Andrew Zieffler

Academic. Data lover. Statistics enthusiast.

A History of R

Tomorrow (July 23, 2020 ) I am speaking on the history of the R statistical software environment as part of a virtual panel for a Lunch & Learn. I like how they used “featuring” in the announcement. It is like I am a hip-hop star! The title of my talk is, A History of R (in 15 minutes…and mostly in pictures). R @ 25 Lunch & Learn: Understanding the Landscape of the Popular Free/Open Source Statistics Software

Spelling Lesson

Came across this funny ditty by Ralph P. Boas in the June 1984 issue of The College Mathematics Journal. The complete citation is: Boas, R. P. (1984). Spelling lesson. The College Mathematics Journal, 15(3), 217. Spelling Lesson Weep for the mathematicians Posterity acclaims: Although we know their theorems We cannot spell their names. Forget the rules you thought you knew Henri Lebesgue has got no Q. Although it almost rhymes with Birkhoff,

Four Sheets to the Wind And a One Way Ticket to France

Conrad Kent Rivers (1933–1968) was a renowned black poet who won the Savannah State Poetry Prize for his poem Poor Peon while he was still in high school. His poem Four Sheets to the Wind And a One-Way Ticket to France was published in his posthumous collection of poetry written about or dedicated to Richard Wright, The Wright Poems (1972). Conrad Kent River’s The Wright Poems. Issued as Volume Eighteen in Paul Breman’s “Heritage Series” of African-American poetry chapbooks.

Welcome to My Office

In the great pandemic of 2020 many of us are working from home. Since 40+ students now see me in my home, I thought I would write a post about the room that they often see me in. So in that spirit, welcome to my home office. LEFT: Where the “magic” happens. Seated on the couch are two of my three newly minted teaching assistants. RIGHT: Another view of the office.

Book Publishing in Academia

In 2019, I read a book called Patience & Fortitude: A Roving Chronicle of Book People, Book Places, and Book Culture. Aside from being incredibly entertaining and interesting, there was a passage that struck a chord with me that related to academic publishing. In this passage, James Billington, Librarian of Congress from 1987–2015, was lamenting the degradation of the book through the “hyperspecialization and bureaucratization” found in the academic monograph.