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Data Science in R by Deborah Nolan, Duncan Temple Lang

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Chapter 2

Modeling Runners’ Times in the Cherry Blossom Race

Daniel Kaplan

Macalester College

Deborah Nolan

University of California, Berkeley

2.1 Introduction

In this era of ‘free and ubiquitous data,’ there is tremendous potential in seeking out data to bring insight to a problem we are working on professionally or to a topic of personal interest. For example, we are interested in understanding how people’s physical performance changes as they age. One source of data about this comes from road races. Hundreds of thousands of people participate in road races each year; the race organizers collect information about the runners’ times and often publish individual-level data on the Web. These freely accessible data may provide us with insights ...

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