Time use across the nation

Alexander Fishkov

Alexander Fishkov, Ph.D. student Computer Science

In this post, we will combine data from the American Time Use survey and Current Population survey to see how time use patterns change with geographic location. We used 11 years of ATUS data (2003-2014) and the corresponding CPS data about the respondent’s state of residence. The American Time Use survey classifies daily activities into 431 detailed categories. For this post, we selected only those having a participation rate of at least 30 percent in each state. The top activities were sleeping, washing and dressing, food preparation, work, eating and watching television.

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Pharmacology companies: the numbers keep growing

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

More pharmacology companies than ever are actively filing for patents. In fact, in Massachusetts, the number has doubled in the last five years. We detailed this trend in our recent post about the most innovative companies in the state.

Let’s see whether this trend is characteristic of the state or if the growth more universal. To begin, here’s the map showing the details about the current state of innovation in the industry.

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IT, Defense and Surgery: a look at innovation in Massachusetts

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

Unlike some other states housing the most innovative companies, people don’t usually associate Massachusetts with a particular field. That makes a study of the patent portfolios of the local businesses even more appealing.

Let’s take a look at the word cloud first. It was generated using the abstracts of patents issued in the state in the recent years. The algorithm we utilized here is similar to Amazon’s Statistically Improbable Words (used for book tagging).

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American gambling industry

Pavel Prikhodko, Ph.D. Machine Learning

Gambling is a popular and widely profitable industry in the United States. The heart of all casinos, the state of Nevada, produced more than $10.6 billion in revenue from gambling in 2014. According to the Nevada Gaming Control Board, this was an increase from the $10.4 billion in 2013. In the fiscal years of 2012 and 2011, the revenues from gaming in Nevada were $10.28 billion and $10.17 billion respectively. In 2010, casinos in the state of Nevada generated about $9.91 billion dollars in revenue from gaming.

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Fists and money – participants and pay per view viewers of boxing

Pavel Prikhodko, Ph.D. Machine Learning

In a previous article, we examined the history of boxing in the United States and gauged peoples’ interest in professional boxing. Now we can review the number of American viewers who watched professional boxing on pay-per-view TV from spring 2011 to spring 2015 using numbers from Statista.com.

The number of people who purchased pay-per-view boxing events in spring 2011 was greater than in autumn – 8.55 million people versus 8.53 million people. The largest number of people who watched pay-per-view pro boxing in recent years was registered in autumn 2012: over 11 million viewers. In comparison, there were only 9.82 million viewers in spring 2012. In 2013, there were more than 20 million viewers overall: 10.5 million in spring and 9.9 million in autumn. Quite similar numbers were documented in 2014 (10 million and 9.8 million viewers respectively). In spring 2015, around 8.47 million people watched boxing on pay-per-view.

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Innovation in wireless communication

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

Just how important is wireless communication? In 2016, the word appeared in over 30 percent of all patents in the “Multiplex Communication” category.

According to a Cisco VNI White Paper, the company expects annual global internet traffic to increase threefold over the next five years. They also expect the traffic in the U.S. to grow slightly more slowly at a compound annual growth rate of 19 percent.

The white paper also predicts especially rapid growth in busy-hour traffic as well as smartphone traffic. There’s little doubt that we are in the need of faster communication technologies. Especially important are technologies for wireless communications.

Let’s take a look at the current state of innovation in the industry.

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Unemployment Across Time and Space: Will the State Differences Stay Around Forever?

R.T. Young

R.T. Young, Ph.D. Business Economics

It is an often-heard discussion point: why do states such as California or New York have such high unemployment rates?

Observers have pointed to various causes, including high tax rates, generous welfare programs and high regulation. How big of an effect these factors have on state unemployment rates is not the point of discussion here. Rather, the discussion point is whether high unemployment rate states today will be low unemployment rate states five years from now (i.e., is there a reversion to the mean?).

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