Why is python so popular?

A common question that I get from students is why python? What makes it so popular today.  from TechRepublic asked me a similar question.

Python is very popular because of its set of robust libraries that make it such a dynamic and a fast programming language. It’s object-oriented, and it really allows for everything from creating a website, to app development, to creating different types of data models.

Read more on TechRepublic

 

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Challenges enterprises face when trying to move the needle on digital transformation

I recently was interviewed by the Digital Enterprise about the challenge with data silos, and stressed how data visualization can aid in byte-sized comprehension and reiterates the importance of data-driven decision-making.


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As a leading expert on data visualization, Dr. Kristen Sosulski regularly consults, delivers seminars, and leads workshops on data visualization techniques and best practices.  Her book, Data Visualization Made Simple: Insights Into Becoming Visual (Routledge) is available for pre-order and will come out in September 2018. Kristen is an Associate Professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business and the Director for the Learning Science Lab at NYU Stern.

Learn more about Kristen Sosulski at kristensosulski.com and follow her on twitter at @sosulski. Stay connected and join her newsletter.

A Woman in Tech

As a woman working in technology for my entire career ( almost 20 years), it’s been an amazing journey. I’ve had the opportunity to reflect on my first year working in technology and offer advice that may help others.

 

My first year working in technology, I was one of the only women in an office of males. During that first year, I wish I had a strong female mentor. A woman who was more advanced in her career than myself, but close in age.   Having a mentor early on, could have helped me build stronger leadership amongst my male peers, and select professional development opportunities to facilitate my professional growth. I see mentorship as a key ingredient to professional and personal development.

Read more in  Maigen Thomas’ new book First Year Success AND her latest post on Medium.

 

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The effect of the expanded Panama Canal

The Panama Canal Expansion project and its impact on the real estate market and the global shipping supply chain.

Professors Kristen Sosulski and Harry Chernoff moderated a panel comprised of experts in logistics (Bob Silverman), real estate development (Michael Landy), and the Panama Canal (Carlos Fabrega).  The topic of discussion was on the effect of an enlarging the Panama Canal, a waterway connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, on U.S real estate and the global supply chain.

Courtesy of NYU Photo Bureau.

The Panama Canal expansion is a truly remarkable infrastructure project. Updating the existing Canal, first built in 1914 was no easy feat; it came with huge expense, politics, and litigation. A project costing over 5.2 billion USD was necessary to keep Panama relevant. A country of approximately 4 million people and little in terms of natural resources, the Canal is their natural resource accounting for 30 percent of the country’s GDP.  An expanded canal would allow for larger containerships to transit the Canal, translating to more cargo and an expanded revenue stream. The Canal was constrained by the size of its three locks which limited its capacity. Vessels were unable to use the Canal because they were larger than the 4,500 TEUs, the maximum size.  By adding wider and deeper third lane to the Canal was the way to service the larger vessels.

The scope of the expansion project was determined by the highest profit user, the containership.

The Panamax containership, 3,400 to 4,500 TEUs, represented the greatest revenue for the Canal. Containerships accounted for 24 percent of ships going across the Canal in 2015, 34 percent of total tonnage, and 48 percent of total revenue. The world fleet of containerships has been moving towards larger vessels (12,000 – 18,000 TEU’s). By 2020, without the expansion, the Panama Canal would only able to service 32 percent of the world’s container vessel fleet. With an expanded Canal Panama could accommodate 80 percent of the world’s containerships by 2020. The third lane expansion was designed to accommodate containerships carrying up to 14,500 TEUs. The cost for these vessels for one transit (approximately 48 miles) is one million USD or more.

Figure 1. The new third lane of the Panama Canal on the Atlantic entrance.

The expanded Canal has been up and running for almost 2 years. This expansion has led to expanded markets and new diversification opportunities for Panama.

While the overall number of transits is not increasing significantly, the amount of cargo transiting the Canal has been. On average, the canal transits 35 to 40 ships per day. With the expanded Canal, the transits have increased marginally by two to three ships per day. There are bigger vessels using the canal some expected and some unexpected. For example, vessels carrying liquefied natural gas have become a new unexpected customer of the Panama Canal.  In addition, there’s a huge opportunity to diversify the services offer to users of the Canal such as ship repair, transshipment terminal, logistic park, and pipelines. All these services can use existing real estate around the canal (over 185 acres) previously under U.S control until the end of 1999.

The impact on U.S. real estate has been significant.

From the U.S. point of view, the impact of the promise of an expanded Canal was enormous. North American ports have been spending billions of dollars to prepare for these larger ships. The infrastructure upgrades include new equipment such as larger cranes, deeper berths, and redesign of container port layouts to accommodate ships carrying two to three times more per cargo than before. In the port of New York/New Jersey, the Bayonne bridge was raised to allow 12,000 TEU and larger ships to pass through to one of the larger consumer market gateways in the world. These megaships carry 45 percent of the world’s cargo and will be able to take shorter routes creating savings in time and fuel by using the canal.

Competition among the east coast ports and between the east and west coast gateways has exploded. Over the past ten years, container traffic has been shifting from the West Coast to the East Coast ports. The market share of TEU volume in 2016 is close to an even 50-50 split between both ports, a seven percent change from the 2006 division of 57% (West) versus 43% (East coast).

Inland ports have also been developing, as larger ships make less stops (or port calls).  Storage centers for ecommerce business, big box retailers, and warehouse tenants have expanded or relocated to more strategic positions in the global supply chain, closer to the major east coast hubs.  The effect on the global shipping supply chain has led to new investment, major cost savings for the end-users and the creation of innovative opportunities and services for the logistics and real estate development industry. Overall, the creation of the Canal expansion infrastructure has caused substantial increases in real estate values in the ports themselves, and in surrounding areas.

Kristen Sosulski is an Associate Professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business and the Director of Learning Sciences for the NYU Stern W.R. Berkley Innovation Labs.

Learn more about Kristen Sosulski at kristensosulski.com and follow her on twitter at @sosulski. Stay connected and join her newsletter.

New to R? Frequently asked questions and answers #rstats

New to learning R? Here are some frequently asked questions

code preview #rstats

code preview #rstats

#R or Python? Why both?

Lots of arguments for learning both: This provides some resources and insights.

For fun, imagine being about to code access Python modules, classes, and functions in R. Check out the reticulate package.

#What’s a tibble?

A tibble is a data structure. It is a “modern dataframe”.  Tibbles are relatively new in R.  Learn more about the features.

#What is the default number of digits displayed by R?

From my research it appears that default is 7. But you can change it. Learn more at:

#Do spaces matter? Is there a difference between <- and < –  ?

Yes! <- is used for assignment of values to variables. For example, the code below shows the value of 1 being assigned to the variable named x.

x <-1

On the other hand the following code shows that using a space between the less than sign and the minus sign has an entirely different meaning. Instead this < is used a logical operator evaluating the truth of the statement x is less than -1. The answer returned is the boolean value of FALSE. The statement is false since x has been assigned value of 1 in the statement above.

x < -1
[1] FALSE

See the video demonstration

 

 

As a leading expert on data visualization, Dr. Kristen Sosulski regularly consults, delivers seminars, and leads workshops on data visualization techniques and best practices.  Her book, Data Visualization Made Simple: Insights Into Becoming Visual (Routledge) will be published in later this year. Kristen is an Associate Professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business and the Director of Learning Sciences for the NYU Stern W.R. Berkley Innovation Labs.

Learn more about Kristen Sosulski at kristensosulski.com and follow her on twitter at @sosulski. Stay connected and join her newsletter.

Using pinterest as inspiration for building data graphics

When you are working a data visualization task look for inspiration. For example, let’s say you are working to create an engaging graphic that showcases the changing unemployment rate. Of course, a simple line chart works well. However, there are other options.

There is no shame at looking at how others have visualized similar data. Do research on the presentation options and search the Web for examples from various news outlets and blogs of visualization experts.

I use pinterest boards to collect and catalogue data graphics around specific themes. Check out my board on Visualizing Unemployment, Poverty, and Job Growth.

As a leading expert on data visualization, Dr. Kristen Sosulski regularly consults, delivers seminars, and leads workshops on data visualization techniques and best practices.  Her book, Data Visualization Made Simple: Insights Into Becoming Visual (Routledge) will be published in later this year. Kristen is an Associate Professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business and the Director of Learning Sciences for the NYU Stern W.R. Berkley Innovation Labs.

Learn more about Kristen Sosulski at kristensosulski.com and follow her on twitter at @sosulski. Stay connected and join her newsletter.

How do I graph that? Select the right map for your data.

This tasty-like video introduces you to the basic types of geospatial displays. Select the best display to graph instagram photos by tourist location in NYC. Would a filled map work? How about a bubble map? A multi-color point map?

Dr. Kristen Sosulski develops innovative practices for higher education as the Director of Learning Sciences for the NYU Stern W.R. Berkley Innovation Labs. She also teaches MBA students and executives data visualization, R programming, and operations management as an Associate Professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business.

Kristen’s passion for technology and learning sciences converges in all facets of her career, inside and outside of the classroom. Follow her on Twitter at
 @sosulski and learn more at http://kristensosulski.com. Stay connected and join her newsletter.

Experiential Learning in Panama

Since 2012, I have been co-teaching a course at NYU Stern called Operations in Panama: A man. A plan. A canal. Panama.

Operations in Panama is an experiential course in global supply chain management, logistics, and real estate development in Panama. This advanced elective in operations management focuses on managing operations in a foreign country, and the impact these operations have on the global supply chain.

On location in Panama, students study the intricacies of the Panama Canal from an operations management point of view. The turnover of the Panama Canal to Panama in 2000 has spawned huge economic growth for the country. This has resulted in infrastructure investments beyond on the Panama Canal Expansion project such as new airports, highways, a subway system, and the revival of Casco Veijo, a major real estate development. Through the detailed study of the Panama Canal combined with a diverse series of site visits to private firms, government agencies, and real estate development projects students observe how Panama has positioned itself as a global hub for the Americas.

Take a look at what we saw while we were in Panama this past March!

Dr. Kristen Sosulski develops innovative practices for higher education as the Director of Learning Sciences for the NYU Stern W.R. Berkley Innovation Labs. She also teaches MBA students and executives data visualization, R programming, and operations management as an Associate Professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business.

Kristen’s passion for technology and learning sciences converges in all facets of her career, inside and outside of the classroom. Follower her on Twitter at
 @sosulski and learn more at http://kristensosulski.com. Stay connected and join her newsletter.