Archive for February, 2013

Why R (and not SAS) again.

February 19, 2013 Leave a comment

indexTen years ago, when I first came to INRA, I learned SAS. This was THE statistical analysis language. Unfortunately, SAS was not really affordable (this is still true), so back to school, if I wanted to run some analysis, I had to take appointments with my professor who was the only person with SAS on its computer. Not a very convenient solution to move forward.

Thus, I tried to figure out if I had an alternative to SAS…that’s the way I discovered R ! I’ve already acknowledged Phillipe Besse (who by the time offer both SAS and R scripts for data mining on his website), after a friend Ph’D defense, but I ‘d  like to repeat my self thanks to him and the R community, I really learned  a very valuable skill for my career.

Once fully convinced that R was a good solution (and SAS might be a problem), I tried to convince my colleague that moving from SAS to R could be worthwhile on the long term. I unfortunately received the same old song : SAS was very popular and all kind of not so bullet proofed arguments. With time, using R became more and more obvious, so that I fortunately had less and less often to argue about why R and not SAS. In fact :

  1. Most students have now basics skills in R (and less often in SAS)
  2. R implement most of the newly published method
  3. R is pretty versatile (though not perfect in every area)

The excellent freakonometrics just published a presentation , presenting R and adding a small review of R popularity. The licence fees are pretty self explanatory, and I hope that referring to them will give me more credits, next time I’ll try to convince people that the cost/benefits ratio of SAS, is questionable.

Categories: R

Myriad and Minion Font for LaTeX

February 14, 2013 1 comment

My new employer, recently changed its “visual identity”. Yes, a new CEO have been designated 6 months ago. I won’t be cynical enough to underline how much this sound like a cliché — changes being first (and sometimes foremost) cosmetic– , or point out that generally people who want to stand out of the crowd, end out doing the exact same thing (like using Minion or Myriad font, which by the way are now pretty common fonts). The aim of this post is to provide some link on how to install these fonts on Linux for people working with LaTeX.

As any anyone, I first asked googled for help, but the answers varied a bit — due to outdated solutions ?  The solution that worked perfectly for me (i.e. using Linux Mint 14, a full install of TeXlive 2012 made through synaptic) was using FontPro, I just followed the instructions in README and had everything running fine.

The MnSymbol package should provide Math fonts for Minion and Myriad, but I still haven’t found how to make it work properly (I instead set eulervm as a math font…more on another post).

Last it sounds like XeLaTex can handle otf fonts natively, but I am still “old school”, working mainly with LaTeX or pdfTeX. Can’t be that geek !

More on the topic here, and for windows users more here

Categories: LaTeX

Recent articles

February 11, 2013 Leave a comment

Just a small review of the articles I went through recently :

  • Nice articles on the lasso, one dealing with the significance test for the lasso. A very nice article, well written and opening new perspectives. The others on lasso applied to interactions, the first one defining a new method, the second focusing on pairwise interactions.

AUCTeX install made simple

February 6, 2013 Leave a comment

ELPAAUCTeX is my  default LaTeX editor, I admit I may sometime advise people to use the cross platform, shiny and user friendly Texmaker…but come on, the real one use emacs for everything !

One annoying point was that I generally relied on the AUCTeX version available on the my distro repository, whereas, I often add the emacs-snapshot PPA, to benefit from the freshest emacs possible.  Thus I  generally had two versions of emacs installed on my computer, the “normal” one which allow me to use AUCTeX, and the brand new version without this feature.

Fortunately, since emacs 24,  ELPA is now shipped by default, which ease a lot AUCTeX install. Here is the procedure :

  1. M-x list-package
  2. Put cursor on auctex, hit enter
  3. In the new buffer click on install

Did I say, it was a doodle ?  The ELPA is a such a killer feature ! Hope this may help you.

Categories: emacs, LaTeX