• Statistics vs. Machine Learning… What’s the difference?

    There is a hidden joke in the worlds of data science, machine learning, and prediction computing that goes something like this: everything boils down to statistics. (I never said it was a good joke). You see, when we talk about predicting a future variable based on a set of collected...

  • What’s the best language for exploratory data analysis?

    I received this question today via email and as much as I hate to admit it, this is one of the most frequently asked questions I receive. (Come on, guys, where are all the nerdy questions?) The fact of the matter is this: computer scientists, data mungers, and even those...

  • Free Peer-Reviewed College Textbooks

    OpenStax College textbooks are peer-reviewed, free, and did I mention FREE? I’ve had the fortunate opportunity to download and read through some of these, and they’re not your average online resource. I’m excited that there are so many different subjects and I look forward to when community colleges start to integrate these...

  • The Case for an Open-Source Community of Innovation in Higher Education

    I recently attended a conference for student success in Coast Mesa, CA, where I was presenting the SLO Cloud system that I engineered with Aeron Zentner. While there, I spoke about an alarming gap in technological community among higher education programmers, technology professionals, and other systems-based professionals. A room full...

  • A (Re)Introduction to the Least Squares Method

    Today we’re going to talk about a Linear Regression method called “Least Squares” and go over model-fitting. Often when working in predictive analytics you’ll come across the phrase “fitting the model.” When we talk about a model, we mean to say an algorithm that can be deployed against a dataset....

  • What is a Data Scientist in Higher Education?

    One of my goals with my dissertation is to clearly articulate what it is that data scientist does in higher education. Since there are so many definitions of what data science, analytics, intelligence, forecasting, prediction, et al. really are, I’m consolidating my experience with needs assessments from a variety of...

  • Can’t Upload Images in WordPress (Solved!)

    A few clients were experiencing problems in the media uploader on their sites. When trying to upload something in the Media Uploader, they were getting errors like: Unable to create directory and Unable to upload image. Is the directory writeable? It would seem that everything points to a permissions problem,...

  • Why Pointers Still Matter (for Huge Variables)

    Pointers were originally meant to make more efficient the programs that were being written way back when 128kb were all the memory you got on your hard drive. These days we get so caught up in higher-level languages that we often take for granted the things that we had to...