Why you should always visualize your data

This [1] paper/post shows perfectly why it is important to always visualize a data set, and not rely exclusively on descriptive statistics. While Anscombe's Quartet [2] should be known by everyone working with data, the authors go a step further and developed a technique to produce statistically similar yet very different data sets, and illustrate their results with some memorable figures.

[1] https://www.autodeskresearch.com/publications/samestats
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anscombe%27s_quartet

Tim Berners-Lee receives Turing award

  • Posted on: 4 April 2017
  • By: deby
Tim Berners-Lee

ACM has named Sir Tim Berners-Lee as the recipient of the 2016 ACM A.M. Turing Award. Berners-Lee was cited for inventing the World Wide Web, the first web browser, and the fundamental protocols and algorithms allowing the Web to scale.

Berners-Lee is the 3Com Founders Professor of Engineering in the School of Engineering with a joint appointment in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he also heads the Decentralized Information Group (DIG). He is also a Fellow at Christ Church and a Professorial Research Fellow at the Department of Computer Science, University of Oxford. He has received many awards and honors, including the ACM Software System Award in 1995.


2D comes first, 3D second

  • Posted on: 27 March 2017
  • By: ronzhin

A group of neurobiologists from the University of Ohio conducted an experiment [1] observing how our brain builds a 3D image from two 2D images coming from the retina in real time. The experiment revealed that the third dimension was appearing as a result of the decoding of 2D location information in deeper areas of visual cortex. The authors proposed that spatial representations gradually transition from 2D-dominant to balanced 3D (2D and depth) along the visual hierarchy. In other words, we see 2D first, 3D second.

[1] - Finlayson, N. J., Zhang, X., & Golomb, J. D. (2017). Differential patterns of 2D location versus depth decoding along the visual hierarchy. NeuroImage, 147, 507-516. Link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1053811916307613

Dutch Statistical Office will use Twitter to measure Public Sentiment

According to the Dutch Public Broadcast Foundation [1](only in Dutch), the Statistics Netherlands (Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek) plans to analyze all Tweets in real-time to measure public sentiment. According to the department that deals with Big Data, Facebook-posts are too often not public and hence not suited, while almost all Twitter messages are public and can thus be used for the analysis. No more details are mentioned (e.g. who are the end-users, whether there will be geospatial analysis as well, etc.).

[1] http://nos.nl/artikel/2164721-cbs-wil-twitter-gebruiken-als-thermometer-...

How many colors to color a map?

  • Posted on: 24 March 2017
  • By: garcia
color map

I heard about this question several years ago. I was surprised to know the answer: we just need four colors to be able to color any map without two colors touching each other. However, I couldn't clearly understand why. It is not surprise, this questions haunted geographers and mathematicians for 125 years, until it was proofed to be right in the 1970's... However, the proof of 'the four color map theorem', as it is called among mathematicians, it remains as a not "beautiful" proof. If you feel curious about what the current proof to this theorem is, check this video from Numberphile.