Friday, January 30, 2015

Using Yik Yak to quantify aspects of student life?

Just listened to a nice piece on Reply All about Yik Yak, which is app where users can post messages anonymously and see the messages of those nearby (10 miles). The podcast mentioned how it was useful in showing written evidence of racism that previously was hard to prove. It got me thinking that if there was a way to get the feeds from different universities then one could analyze these using Natural Language Processing routines to get metrics for different schools. What percentage of anonymous posts at your school are about race, violence, sex, etc.? Could be something prospective students might want to know.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Prediction markets for human capital investment

While there has been a growing literature on prediction markets, most of the markets have been confined to politics and macro-economics. These are great to have, but I would like to see markets that could help with more decisions that typical people make, such as when, and in what field to get training. The information that people have is usually about the current economy (this industry currently has a tight labor market) or employment projections by the government. What could be better would be a set of markets about future industry-specific indicators such as vacancy rates. If they were started at least 2-3 years before maturity then it could be used by people in college to help pick a major or by workers deciding whether to get training in a new field. The market might have to be "seeded" by the government, but it could be worth it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Getting latexmk working within LyX

If you would like to add latexmk as an export option in Lyx, here are the two basic steps to do in Tools -> Options.
1) In File Handling -> File Format, hit "New" and then put in these options, then "Apply".
2) Then in File Handling -> Converter, click on any existing converter, change the options to the below, and then click "Add", then "Save".

Now you should be able to File->Export->PDF (Latexmk). Hope that works for you.

If you are on Windows, then you might have problems with Perl versions (Lyx has one, MiKTeK another). Initially, I was getting that perl couldn't find File::Glob in @INC when latexmk was run. Turns out that Lyx was running it's own version of perl 5.18.2 and had @INC set to just the Lyx/lib (which oddly did have File/ I installed Strawberry Perl same version (needed that!) then set the PERL5LIB to the Strawberry perl folder.  Then it works fine.

This was on LyX 2.1.2, updated MiKTeX, and Windows 8.

Running Stata 12 on Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty Tahr)

After upgrading my linux machine I realized that I could no longer run my copy of Stata 12 GUI. It game the error:
./xstata-se: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
These older versions of libraries aren't in the normal Ubuntu repositories anymore, so this is a simple work around to get Stata working again. (I'm on a 64 bit machine so change amd64 to the appropriate)
  1. Install libgtksourceview2-2.0
  2. sudo ln -s /usr/lib/ /usr/lib/
  3. Download libgnomecups1.0-1 0.2.3-4 from here. Install it with dpkg.
  4. Download libgnomeprint2.2-data_2.18.8-3ubuntu1_all.deb and libgnomeprint2.2-0_2.18.8-3ubuntu1_amd64.deb from here. Install them at the same time with dpkg.
Happy estimating.