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Link: At Chipotle, How Many Calories Do People Really Eat?

February 20, 2015 Leave a comment

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/02/17/upshot/what-do-people-actually-order-at-chipotle.html?abt=0002&abg=0&_r=0

This article makes good use of histograms to display distributions rather than just standard descriptive statistics like “average”. For those who haven’t taken much math or haven’t been exposed to these sorts of distributions, the author also picks out certain points along the cumulative frequency distribution chart to explain what they mean; for instance only 10 percent of meals have less than 625 calories.

For many data sets (especially non-normal ones that arise in social networks, arithmetic mean (sum and divide by the number of elements) is a gross approximation of the real central tendency. See Ed Chi’s great article about this subject.  (Full disclosure: I have worked with Ed at Google)

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Link: “A female computer science major at Stanford: “Floored” by the sexism”

February 19, 2015 Leave a comment

Fortune.com article

Choice quote:

When a boy – let’s call him Rush (like Rush Limbaugh) — heard my friend had interned at Facebook, his mouth dropped. “Wow! Facebook! You must be really smart!” He then turned to me and asked the exact same question: What did you do this summer?

Except when I responded the same — “Facebook” — I got a completely different response. “Oh… well then I should have applied for that internship.”

Terrible. Also terrible is the treatment she received during her internships:

My high-pitched voice also became an unexpected source of frustration as team meetings became small battlegrounds for respect. At another company (which I prefer not to name), I noticed that management listened more to what my male counterparts had to say even though I was offering insightful feedback. Managers asked my male coworkers about the status of projects, although I was touching all the same files. The guys were praised more on their progress although I was pushing the same amount of code.

We as an industry have to stop this nonsense.

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Link: why one Wikipedia editor obsessively corrects the phrase “comprised of”

February 6, 2015 Leave a comment

One Man’s Quest to Rid Wikipedia of Exactly One Grammatical Mistake

I had no idea “comprised of” is not grammatical.

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