Sales and profits of lotteries in the U.S.

Pavel Prikhodko, Ph.D. Machine Learning

In the United States, lotteries are run by 47 jurisdictions, including 44 states plus the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. The most recent U.S. lottery to be legalized was in Wyoming, where it began operation in July 2013.

There are two major lottery games: Mega Millions and Powerball. These companies are offered in nearly all jurisdictions that operate lotteries. Among the states that do not have lotteries are Mississippi, Utah and Alabama (because of religious objections). In the modern technology era, plenty of new apps have been created for people to purchase lottery tickets on their gadgets (such as smartphones or laptops).

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Seasonal lending patterns: When are the most loans defaulted?

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

Today we’ll take a look at the seasonality of peer-to-peer lending. Thanks to data provided by Prosper, we can perform a quantitative analysis of loan charge-off times and find if there are any seasonal patterns present.

First, let’s take a look at the lifespan distribution of defaulted loans. We see that the default rates increase significantly during the first several months, with the largest number of defaults registered in the eighth and ninth months after origination.

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Coca-Cola is on the top of the non–alcoholic beverages market

Pavel Prikhodko, Ph.D. Machine Learning

The non-alcoholic beverages market in the United States comprises categories such as tea and coffee, bottled water, soft drinks and energy drinks; carbonated soft drinks make up the largest segment of this market. Coca-Cola Co. is the undisputed leader among liquid refreshment brands in the country. The overall U.S. market share of Coca-Cola in 2014 amounted to 42.3 percent (the company’s worldwide revenue approximated to around $46 billion). Similar numbers were recorded in the U.S. in the two previous years: 42.2 percent in 2013 and 42 percent in 2012.

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Airline industry in the U.S.

Alexander Fishkov

Alexander Fishkov, Ph.D. student Computer Science

The United States has an extensive airline transportation network. According to statistics from Airports Council International, 12 of the world’s largest airports by passenger traffic are located in the U.S. In fact, the world’s busiest airport is Hartsfield–Jackson in Atlanta, Georgia; over 100 million passengers went through this airport in 2015 (a 5.5 percent increase over the previous year).

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Electric vehicles – is the U.S. ready?

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

Tesla currently rules the electric vehicle market in the U.S. But despite the manufacturer’s ambitious plans, things are likely to change in the foreseeable future. Nearly every major car manufacturer has announced plans to include more electric vehicles in their lineup; General Motors plans to release 20 all-electric vehicles by 2023, and Ford has 13 EV models in the pipeline for the same year.

But what is the current state of affairs? Has the electric vehicle market really taken off outside of California? And most importantly, is the existing infrastructure ready for mass-market EV cars?

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Smoking rate among adults in the United States

Pavel Prikhodko, Ph.D. Machine Learning

Which state has the highest smoking rate in the country? According to Statista.com, Kentucky is the undisputed leader with a 25.9 percent smoking rate among its adult population in 2015. This percentage includes adults who reported that they currently smoked every day or some days; the percentages are weighted to reflect population characteristics.

The smoking rate among adults in the state of West Virginia approximated to 25.7 percent in 2015; this rate is the second highest in the United States. Arkansas came in third with a 24.9 percent smoking rate that year, while Mississippi was ranked fourth with a smoking rate of 22.5 percent among its adult population. The smoking rate in Missouri was 22.3 percent, just slightly lower than that of Mississippi.

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Cloud technology and its evolution in the U.S.

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

What is cloud computing and why is it important?  In recent years there has been a surge in the number of internet-based services that provide shared computer resources, minimizing both upfront and continuing maintenance costs for new projects. It is often regarded as most useful for smaller setups, as it allows access to a significant amount of resources regardless of the project size.

Despite technically existing since the 1990s, the technology only really took off in 2009 (Microsoft announced its Azure service in October 2008). After this, it didn’t take long for major U.S. companies to start patenting their developments.

The “cloud” term started gaining popularity in new U.S. patents in 2010. We can already say that it was not a one-time fad — each year since then, the total number of patents including the term has increased.

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Digital news and social media

Pavel Prikhodko, Ph.D. Machine Learning

We are living in the era of digital news. If you follow the news, there is a high likelihood that you receive it through some form digital media. In this post, we’ll take a look at a few of the main native digital news organizations in the United States.

According to the information published by Statista.com in 2014, the largest digital news organization in the U.S. was Vice, which had an editorial staff (including full-time staff) of 1,100 employees. The Huffington Post employed 575 full-time editorial staff, while the number of people employed by Politico and BuzzFeed amounted to 186 and 170 respectively. Bleacher Report employed 140 editorial staff. Gawker employed 132 people, while Mashable and Business Insider had the same number of full-time editorial staff (70 employees).

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Are mass shootings contagious? Recent data says no.

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

A study published in 2015 suggests that mass shootings in the U.S. are contagious. Not in a sense of spreading like a disease, however — just that each shooting slightly increasing the chance of another one happening shortly afterward.

The original article used data from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. It appears that we now have much more complete data on shootings, thanks mostly to the Gun Violence Archive project. Additionally, it should be interesting to see if the findings still hold true.

Here’s the chart showing how the average number of mass shooting per day changed in the past two years. The graph below has been smoothed using a rolling average with gaussian weights and a 60-day window.

Average number of mass shootings per day

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Who uses Apple Pay and where?

Pavel Prikhodko, Ph.D. Machine Learning

For our readers who are unfamiliar with Apple Pay, here is a definition: Apple Pay is a mobile payment (digital wallet) service by Apple Inc. that lets users make payments using every Apple device that you can find. The service was launched in the United States about two and a half years ago. If you didn’t know about it, you are not alone. According to information published at Statista.com in August 2016, about 9 percent of millennials in the United States have never heard of this service either (as well as 9 percent of Generation X respondents, 17 percent of baby boomers and 22 percent of retirees).

Many people have also heard of this service but never used it: 66 percent of millennials, 71 percent of Generation Xers, 80 percent of baby boomers and 76 percent of retirees. Only 2 percent of retirees used this digital payment service, the lowest rate of all the respondent groups. Three percent of baby boomers used Apple Pay in 2016. Approximately 19 percent of Generation Xers said that they used Apple Pay. The highest level of familiarity with Apple Pay was recorded among millennials — 25 percent of these respondents stated that they used it.

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