Welcome to the DSC Weekly Digest, a production of Data Science Central. Every week, we pick out the newest and brightest articles on the topic of data ... and how it informs our lives, powers our applications, and provides insights into our world.
From the Editor's Desk
The presents have been opened, the eggnog and rum toddies drunk, the cookies eaten. This year, in a shift that has been underway for a while, the vast majority of all presents were shipped rather than purchased from retail stores, and as such it's likely that the Twelve Days of Christmas will become an indication of when Amazon will finally get packages to you as part of its projected shipping window.
For most people, 2020 has been the year that couldn't end soon enough. The Covid-19 pandemic started out a year that became increasingly tumultuous, with heated street protests and the occasional riots (usually not the same people), a major recession, extreme weather including one of the longest hurricane seasons on record, a contentious political season, and a massive extranational hack, among several other events. Heck, it even included its own comet (Neowise) and Grand Conjunction (Jupiter and Saturn), the latter the first time since the 17th century that the heavens have aligned so.
Statistically, there is no guarantee that an awful year (an Annus Horribilis) will be followed by a great year (Annus Mirabilis), but early signs are promising. Several vaccines against the virus have been developed in a remarkably short period of time (which the AI and ML community had a significant part to play), and are beginning to be rolled out globally. That, in turn, is likely to resolve at least some of the economic problems we face. Politically administrations are being voted into or out of office largely on the basis of how well they managed the pandemic, which is a good indication that, moving forward, science and analytics does matter. This is one of the big reasons that we continue to produce DSC.
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