in Chem 101) and bring together students from a variety of academic backgrounds. Clickers allow faculty to check student comprehension throughout class and actively engage students in a larger lecture environment.

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Data Visualizations and Presentations in R Markdown

Last Saturday I gave a presentation at the National Association for College Admission Counseling Conference titled “Matching the Under-Matched Student: Small Colleges and Big Data Offer Strategies for Success.” The presentation used a statistical analysis and case studies from two small liberal arts colleges to identify ways in which colleges may respond to the finding of Hoxby and Avery (2012) that the vast majority of very high-achieving students who are low-income do not apply to any selective college or university.

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FOSS4G: Geospatial tech, community, and a bird named Helen

I recently returned from a week of workshops, presentations, networking, and general nerdery with an incredible group of people: open source geospatial developers, users, and other spatially-focused folk from across the globe.

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The PARC image and its software

In this post I would like to introduce you to the PARC’s computers and the software that runs on them. The software on our computers is performing arts focused. We do have some standard programs, like Microsoft Office and Express Scribe, but after that we’re different then most labs on campus. The software in our lab primarily focuses on Theatre, Music, Dance and multi media presentations/installations with a nod to the visual arts.

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Welcome to the Language Lab!

Welcome to the Language Lab—one of the best places on campus to study! We are located in the lower level of the Hauser Memorial Library, next to the Instructional Multimedia Center (IMC). The primary function of the Language Lab is to serve as an aid to the foreign language classrooms, as well as for any independent study of languages. We have some new equipment this fall: Continue reading

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Spatial proximity and Reed’s smoking policy

Last year, Reed re-examined its smoking policy, which touched off some fairly spirited debates around campus. The revised policy is now in place, and you can see structures around campus to provide simultaneous shelter from the rain and access to ashtrays. (Catch up on what you missed here, thanks to the Reed Quest.)

One of the interesting things about this discussion is that it centered around a key spatial theme: proximity.

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