### Operating over many columns with dplyr

dplyr is awesome. It’s totally changed the way I work in R. tidyr, in conjunction with dplyr, is also awesome. It’s totally changed the way I think about my data.

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### History of statistics 2: Road to the normal

This is the second of three entries about the history of statistics, drawn from Stigler’s amazing History of Statistics.

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### History of statistics 1: The combination of observations

I intend this to be the first in a series of three posts about the history of statistics.

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### Data for diversity programs

I often hear an exchange of this format:

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### Are olives for eating? (A historical perspective)

Everyone knows that Chihuahuas and Great Danes are the same species. Because “dog” as a category is so familiar, it’s easy to not be stupefied. How could these two animals be the same thing? They are so enormously different!

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### Was agriculture a good thing?

Before I went to college, I learned a simple narrative about early human sociological and technological development: our earliest proto-human ancestors were like apes. Then we started making tools, like spears. Then we had fire, which allowed us to get more calories from the same amount of meat. Then we developed agriculture, which allowed us to get more calories from the same number of hours and amount of exertion. These increased efficiencies led to art, culture, writing, civilization, etc.

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### Organizing a lab retreat

I’ve helped organize retreats for my graduate and postdoc labs, and I wanted to write down some of my lessons learned.

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### Giving privilege versus giving up privilege

In thinking about privilege and diversity, I’ve come to a pet theory: that there is a big difference between giving privilege and giving up privilege. This theory emerged from a conversation I had with Claire Duvallet, who suggested this excellent read from Atlantic.

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### Explain things two ways

Somewhere I remember learning that a good way to help audiences understand things is to explain it two ways. This works most naturally in speech, and I find that getting it into text requires a little more finesse.

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### I went to the Boston science rally

There was a rally for science in Boston this past Sunday. I had a few reasons for going. I won’t deny a selfish motivation: I do science for a living, and I like doing science for a living, and my ability to do science for a living is strongly dependent on federal funding for science. The NIH, where my funding will mostly come from, is not particularly on the chopping block, in part because the value of healthcare research is more broadly recognized than the value of other kinds of research. That’s the second reason I was at the rally: solidarity for my peers who, selfishly, want to do their work.

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