Category Archives: Featured

An Interactive Map of ACT and SAT Results

An Interactive Map of ACT and SAT Results

One of the tools we used in my data science training to publish interactive web applications created with R was Shiny. I wanted to get a little more practice with Shiny and create an app that I thought could be of some interest to readers of my blog whether they visit for the secondary education aspect or data aspects I’ve been writing about more recently.

Below you will find an interactive map of the United States, written in R, using the googleVis package and Shiny. The left most tab includes ACT results, the middle tab includes SAT results, and the right most tab allows for comparison between the most comparable ACT and SAT results (i.e. the map compares “Reading” from the ACT to “Critical Reading” from the SAT).

Try not to take the comparisons between the states too seriously. As you can easily see by clicking on “Percent Tested”, some states have very few students participating in one test and many more in the other, which significantly skews results. For example, my own state of Illinois has the highest SAT results, but only 5% of our students take the SAT, likely among our highest achievers. We rank much lower on the ACT, but 100% of students took that test due to state requirements. Despite this major caveat, it’s interesting to see how different the results are across the country.

The map seems to look best when viewed in recent versions of Internet Explorer. All results used in the analysis are from the 2013 test. You can see the source of the ACT data here and the SAT data here. My source code can be viewed on GitHub.

Responding to Good for TI…Bad for Kids and Stat

Responding to Good for TI…Bad for Kids and Stat

Over at R-Bloggers a few days ago day, I came across a post from Norm Matloff, professor of computer science at UC-Davis. The post, Good for TI, Good for Schools, Bad for Kids, Bad for Stat, had been reposted from his blog, the Mad (Data) Scientist. Throughout this post and the one that preceded it, Statistics:…

Thoughts on Completing the 9 Johns Hopkins Data Science Courses

Thoughts on Completing the 9 Johns Hopkins Data Science Courses

A process that began 4 months ago, the sequence of 9 Johns Hopkins Data Science Specialization courses on Coursera, wrapped up for me late last week with my last quiz in course 9, Developing Data Products. While I haven’t truly finished the specialization yet (the first ever capstone project doesn’t launch until late October), I…

Second Editions of TI-Nspire Tutorials

Second Editions of TI-Nspire Tutorials

With my long silence here on Tech Powered Math, I’ve hardly mentioned the fact that there have been two upgrades to the TI-Nspire operating system, OS 3.6 and OS 3.9. These upgrades have been incremental, not earth shattering, but they have pleasantly changed some aesthetics throughout the TI-Nspire environment. There have also been some minor…

Dell Venue 8 Pro Review

Dell Venue 8 Pro Review

About two months ago, I made a major change. After a couple of years of using an iPad 2 as my daily tablet driver, I switched to a Windows 8 tablet, the Dell Venue 8 Pro. This was a big change in many respects. Instead of iOS, I now had Windows 8.1. Instead of a…

Change of Leadership for Texas Instruments Calculators

Change of Leadership for Texas Instruments Calculators

On Friday, Texas Instruments announced a big change in leadership at the top of their calculator division. Melendy Lovett, who has been part of Texas Instruments for 20 years and has led the calculator division for a decade, is retiring. The new president of Texas Instruments’ Education Technology division is Peter Balyta. Balyta is just…