Another Reason to Love Maps! American Dialect Maps Show Our Language Quirks

I happened across an article on the North Carolina State University research blog. One of their statistics graduate students has taken data from a decade-old Harvard University linguistics survey and turned it into graphical magic.

The survey is Dr. Bert Vaux’s Dialect Survey, which was conducted in 2002 and included over 30,000 Americans from all 50 states (even though the maps only show the contiguous 48 states).

What NCSU student Joshua Katz did was take the geolocated data from that survey and apply a “k-nearest neighbor” smoothing algorithm to estimate the likelihood at every point in the U.S. of using a particular dialect or word choice.

Continue Reading

No Starch Press Manga Guides Make Science Fun

Have you ever read a textbook cover to cover? I’m in grad school. I’ve had to do it more than once. It usually requires massive amounts of caffeine and re-reading a lot of pages. Well, there’s some good news. No Starch Press has The Manga Guide series on textbook topics, such as statistics, electricity, and molecular biology. The manga books are written by Japanese subject matter experts. They have been translated to English and (thankfully) rearranged to read from left to right.

Continue Reading