About Me

I’m William (Billy) Matthias. A PhD student in the Dept. of Government (aka Political Science) at the University of Texas at Austin. I research issues related to the political economy of development, conflict, and peace building–e.g. “What kinds of policies help countries recover from civil conflicts?” I also love sports (#BallIsLife), photography, and film. I love data’s ability to help us see beyond “a gut feeling”.

This site’s purpose is four-fold:

  1. To hone and synthesize my education and skills related to statistics, data analysis, and visualization.

  2. (Relatedly) To practice and demonstrate programming that is important for the skills above. Most of the focus is on R and Python.

  3. To take technical, jargon-y findings from exploratory data analyses and put them into an easily disgestible form.

  4. To help others learn about 1. and 2. and 3.1

I don’t come from a traditional computer science background and so I’m self-taught. I want to give back to the online masses that continue to help me learn. Additionally, I’ve noticed that a lot of these online communities, blogs, etc. sometimes assume that you know more than you actually do when you’re a beginner or intermediate programmer. In my blog posts, I try to bring a balance between explaining clearly without going overboard on the nitty gritty details.

For more information do not hesitate to contact me at b.matthias [at] utexas [dot] edu

  1. Disclaimer: Surely everything contained herein is not the best approach and/or 100% accurate. I make mistakes. I don’t claim to be an expert on these topics so take my insights for what they’re worth 😄. This site is a part of my learning process. For the few that stumble upon this site, please feel free to use the comments section in each post to suggest improvements!