Kidney Stones & Simpson's Paradox

A new look at an old research study In 1986, a group of urologists in London published a research paper in The British Medical Journal that compared the effectiveness of two different methods to remove kidney stones. Treatment A was open surgery (invasive), and treatment B was percutaneous nephrolithotomy (less invasive). When they looked at the results from 700 patients, treatment B had a higher success rate. However, when they only looked at the subgroup of patients different kidney stone sizes, treatment A had a better success rate.

Using Math to Draw Flowers

Patterns in nature “A scientist does not study nature because it is useful; he studies it because he delights in it, and he delights in it because it is beautiful” - Henri PoincarĂ© There are many examples of natural facts that can be described in mathematical terms. Nice examples are the shape of snowflakes, the fractal geometry of romanesco broccoli or how self-similarity rules the growth of plants. R is a tool for doing serious analysis, but not everything in life is serious.

Wrangling and Visualizing Music Data

Introduction How do musicians choose the chords they use in their songs? Do guitarists, pianists, and singers gravitate towards different kinds of harmony? We can uncover trends in the kinds of chord progressions used by popular artists by analyzing the harmonic data provided in the McGill Billboard Dataset. This dataset includes professionally tagged chords for several hundred pop/rock songs representative of singles that made the Billboard Hot 100 list between 1958 and 1991.