Archive for the ‘technology’ Category
OpenOffice turns out to have a perfectly adequate equation editor. There’s no further need for a LaTeX add-in for equations.
Academics need three main functions for equation editors.
- Format the text.
- Assign sequential numbers.
- Update references to Equation (2), whenever the number changes.
“fn” + F3
What do you use to edit equations for your dissertation? OpenOffice has a LaTeX equation editor plugin that takes latex input. You can enter in LaTeX equations, and then choose the resolution and file format in which you’d like a graphic inserted into your paper. Fantastic! Even better, its name is OOolatex. Who can resist enjoying that name?
What is the current MS Word solution to this problem? I’d be interested to know how others manage.
UPDATE (3/24/10): Please check out OpenOffice Math, which makes the LaTeX plugin largely obsolete. Most users will have everything they need in the way of math, from calculus to Greek letters to set operations to summations.
I gave a talk at the Fletcher School today on my work on dyadic trade flows (slides).
In a nutshell, the talk argues that cartograms and dendrograms can give students and practitioners a better understanding of the patterns of trade among partner contries, both for teaching and for research. We have thousands of observations of dyadic relationships in panel datasets. Most often these datasets are presented as aggregates: total annual world trade, top exporters in world trade, top exporters, top exporters in an industry sector, top exporters to a political union (such as the EU), top exporters within a geographic area, etc. What these statistics ignore is the information in the dyadic trade flows: who trades with whom?
What I offer is a way to crunch down the total number of country dyads into manageable graphics that can appear on a single slide. We can look directly at the dyadic patterns of trade using hierarchic clustering (dendrograms). We can compare partner trade flows across countries and time periods using cartograms. The techniques are not new; what is new is the presentation of rich international trade datasets in relatively complete format that can be digested by inspection, rather than with complex and poorly understood statistical techniques. Complete annual sets of cartograms and dendrograms give scholars the power to explore the distribution of dyadic trade and discover hypotheses that are worth testing more carefully, either with quantitative or qualitative methods.
One of the reasons trade courses have focused so much on models, theorems, and policy of international trade is that it is hard to describe trade patterns in any meaningful and comparable terms. My slides suggest how to do exactly that: present changes to global trade patterns in a succinct, visual format that enables rich comparisons across time and space.
Professor Stuart Schulman of University of Massachusetts (formerly University of Pittsburgh) designed a web server to provide qualitative data analysis (QDA) via web for social science datasets. The solution is called QDAP, currently housed at UMass but also at Pitt.
Bravo! Free, multi-user, qualitative data analysis for anyone with a web browser. They have clearly stated data warehouse privacy disclosures as part of the user agreement, and a tutorial for new users.
Thank you, Dr. Shulman.
From the About Us page:
The original QDAP lab was founded in the fall of 2005 by Dr. Stuart Shulman at the University of Pittsburgh. QDAP-UMass, founded in September of 2008 when Dr. Shulman moved to the Department of Political Science at UMass Amherst, trains and employs personnel able to code text from a wide variety of sources. Original material for content analysis might include in-depth interviews, open-ended survey answers, field notes, transcripts from focus groups or Web logs (blogs), e-mails, Web site content, results from database searches (such as LexisNexis™), congressional testimony or other historical texts, and a host of other unstructured but digitized text data sets. QDAP-UMass employs both UMass Amherst and University of Pittsburgh students, as well as professional staff trained in using ATLAS.ti (www.atlasti.com) as well as the Coding Analysis Toolkit, invented by Dr. Shulman. QDAP-UMass will continue to develop and make available online tools to improve the accuracy, reliability, and validity of coding projects.
Some day we’ll all have grants big enough to outsource our transcription needs.
I have to say I was pleased with the performace of the free and open source Transcriber software. No need for new hardware (read, foot pedals) or mouse clicks while transcribing. The software loads an audio clip and provides simple keystrokes for all major functions:
- dividing the audio track into chunks of text,
- marking the points where the speaker changes, and
- identifying the new speaker.
James Drisko’s excellent site at Smith College gives a fantastic overview of the choices you’ll make regarding software, solutions, and methodology.
Honorable mention: F4 transcription software.
Turns out you can delete it, though.
Google caught my attention earlier this year when they cluttered up the web interface with extra buttons to promote/demote search hits.
Now Google tracks your web history by default when you sign in. Remember when we thought it was a big deal that the servers might surrepetitously install tracking cookies? Now it appears that Google assumes you’ve consented to pervasive web tracking just by signing in to Gmail, or Google Docs, or Google News, or any of the other rich data mining grounds web services they offer.
Even more interesting: it’s not mentioned on the privacy page.