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C. Alan Joyce
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November 7, 2012– 0

The US elections are over, and with a few exceptions, we can now answer the question “What happened?” We know who won the 2012 presidential election, we know there was an upset in the Massachusetts senate race, and we know that Republicans maintained control of the House of Representatives. So now, whatever race you’re most concerned about, the big question is, “Why did it happen?” More »

October 10, 2012– 1

First, my apologies: I didn’t quite follow through on my promise of a regular series of blog posts about American Community Survey data in Wolfram|Alpha. But when you’re trying to ingest all the world’s systematic knowledge… well, there’s a lot of competition for the top spot on your to-do list. So to make up for lost time, I’ll cover the remaining clusters of ACS data that you can currently explore in Wolfram|Alpha: education and income. More »

September 7, 2012– 1

Most of the new features we announce on this blog are large-scale projects where we add a huge chunk of data to Wolfram|Alpha all at once. But there are always dozens of background projects going on at any given time—including a seemingly never-ending effort to expand our database of information on private companies.

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August 8, 2012– 0

August 8 is “National Dollar Day,” commemorating the establishment of the US monetary system on this day in 1786. But the first dollar bill wasn’t issued until 1862—and instead of George Washington, it featured a portrait of Salmon P. Chase, then Secretary of the Treasury under President Lincoln (and later Chief Justice of the Supreme Court). More »

June 6, 2012– 1

In our first post on American Community Survey estimates in Wolfram|Alpha, we showed you how Wolfram|Alpha could answer questions about the age and sex of the population in practically any town or region in the United States. But that’s only a small fraction of what we can do with this wealth of detailed demographic data. Over the next few weeks, we’ll also share some examples of how Wolfram|Alpha can help you find and analyze information about education, income, and more.

But first, let’s take a look at two of the most frequently asked for demographic topics in Wolfram|Alpha: race and Hispanic origin. If you’ve never done so before, it’s worth taking a moment to brush up on the difference between these two concepts, in Census terminology. Although people often lump the two concepts together, race and Hispanic origin are two completely separate attributes in Census data: a person can be of any race and also be of Hispanic or non-Hispanic origin. Even with the basic data we’ve had in Wolfram|Alpha since its launch, people have regularly complained that our numbers “don’t add up”—and it’s always because they’ve added Hispanic population estimates to figures for the population by race and ended up with a figure larger than the country’s total population.
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