Kenny Shirley
Principal Inventive Scientist
kshirley at
Statistics Research Department
AT&T Labs Research

I am a member of the Statistics Research Department at AT&T Labs in New York City, where I work on hierarchical Bayesian modeling, MCMC methods, visualization of hierarchies, text mining, and other topics related to applied statistics.



I'm happy to report that my R package for visualizing topic models, LDAvis, is now on CRAN! It's a D3.js interactive visualization that's designed help you interpret the topics in a topic model fit to a corpus of text using LDA. I co-wrote it with Carson Sievert, and we also wrote a paper about it (including a user study) that we shared at the 2014 ACL Workshop on Interactive Language Learning, Visualization, and Interfaces in Baltimore last June. Here are the relevant links -- we'd love to hear any questions/comments/feedback.


Last night I gave a talk for the NYC Sports Analytics Meetup Group, and it was a blast! There were lots of great sports researchers and enthusiasts in the crowd. My talk was about Baseball Hall of Fame voting, of course. Here is a link to the slides from my talk.

1/13/2014: (2-part news!)

Part 1: Last month I moved to our new NYC office with about 20 colleagues. (The rest of our lab moved from Florham Park, NJ to new office space in Bedminster, NJ). Our NYC office is a newly renovated space at 33 Thomas Street in Tribeca. The building is pictured below -- let's just say it's very secure, and hard to miss if you're walking around the neighborhood. I'm hoping we can start hosting some talks and workshops to get involved in the NYC tech scene.

Part 2: I've recently become slightly obsessed with Baseball Hall of Fame voting. After our interactive visualization of historical voting was featured on Deadspin as one of the 12 best sports infographics of 2013, I figured the next step would be to fit a model to historical data to predict Hall of Fame voting. Here's a link to my analysis and results. The 2014 predictions, pictured below, weren't great; we did OK with Maddux and Biggio, and pretty poorly with all the rest of the candidates! But for 2015 I like the initial predictions: Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez are locks to get in, and John Smoltz is borderline. I'm planning to re-visit this throughout the year to improve the model.

For older news, click here.