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The Data Science Behind the NYT Dialect Quiz: recall taking



nyt dialect quiz

NYT Dialect Quiz: Josh Katz’s “How Y’all, Youse, and You Guys Talk” was published in the New York Times in 2013.

You’re likely to recall taking it, or at the very least hearing about it. It was the one that would ask you questions like, “What do you name something that is across both streets from you at a crosswalk?” You had the option of selecting answers such as “kitty-corner” and “catty-corner” (the latter being the obvious right choice). Its precision astounded everyone I knew.

You were categorised as having grown up in a specific area of the United States after answering 25 questions geared at eliciting your linguistic quirks (technically, the quiz shows you the region where people are most likely to speak like you, so it could ostensibly show you where your parents grew up, rather than where you grew up, as Ryan Graff points out).

The Data Science Behind the NYT Dialect Quiz

nyt dialect quiz

To my astonishment, the quiz labelled me as being from a place no more than 15 miles from where I actually grew up every time I took it. And my experience wasn’t unusual: despite its December 21 publishing date, the quiz was the most popular thing the Times published that year. It was such a hit that Katz decided to write a book about it three years later.

Why should we worry about Katz’s dialect quiz now, given that it was a nationwide phenomenon in 2013? Because I am a language and information science nerd, I am really concerned about it. However, you should be concerned because it was a successful attempt to bring data science into the homes of millions of Americans, regardless of their technical or intellectual abilities.

First and foremost, a brief overview of the quiz’s history.

(Much of what follows is based on Katz’s presentation at the NYC Data Science Academy.)

• The questions in Katz’s exam were based on a bigger research study called the Harvard Dialect Survey, which was released in 2003 by Harvard’s Linguistics Department’s Bert Vaux and Scott Golder (you can find a good interview with Vaux on NPR here).

• Vaux and Golder’s 122-question quiz was disseminated online and focused on three areas: pronunciation, vocabulary, and syntax.

• About 50k observations were collected as a result of the original quiz, all of which were coded by zip code.

• As a graduate student intern at North Carolina State University studying statistics, Katz wrote the Times’ version of this exam in 2013. (After seeing his visualisations of Vaux and Golder’s original data, he was invited to complete an internship at the New York Times.)

• R and D3 are used in the Times quiz, the latter of which is a JavaScript library comparable to jQuery for linking data to a page’s DOM for manipulation and analysis.

Now, let’s talk about data science | NYT Dialect Quiz

So, how did the test turn out? It was built on the supervised machine learning technique K-Nearest Neighbors (K-NN), which is used to “predict the class of a new datapoint based on the value of the points around it in parameter space,” as my graduate-school TA explained. In a later post, we’ll delve deeper into the concept of machine learning and the specifics of the K-NN algorithm. Let’s take a look at some of the jargon in my TA’s definition for now.

What does it mean to have “parameter space”?

Parameter space is defined as “the set of all conceivable combinations of values for all the individual parameters contained in a certain mathematical model,” according to Wikipedia. While remarkable, it term isn’t very useful for the average individual. Because I am a visual learner, a doodle might be more instructive:

If you have parameters (i.e. arguments or variables) to plot, the space in which you plot them is called parameter space. For K-NN, parameter space is everything between the two axes, with the star being the point we’re trying to classify. (For the time being, ignore the k-values.)

There are two types of circles in the diagram above: yellow circles and purple circles. The goal of using K-NN on this dataset is to predict whether our new input, the star, will fall into the yellow-circle or purple-circle category based on its proximity to the circles around it.

 the parameter space. Check | NYT Dialect Quiz

Before we go into the concepts and arithmetic behind K-NN, there’s one more thing to take care of. This concept, algorithmic laziness, was not included in my TA’s definition above, but understanding it will help us comprehend what exactly happens when we do a K-NN study.

The K-NN algorithm is a “lazy” algorithm

But how is it possible for an algorithm to be sluggish? Are algorithms capable of becoming tired? Is it possible for them to have terrible days? Unfortunately, no. According to Adi Bronshtein, “laziness” denotes that an algorithm does not employ training data points for any generalisation.

We still don’t comprehend what Bronshtein means because we haven’t bridged the concept of training an algorithm. All supervised machine learning algorithms, in essence, require some data on which to make predictions. In the instance of K-NN, it requires information such as the yellow and purple circles in our chart to determine how to identify the star. Lazy algorithms, unlike eager algorithms (such as decision trees), store all of the training data they’ll need to categorise something and don’t utilise it until they’re given something to classify.

“Instance-based learning” is another word for slow algorithms that may transmit more of their purpose. As the name implies, these algorithms (usually) take one instance of data and compare it to all the other instances in memory.

With a grocery-store scenario, Cathy O’Neil, a.k.a. “mathbabe,” provides a wonderful illustration of instance-based learning:

Of course, what you actually want is a means to predict a new user’s category before they buy anything, based on what you know about them when they arrive, notably their qualities. So, given a set of attributes for a user, what is your best guess for that user’s category?

Let’s use k-Nearest Neighbors as an example. Let’s say k is 5, and Monica is a new customer. The programme then looks for the 5 customers who are the most similar to Monica in terms of qualities, and sees which categories they belong to. If four were “medium spenders” and one was a “little spender,” Monica’s best prediction is “mid spender.”

That was ridiculously easy | NYT Dialect Quiz

Of course, things are never that simple, but we’ll save the discussion of K-intricacy NN’s for another time. For the time being, K-NN is a lazy algorithm, which means it keeps the data it needs to make a classification until it is requested to do so.

That’s all there is to it! Now that we’ve established the foundation, we can talk about training, how K-NN works in practise, and, most significantly, how Katz used it for his dialect quiz. All of this will be revealed in Part 2!

Meanwhile, if you haven’t already, I encourage you to take the accent quiz (and take it again even if you have). Your responses will come in handy later!

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Costco Patio Umbrellas Recall: Over 400k SunVilla Umbrellas



costco patio umbrellas recall

Costco Patio Umbrellas Recall: Chino, Calif. — Authorities are recalling over 400,000 patio umbrellas after several reports of fires, including one that sent a man to the hospital.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, SunVilla 10′ Solar LED Market Umbrellas have been recalled and were sold at Costco warehouses nationwide and online from December 2020 through May 2022.

These umbrellas feature LED lights on their arms and a black solar panel battery puck marked with either YEEZE or YEEZE 1.

Costco has issued a recall due to concerns that the batteries in solar panel umbrellas may overheat, creating fire and burn hazards. So far, Costco has received six reports of these batteries overheating.

Three reports indicated the panels caught fire while charging indoors using an AC adapter. In two other instances, the puck overheated and caught fire while attached to an umbrella.

One report involved a 57-year-old man charging batteries when it exploded and caught fire in his garage. He claimed the entire house shook when the explosion occurred.

The man reports the fire emitted a gaseous cloud with an unpleasant chemical odor which persisted for at least four days. Additionally, it caused damage to his garage floor, ceiling, calls, counters and furnishings. He eventually had to go to the hospital after experiencing choke-ups and coughing from being exposed to this toxic gas while extinguishing the flames.

Anyone with the recalled umbrella should immediately stop using it and remove its solar panel puck. Store it away from direct sunlight and combustible material. Furthermore, according to CPSC regulations, people should not charge it with an AC adapter.

Anyone with the recalled umbrella can return it to any Costco location for a full refund. They may also contact Costco for instructions on how to receive their refund if they cannot make it in person.

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Advantages of Personalized Construction Management Software



Advantages of Personalized Construction Management Software

Modern technological developments have enabled the construction sector to achieve unprecedented levels of management and cooperation. When effectively carried out, these two construction elements help the project reach a successful conclusion.

Due to varying workloads and schedules, the collaboration between the various team members on any project may be challenging; however, this communication has been essential to ensure that a project stays on schedule and under budget. By making this difficult process more doable, the construction management software offered to this business increases efficiency.

Additionally, customized construction management software development raises the bar for productivity. As a result, businesses started searching for the best construction software for their business. Here is an article highlighting the benefits of personalized construction management software for businesses.

What Is Construction Management Software?

Construction management software is a digital tool used to plan, coordinate, and manage various aspects of construction projects, including budgeting, scheduling, resource allocation, and communication among team members. It helps construction professionals to streamline their processes, increase efficiency, and improve project outcomes.

Project management technologies like construction software solutions make the construction process more efficient. It takes care of everything, including determining the project’s scope, producing construction estimates, scheduling activities, and processing payments.

Construction project management software has all the tools you need to complete your projects on time and within your budget. It also has the tools to help you land more jobs and take charge of your business.

What Are the Benefits of Construction Management Software Development?

Are you running a construction business and planning to develop custom construction management software? Here’re the benefits of using personalized software as mentioned by the construction software development company professionals.

#1.  Improved Budget Management

The project expenses are controlled because, as we all know, running a construction company is difficult. A financial collapse for the contractor is possible if the project’s financial planning is not properly handled. Software for construction management keeps track of business finances and project costs. It helps the contractor plan the job in advance, including the necessary materials, equipment, crew, and machines, among many other things.

The problems with surplus supplies and overspent budgets would be lessened. Additionally, it will help contractors comprehend the precise requirements.

#2. Better Customer Experience

Clients will leave a construction company’s project satisfied and happy if it is finished quickly and on schedule. A satisfied client may engage with you if they need to do similar services in the future. Construction companies and corporations now use construction management software to maintain relationships with current and former clients.

It employs core management strategies to help a contractor raise its success rates and delivery performance, achieve its client’s goals, and reduce emphasis.

But, all you need is to develop perfect construction management software. So, hire real estate app developers, and the experts will help you craft the perfect management software.

#3. Streamlined Budget Management

The project costs are controlled because running a construction company is challenging. A financial collapse for the contractor is possible if the project’s financial planning is not properly handled.

Software for construction management keeps track of business finances and project costs. This helps the contractor plan the job in advance, including the necessary materials, equipment, crew, and machines, among many other things.

The problems with surplus supplies and overspent budgets would be lessened. Additionally, it will help contractors comprehend the precise requirements.

#4. Simple Resources Management

The management of the resources involved is another way that the PM software for construction can be useful to you. Although closely related to cost control and revenue estimation, resource management deserves special consideration.

The resources required to complete the task are supplies, tools, expertise, and information. This is the time to determine whether resource utilization is consistent with the initial projections and whether there is room for improvement.

The use of the resources is monitored, examined, and organized. Furthermore, the optimization of upcoming projects can benefit from storing this data. So, to manage your resources properly, you must have well-developed construction software. For that, you need to seek the best mobile app development services from professionals who can help you craft the perfect software.

#5. Complete Ownership

Your construction management software is not your property. The platform may be purchased directly or through a subscription, but it is not yours to keep.

This may be a problem if the application’s support wanes, updates stop coming as frequently, or your staff or consumers find some aspect of it annoying. On the other hand, you pretty much have to work with what you have. Software designed specifically for the construction industry gives you total control. The code is yours.

The program is entirely under your control and any modifications you choose to make. There are no restrictions or laws in the way. You can use the application in whatever you wish; it is yours. Just make sure to hire dedicated developers from a reputed firm so that you can get well-developed construction software.

How to Develop A Custom Construction Management Software?

To develop custom construction management software, you can follow these steps suggested by the construction software development company professionals.

i. Identify the Problem You’re Trying to Solve: Determine what pain points you are trying to solve in construction management with your software.

ii. Conduct Market Research: Analyze the current offerings in the market to identify what’s missing and what could be improved.

iii. Define Your Software Requirements: Determine the functionalities and features you need to have in your software to solve the problem.

iv. Choose A Development Approach:Decide whether you will build the software in-house or hire a software development company.

v. Create A Prototype:Build a basic version of your software to test your idea’s viability and ensure it meets your requirements.

vi. Test & Refine:Conduct thorough testing and make necessary changes based on user feedback.

vii. Launch & Market Your Product:Once the software is developed and tested, launch it and start marketing it to potential customers.


After looking at the benefits of personalized construction management software for your business, we hope you are satisfied enough. Now that you know the perks of having software, it is time to start construction management software development.

For better assistance, you can get in touch with the experts of a construction management software development company. The professionals will help you build perfect software. We hope you are satisfied enough after looking at the benefits of personalized construction management software for your business. Top of Form

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Key Benefits of Collaborative CRM For Every Business



collaborative crm

Customer relationships and satisfaction are the foundation of any business. Collaborative CRM is dedicated to enhancing communication between the representatives and the clients, as better communication leads to better deals. Fulfilling the individual needs and expectations of each customer is the way to differentiate ourselves from our competitors with similar products or services. In this article, we are going to talk about the benefits of collaborative CRM.

Collaborative CRMs’ does this by sharing information and linking the activities across social media, instant messaging, and email to make the process smoother and more productive.

The main aim of collaborative CRM is to optimize customer service hence increasing satisfaction. It allows for establishing communication between different organizations related to customer service. It includes various parts of a company, such as marketing, sales, customer service, technical support, external customers, vendors, and distributors. The primary role of this CRM is to automate workflows and processes. It manages the back-office operation, customer interactions, and business management, leading to more transparency among the organization’s teams.

This idea of collaboration in the workforce is not new and has been redefined every time with the advancement of technology. Cloud technology has made it possible for a collaborative CRM to be cloud-based. Software solutions that utilize the Internet’s power as a unified business platform lead to reduced storage. In order to understand the benefits of collaborative CRM, first we have to understand how it works.

There are two parts of a Collaborative CRM:

  • Interaction Management 

This management process creates a contact or interaction channel process within a company. Some consumers prefer phones and email because of a lack of time or lack of resources. Some may choose web meetings to avoid travel time or a simple desk meeting. Based on these interactions, a company decides which action to take before trying to expand its business power. This increases the level of communication between the two parties

  • Channel Management 

The communication channels through which a customer interacts with the representatives are enhanced with the latest technical aspects. Contacting the customers and understanding them becomes easy for the organization. Therefore it is crucial for organizations to manage their channels.

11 Benefits of Collaborative CRM

  • Reduces customer service costs

The medium of customer interaction is digitalized hence customer service costs are cut.

  • Add value to your products

When products are greatly promoted their value increases. A good advertisement adds value to the products.

  • Provides better service to existing clients

By keeping customers’ requirements and preferences into consideration one can serve them better. Also, collaborative CRM provides better customer and provider interaction.

  • Improves customer service

It’s easy to keep a track of customers’ preferences through Collaborative CRM. Consumers have different preferences like email, social media, phone calls, or face-to-face contact. By using Collaborative CRM is that you can reach out automatically through the most accurate communication channel.

  • Multi-channel interactions of customers’ data is possible

Collaborative CRM integrates data from all communication channels since customers connect with the brands in different ways. It also links the call center activities to other operations so that communication is not restricted to a single department only.

  • Retain existing clients

Collaborative CRM has the facility of creating customer profiles to their expectations. This helps in catering to the customers well and better customer service. When customers are made to feel special chances are less that they will switch to some other brand. 

  • Makes work process smoother- 

Companies can get customer interaction data in one location and hence can do work in a wiser way. Through it, individual cases can also be viewed, which reduces the need for face-to-face meetings. This even reduces service costs.

  • Reduce service costs: 

By collaborative CRM you can automate repetitive tasks which will reduce manual work and ultimately costs. This saved money can be used for further growth of the business.

  • Increase revenues 

Sales representatives can collect information from customer databases with the help of collaborative CRM. This will help them to understand the target audience and customers’ preferences better. Better customer management and relation lead to better sales and ultimately better revenue. 

  • Automation of digital marketing 

Collaborative CRM helps in the automation of marketing, sales, and customer service functions. This is achieved by automating repetitive tasks and reducing manual work where possible. This reduces manual work, cost, and time.

  • Enhances teamwork 

Centralized customer information storage makes it easy to access individual files. This abstains the team members from relying on multiple meetings to gain a deeper understanding of the customer requirements. This reduces manual efforts and hence increases  team productivity.

Conclusion- A CRM automates many processes of customer interaction and hence reduces the cost, time, and manual work involved in establishing customer relationships. This time can be utilized in activities used to further boost the business. This article shows you the benefits of collaborative CRM at an operational level.


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