Site Redesign

Quick news…the site received a header-to-footer redesign over the weekend. The front page no longer reveals a blog, but instead, a landing page with various links to different online presences. The blog and other pages also received a redesign, using the Invisible Assassin theme. The blog is now located at tomschenkjr.net/blog. All links should be […]

Hello, Chicago.

I’ve been waiting to share the news with a wider audience. I have started a new role as Director of Analytics for the City of Chicago. Chicago has a ridicuously strong and wide-ranging open-data community, with strong support from the mayor to a group of volunteers who meet weekly to hack on city data. Instead of being […]

Graduate students will win union rights…for now

This past June the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) sought written opinions on whether the board should reconsider the Brown University case which prohibited unionization at private universities. The request was only surprising in that it came so late in the President Obama’s administration, caused by the Senate Republicans stubborn refusal to nominate NLRB members. […]

Now Interactive: Transitions into the Workforce

How does a community college major relate to the eventual industry of employment? Now you can interact and explore the relationship between Iowa community college students and their eventual employment sector or your computer or mobile device. This is an update to a static poster I developed a couple of years ago. There is good […]

Visualizing Data

I was invited to give a brief talk to the urology department at Northwestern University on data visualization. Recently, you see, many of the residents presented posters at large conferences. When it was time to create posters and graphs, many of them begun to ask: “does this look OK? What can I do to make […]

Education paths for Iowa GED recipients

Before leaving the Iowa Department of Education, I had the pleasure of working with Andrew Ryder on his dissertation, which studied the pathway from the GED to community college in Iowa. Andrew spent a considerable amount of time looking for a dissertation topic. After some serious contemplation and some dead-ends, he eventually settled on the […]

Notice: Moving to new domain

The website is going to be changing domains this weekend. I’ll be moving to Dreamhost and away from WordPress.com. I will be making the move in order to accommodate some exciting new projects for the website. But, as these things go, there may be some service interruptions. Everything should be ready by Sunday, June 3rd. Update: Done!

Using Sublime Text 2 for R

My R interface has been pretty basic in the last few years. I have usually stuck to the R console. Yes, I’ve tried Emacs with ESS; a staple, but it is so unbearably antiquated that I always gave up on its significant learning curve. GUI packages–especially Rstudio–offer viable alternatives, but I feel the GUI lets […]

Agree with the point, but not the logic

Education scholar, Gary Rhoads, was the lead author on a report released by Center for the Future of Higher Education, an organization that Dr. Rhoads leads. The main thrust is the troubling decline in community college funding and it’s impact on student access. Specifically, that the reducing the budget has put caps on programs and […]

Data Nouveau: Ideas for Visualizations

Starting a project where you need to make a series of graphs or a visualization can be frustrating. One of the hardest tasks is to find a theme, a style which you want to use. Though minimalism is the dominate “style” in data visualization, there is a lot of approaches to any graphical approaches. So I’ve […]