On startup porn

Danny Lieberman managed teams of programmers before I couldn’t read, so when Danny writes a post as bold and blunt as this, you should read it.

Book review. The Persuasion Slide by Richard Dooley

TL;DR Very shallow and uninformative. It could be an OK series of blog posts for complete novices, but not a book. The Persuasion Slide by Richard Dooley was a disappointment for me. I love Dooley’s podcast Brainfluence, and I was sure that Richard’s book would full of in-depth knowledge and case studies. However, it contained neither.  The Continue reading Book review. The Persuasion Slide by Richard Dooley

Graphical comparison of changes in large populations with “volcano plots”

I recently rediscovered a volcano plot — a scatter plot that aims to visualize changes in large populations. Volcano plots are very technical and specialized and, most probably, are not a good fit for explanatory data visualization. However, they can be useful during the exploration phase, and they come with a set of well-established metrics. Moreover, Continue reading Graphical comparison of changes in large populations with “volcano plots”

Book review: Manager in shorts by Gal Zellermayer

TL;DR Nice’n’easy reading for novice managers I read this book after hearing the author, Gal Zellermayer, in a podcast. Gal is an Israeli guy who has been working as a manager in several global companies’ Israeli offices. He brings a perspective that combines (what is perceived) the best practices of American managing style with the Continue reading Book review: Manager in shorts by Gal Zellermayer

Innumeracy

Innumeracy is the “inability to deal comfortably with the fundamental notions of number and chance”.I wish there was a better term for “innumeracy”, a term that would reflect the importance of analyzing risks, uncertainty, and chance. Unfortunately, I can’t find such a term. Nevertheless, the problem is huge. In this long post, Tom Breur reviews Continue reading Innumeracy

Before and after: Alternatives to a radar chart (spider chart)

A radar chart (sometimes called “spider charts”) look cool but are, in fact,pretty lame. So much so that when the data visualization author Stephen Few mentioned them in his book Show me the numbers, he did so in a chapter called “Silly graphs that are best forsaken.” Here, I will demonstrate some of its problems, Continue reading Before and after: Alternatives to a radar chart (spider chart)

Another language

بعد حوالي سنتين من الدراسة ، بحس حالي جاهز لإضافة اللغة العربية إلى قائمة اللغات في ال-LinkedIn  After about two years of study, I feel ready to add Arabic to LinkedIn’s language list

Text Visualization Browser

I’ve stumbled upon an exciting project — text visualization browser. It’s a web page that allows one to search for different text visualization techniques using keywords and publication time.  The ability to limit the search to various years gives a nice historical perspective on this interesting topic This site’s information is based on a 2015 paper Text Continue reading Text Visualization Browser

The Empirical Metamathematics of Euclid and Beyond — Stephen Wolfram Blog

I am seldomly jealous of people, but when I am, I’m jealous of Stephen Wolfram Towards a Science of Metamathematics One of the many surprising things about our Wolfram Physics Project is that it seems to have implications even beyond physics. In our effort to develop a fundamental theory of physics it seems as if Continue reading The Empirical Metamathematics of Euclid and Beyond — Stephen Wolfram Blog

Boris Gorelik on the biggest missed opportunity in data visualization — Data for Breakfast

My guest talk at Automattic. Boris Gorelik recently joined us to present on The Biggest Missed Opportunity in Data Visualization based on his recent talk at the NDR conference. Boris was a data scientist at Automattic, is now a data science consultant, and blogs regularly on data visualization and productivity.  Some of highlights (along with Continue reading Boris Gorelik on the biggest missed opportunity in data visualization — Data for Breakfast

Career advice. Becoming a freelancer immediately after finishing a masters degree

Will Cray [link] is a fresh M.Sc. in Computer Science and considers becoming a freelancer in the Machine Learning / Artificial Intelligence / Data Science field. Will asked for advice on the LocallyOptimistic.com community Slack channel. Here’s will question (all the names in this post are used with people’s permissions). Read more career advices [here]. Let’s begin. Continue reading Career advice. Becoming a freelancer immediately after finishing a masters degree

Exploring alternatives to population pyramids

A population pyramid also called an “age-gender-pyramid”, is a graphical illustration that shows the distribution of various age groups in a population (typically that of a country or region of the world), which forms the shape of a pyramid when the population is growing [citation from Wikipedia]. In some cases, the pyramid provides interesting insights into Continue reading Exploring alternatives to population pyramids

Many is not enough: Counting simulations to bootstrap the right way — Yanir Seroussi

An interesting post by my former coworker, Yanir Seroussi. Previously, I encouraged readers to test different approaches to bootstrapped confidence interval (CI) estimation. Such testing can done by relying on the definition of CIs: Given an infinite number of independent samples from the same population, we expect a ci_level CI to contain the population parameter Continue reading Many is not enough: Counting simulations to bootstrap the right way — Yanir Seroussi

Book review: The Abyss: Bridging the Divide between Israel and the Arab World

TL;DR If you are an Israeli and don’t feel like learning the behind the scenes stories, skip it. Otherwise, I do recommend reading this book. I enjoyed it a lot 4.5/5 The Abyss: Bridging the Divide between Israel and the Arab World went to print slightly after the outbreak of the “Arab Spring.” The author, Continue reading Book review: The Abyss: Bridging the Divide between Israel and the Arab World

What is the biggest problem of the Jet and Rainbow color maps, and why is it not as evil as I thought?

There was a consensus among the data visualization purists that the rainbow color map, and it’s close cousin Jet are bad. Really bad. These colormaps used to be popular at the beginning of the computational data visualization era. However, their popularity decreased in the last five years or so. The sentiment isn’t as bad as Continue reading What is the biggest problem of the Jet and Rainbow color maps, and why is it not as evil as I thought?

If you don’t teach yet, start! It will make you a better professional.

Many people know me as a data scientist. However, I also teach, which is sort of unnoticed to many of my friends and colleagues. I created a page dedicated to my teaching activity. Talk to me if you want to organize a course or a workshop. I also highly recommend teaching as way of learning. Continue reading If you don’t teach yet, start! It will make you a better professional.

35 (and more) Ways Data Go Bad — Stats With Cats Blog

If you plan working data analysis or processing, read the excellent post in the “stats with cats blog” titled “35 Ways Data Go Bad” post. I did experience each and every one of the 35 problems. However, this list is far from being complete. One should add the comprehensive list of Falsehoods Programmers Believe About Continue reading 35 (and more) Ways Data Go Bad — Stats With Cats Blog

Data visualization is not only dots, bars, and pies

Look at this wonderful piece of data visualization (taken from here). If you know the terms “tertiary structure” and “glycan”, there is NO way you miss the message that the author of this figure wanted to convey. Also, note how using appropriate colors in the title, the authors got rid of graph legend.

StellarGraph — another promising network analysis library for Python and Scala

Network (graph) analysis is a complicated topic. There are several tools available for this task with different pros and cons. Recently, I stumbled upon another tool StellarGraph. StellarGraph authors claim to provide excellent performance; NumPy, Pandas, TensorFlow integration, an impressive set of algorithms, inter compatibility with Neo4j (THE graph database); and much more. The documentation looks Continue reading StellarGraph — another promising network analysis library for Python and Scala

Nice but useless data visualization

Network visualization can mesmerize and hypnotize. Chord diagrams are especially cool because they are so colorful and smooth. The problem is that sometimes, the result doesn’t provide any actual value, and serves as a cute illustration. Cute illustrations are cute; they help put some “easiness” to the text without the risk of looking too unprofessional.  Continue reading Nice but useless data visualization

Logarithmic scale misinforms. Period

Being a data scientist and a self-proclaimed data visualization expert, I like using log scale graphs when I find them appropriate. However, as a speaker and a communicator, I refrain from using them in presentations as much as possible. From my experience as a data visualization lecturer, I noticed that even “technical” struggle grasping the concept of log scale graphs.

Visualising Odds Ratio — Henry Lau

Besides being a freelancer data scientist and visualization expert, I teach. One of the toughest concepts to teach and to visualize is odds ratio. Today, I stumbled upon a very interesting post that deals exactly with that

Online data science conference on May, 28

NDR is a family of machine learning/data science conferences. Their next conference will be held online on May, 28 and the agenda looks great. Now, I’m not super objective here, because I’m presenting at NDR July event. But look at the topics, what an impressive selection!

Finally We May Have a Path to the Fundamental Theory of Physics… and It’s Beautiful — Stephen Wolfram Blog

OK, so Stephen Wolfram (a mega celebrity in the computational intelligence world and, among other things a physicist) claims that he may have found a path to the Fundamental Theory of Physics. The blog post is long, and I hope to be able to finish reading it in a week or two. The accompanying technical Continue reading Finally We May Have a Path to the Fundamental Theory of Physics… and It’s Beautiful — Stephen Wolfram Blog

The missing graves

Today, Israel marks Holocaust Day. Many words have been written about the Holocaust, and I want to write about missing graves.If you visit a Jewish cemetery, you might see a lot of gravestones with additional memorial plates. I took this picture in the Chișinău (Kishinev) Jewish cemetery. Burial of the deceased is considered the final Continue reading The missing graves

Why is forecasting s-curves hard?

Constance Crozier (@clcrozier) shared an interesting simulation in which she tried to fit a sigmoid curve (s-curve) to predict a plateau in a time-series. It took me a while to find the reference for a paper that explains why.

The cardiovascular safety of antiobesity drugs—analysis of signals in the FDA Adverse Event Report System Database

I am glad and proud to announce that a paper which I helped to prepare and publish is available on the Nature’s group site. The paper, The cardiovascular safety of antiobesity drugs—analysis of signals in the FDA Adverse Event Report System Database, by Einat Gorelik et al. (including myself) analyzes the data in the FDA Adverse Continue reading The cardiovascular safety of antiobesity drugs—analysis of signals in the FDA Adverse Event Report System Database

Illustration. The word "feedback" written with white chalk on a black board

Please leave a comment to this post

Please leave a comment to this post. It doesn’t matter what, it can be a simple Hi or an interesting link. It doesn’t matter when or where you see it. I want to see how many real people are actually reading this blog.

תרשים עוגה כחלופה הולמת לגרף עמודות

Originally posted on בוריס גורליק:
תרשים עוגה כחלופה הולמת לגרף עמודות במהלך חיי המקצועיים שמעתי רבות בגנות תרשימי עוגה. הסיבה לכך נעוצה בעובדה שקל מאוד לייצר זוועות עם תרשימים אלו. לא עזרה העובדה שבמשך המון זמן ברירת המחדל של תרשימי עוגה, בכל כלי ההדמיה העיקריים, ייצרה תרשימים מעוותים לגמרי. מצדדי החרם על תרשים עוגה מציעים את גרף…

Three most common mistakes in data visualization

People ask me for good intro video to data visualization. I tend to ask them to look for one of my lectures. To save the search, here’s one of the most relevant talks that I gave This lecture was a part of 2018 EuroScipy conference, where I also ran a workshop.

Not a wasted time

Being a freelancer data scientist, I get to talk to people about proposals that don’t materialize into projects.

Which coffee is this?

Gilad Almosnino is an internationalization expert. I’m reading his post “Eight emojis that will create a more inclusive experience for Middle Eastern markets,” in which he mentions “Turkish or Arabic Coffee,” which reminded me of my last visit to Athens. When, in one restaurant, I asked for a Turkish coffee, the waiter looked at me harshly and Continue reading Which coffee is this?

Further Research is Needed

Do you believe in telepathy? Yesterday, I submitted final proofs of a paper in which I actively participated. During the proofreading, I noticed that our abstract ends with “further research is needed” and scratched my head. I submitted the proofs and then then, I saw this pearl in my blog feed

Book review: Great mental models by Shane Parrish

TL;DR shallow and disappointing The Great Mental Models by Shane Parrish was highly praised by Automattic’s CEO Matt Mullenweg. Since I appreciate Matt’s opinion a lot, I decided to buy the book. I read it and was disappointed. This book is very ambitious but yet shallow and non-engaging. If you consider reading a book on Continue reading Book review: Great mental models by Shane Parrish

Does Zipf’s Law Apply to Alzheimer’s Patients?

Originally posted on Akshay Budhkar:
? Introduction I was fascinated by Zipf’s Law when I came across it on a VSauce video. It is an empirical law that states that the frequency of occurrence of a word in a large text corpus is inversely proportional to its rank in its frequency table. The frequency distribution…