RAND Statistics Seminar Series

Exploring the Housing Crisis with ggplot2 and plyr in R

Presented by Hadley Wickham, Ph.D, Assistant Professor, Rice University
Friday, November 6, 2009
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PT / 1:30pm – 3:00pm ET
Conference Room 3312
RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA
Please contact Denise Miller if you would like to attend this seminar.


ggplot2 is a new data visualization package for R that uses the insights from Leland Wilkison's Grammar of Graphics to create a powerful and flexible system for creating data graphics. Practically, ggplot provides beautiful, hassle-free plots, that take care of fiddly details like drawing legends.

In this talk you'll see ggplot2 in action, exploring a dataset of nearly half a million house sales in the Bay area. I'll start with the basics, histograms and scatterplots, and then discuss how these plots can be enhanced with aesthetics and faceting to explore deeper into the data, answering progressively more complicated questions.

Graphics work best in conjunction with other analytic tools, so I'll also show you how the plyr package can be used to create rich summary statistics, exploring how the housing bubble has affected cities in the bay area differently. I'll connect these summaries to census data and speculate on who the bubble has affected most.

Speaker Bio

Hadley Wickham is an assistant professor of statistics at Rice University, and is interested in developing tools (both computational and cognitive) for making data preparation, visualization and analysis easier. He has developed over 20 R packages and in 2006 won the John Chambers Award for Statistical Computing for his work on ggplot and reshape. Recently, he has driven the development of http://crantastic.org, a community site for finding, rating and reviewing R packages.

Attending a Seminar

Other Locations/Times:
Washington, D.C. Conf. Rm. 4132: 1:30 p.m. ET
Pittsburgh Conf. Rm. 6207a/b: 1:30 p.m. ET

RAND visitors are welcome to attend and must RSVP at least one day prior to the seminar. To ensure your attendance please contact Denise Miller at dmiller@rand.org with your name, company (or university) affiliation, and national citizenship (for security purposes).

For parking and directions to RAND's Santa Monica office, please see: http://www.rand.org/about/locations/santa-monica.html.

For parking and directions to RAND's Pittsburgh office, please see: http://www.rand.org/about/locations/pittsburgh.html.

For further information and to be added to the mailing list contact Denise Miller at dmiller@rand.org.