WolframAlpha Facebook Report

This is a delightful exercise that everyone seems to love. WolframAlpha will provide you with an extremely detailed analysis of your own Facebook data including visualizations, world clouds, graphs, and more.

Graph of Facebook Activity over time




Here’s how:

  1. Go to WolframAlpha.com.
  2. Type “Facebook Report” and execute the search.
  3. Allow WolframAlpha to have access to your Facebook account by clicking on “Analyze my Facebook Data” and following the directions.
  4. Wait while the data is analyzed.

Note: Sometimes the report seems to stall after 100% of the data is analyzed. If this happens, simply repeat steps 1-3. The second time, the report seems to load just fine.


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Timeline for the Rise of Data

When Wolfram Research set out to build Wolfram Alpha, they set out to make all knowledge computable.  Last week they published a Timeline of Systematic Data and the Development of Computable Knowledge.

You can interact with the timeline online, but far cooler (I think) will be hanging the 5-foot poster of the timeline ($7.25 + shipping) that links data and computable knowledge with history, science, and culture on the walls of our Math ELITEs.

The blog post about the timeline is pretty interesting too, discussing which civilizations have tracked the most data.

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Mathematical Algorithms and the AlloSphere

What is “The AlloSphere” ?

Watch the 7-minute TED video to see.  What you all might be interested in is what they do with the Allosphere.

Ann Kuchera-Morin: We map complex mathematical algorithms that unfold in time and space visually and sonically. Our scientist colleagues are finding new patterns in the information and our engineering colleagues are making one of the largest dynamically varying computers in the world for this kind of data exploration.

This reminded me of the city of Auroville , which I visited in India.  Both involve large spheres.  Both involve a strange collection of collaborators.  Only the AlloSphere is lot more high tech and focused on science instead of the human spirit.

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Google Search Data vs Real CDC Data: Guess who wins?

Google has been using search data to model flu outbreaks for a number of years. Generally, they look at the number of searches for words related to “flu” (graphs) and look for sharp increases in the number of searches (slopes, derivatives). You can watch a short and elegant video showing [Read more…]

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We (the world) feel better

Most of the time I feel like I have a pretty good grasp of technology and the Internet and “what’s out there” but sometimes I am completely blown away by something I find. Tonight is one of those nights.

I am sitting at the computer, posting assignments for my fall classes while simultaneously browsing/watching/listening to stuff on the Internet (this is why I have so much viewing space). Keep in mind that I have been at it for several hours and it is now 1 a.m. (for those of you that think that instructors don’t do any work in the summer).

I was perusing the new Ted Talks and watched this talk by Jonathan Harris about two of his websites, We Feel Fine and Universe. To truly understand just how amazing these sites are, you really have to watch the talk, browsing will probably not do them justice.

The We Feel Fine website is constructed using up-to-the-hour blog data and computer programs that scan blogs for specific phrases about feelings. The software is absolutely stunning. For example, in the interaction below I discovered that at the current moment (in the world) there are 7,544 people feeling “special” and 128,155 people feeling “better.”

You can also find really specific blogs… like from all the people 30 years of age in 40 degree celsius weather in Montenegro in 2007 (for example).

At the site Universe you can discover “constellations” of the internet – related ideas that are all interconnected around some central theme. It is really wild and also includes words and photos. Forget googling the news… this might be the next way to find out what’s going on in the world.

I feel small in a world that is growing so technologically amazing so fast that it is AMAZING!

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