RStudio Keyboard Shortcuts for Pipes

November 18, 2017
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RStudio Keyboard Shortcuts for Pipes

I have just released some simple RStudio add-ins that are great for creating keyboard shortcuts when working with pipes in R. You can install the add-ins from here (which also includes both installation instructions and use instructions/examples).

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Graphics software is not a tool that makes your graphs for you. Graphics software is a tool that allows you to make your graphs.

November 18, 2017
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I had an email exchange with someone the other day. He had a paper with some graphs that I found hard to read, and he replied by telling me about the software he used to make the graphs. It was fine software, but the graphs were, nonetheless, unreadable. Which made me realize that people are […] The post Graphics software…

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Tips when conveying your research to policymakers and the news media

November 17, 2017
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Following up on a conversation regarding publicizing scientific research, Jim Savage wrote: Here’s a report that we produced a few years ago on prioritising potential policy levers to address the structural budget deficit in Australia. In the report we hid all the statistical analysis, aiming at an audience that would feel comfortable reading a broadsheet […] The post Tips when…

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Computing marginal likelihoods in Stan, from Quentin Gronau and E. J. Wagenmakers

November 17, 2017
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Gronau and Wagemakers write: The bridgesampling package facilitates the computation of the marginal likelihood for a wide range of different statistical models. For models implemented in Stan (such that the constants are retained), executing the code b...

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My talk tomorrow (Fri) 10am at Columbia

November 16, 2017
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I’m speaking for the statistics undergraduates tomorrow (Fri 17 Nov) 10am in room 312 Mathematics Bldg. I’m not quite sure what I’ll talk about: maybe I’ll do again my talk on statistics and sports, maybe I’ll speak on the statistical crisis in science. Anyone can come; especially we’d like to attract undergraduates—not just statistics majors—to […] The post My talk…

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Handedness, introversion, height, blood type, and PII

November 16, 2017
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Handedness, introversion, height, blood type, and PII

I’ve had data privacy on my mind a lot lately because I’ve been doing some consulting projects in that arena. When I saw a tweet from Tim Hopper a little while ago, my first thought was “How many bits of PII is that?”. [1] π Things Only Left Handed Introverts Over 6′ 5″ with O+ […]

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Pareto distribution and Benford’s law

November 16, 2017
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Pareto distribution and Benford’s law

The Pareto probability distribution has density for x ≥ 1 where a > 0 is a shape parameter. The Pareto distribution and the Pareto principle (i.e. “80-20” rule) are named after the same person, the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto. Samples from a Pareto distribution obey Benford’s law in the limit as the parameter a goes to […]

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No no no no no on “The oldest human lived to 122. Why no person will likely break her record.”

November 16, 2017
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I came across this news article by Brian Resnick entitled: The oldest human lived to 122. Why no person will likely break her record. Even with better medicine, living past 120 years will be extremely unlikely. I was skeptical, and I really didn’t buy it after reading the research article, “Evidence for a limit to […] The post No no…

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3 more articles (by others) on statistical aspects of the replication crisis

November 16, 2017
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A bunch of items came in today, all related to the replication crisis: – Valentin Amrhein points us to this fifty-authored paper, “Manipulating the alpha level cannot cure significance testing – comments on Redefine statistical significance,” by Trafimow, Amrhein, et al., who make some points similar to those made by Blake McShane et al. here. […] The post 3 more…

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Reasoning About Data

November 16, 2017
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In my ongoing discussion in my mind about what makes for a good data analysis, one of the ideas that keeps coming back to me is this notion of being able to “reason about the data”. The idea here is that it’s important that a data analysis allow ...

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One Step Ahead

One Step Ahead

Last month Jeroen asked if there was a way to detect if the R code is executed inside knitr/R Markdown. Later he commented “The ninja is always one step ahead.” Of course that was flattering. In a previous post, I said “I consider my programming skills to be mediocre”. I’m not a modest person — I guess I’m relatively good…

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On Saying No

On Saying No

A couple of years ago, I read the book Rework by Jason Fried and DHH. I have forgotten most of the essays in the book, but I still remember “Say no by default”. To be honest, it is just damn hard. Every time I say no, it hurts me, because I feel I’m hurting other people. The only way to…

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Data Wrangling at Scale

November 15, 2017
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Data Wrangling at Scale

Just wrote a new R article: “Data Wrangling at Scale” (using Dirk Eddelbuettel’s tint template). Please check it out.

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Random number generation posts

November 15, 2017
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Random number generation is typically a two step process: first generate a uniformly distributed value, then transform that value to have the desired distribution. The former is the hard part, but also the part more likely to have been done for you in a library. The latter is relatively easy in principle, though some distributions […]

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“What is a sandpit?”

November 15, 2017
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From Private Eye 1399, in Pseuds Corner: What is a sandpit? Sandpits are residential interactive workshops over five days involving 20-30 participants; the director, a team of expert mentors, and a number of independent stakeholders. Sandpits have a highly multidisciplinary mix of participants, some active researchers and others potential users of research outcomes, to drive […] The post “What is…

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FRB St. Louis Forecasting Conference

November 15, 2017
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Got back a couple days ago.  Great lineup.  Wonderful to see such sharp focus.  Many thanks to FRBSL and the organizers (Domenico Giannone, George Kapetanios, and Mike McCracken).  I'll hopefully blog on one or two of the papers sho...

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Catch run-time errors in SAS/IML programs

November 15, 2017
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Catch run-time errors in SAS/IML programs

Did you know that a SAS/IML function can recover from a run-time error? You can specify how to handle run-time errors by using a programming technique that is similar to the modern "try-catch" technique, although the SAS/IML technique is an older implementation. Preventing errors versus handling errors In general, SAS/IML [...] The post Catch run-time errors in SAS/IML programs appeared…

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No Need to Upgrade to Pandoc 2.0 (Yet)

Pandoc 2.0 was released two weeks ago. I have read its release notes a few times, and my conclusion is that for R Markdown users, there is no need to upgrade to Pandoc 2.0 from 1.x. I don’t see any major benefits relevant to R Markdown. In fact, I’d encourage you to stay with Pandoc 1.19.x for now. There are…

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Relocation, relocation, relocation

November 14, 2017
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Relocation, relocation, relocation

Earlier today, I was contacted by Politico $-$ they are covering the story about the European Union's process to reassign the two EU agencies currently located in London, the European Medicines Agency, (EMA) and the European Banking Authority (EBA...

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A/B Testing Primer and the DEED framework

November 14, 2017
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Kaiser Fung, founder of Principal Analytics Prep and the Master of Science in Applied Analytics at Columbia, gives a short lecture on A/B testing for Harvard Business Review on Facebook Live.

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A/B Testing Primer and the DEED framework

November 14, 2017
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Kaiser Fung, founder of Principal Analytics Prep and the Master of Science in Applied Analytics at Columbia, gives a short lecture on A/B testing for Harvard Business Review on Facebook Live.

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High five: “Now if it is from 2010, I think we can make all sorts of assumptions about the statistical methods without even looking.”

November 14, 2017
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Eric Tassone writes: Have you seen this? “Suns Tracking High Fives to Measure Team Camaraderie.” Key passage: Although this might make basketball analytic experts scoff, there is actually some science behind the theory. Dacher Keltner, Professor of Psychology at UC Berkeley, in 2015 took one game of every NBA team at the start of the […] The post High five:…

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Come and work with me

November 14, 2017
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Come and work with me

I have funding for a new post-doctoral research fellow, on a 2-year contract, to work with me and Professor Kate Smith-Miles on analysing large collections of time series data. We are particularly seeking someone with a PhD in computational statistics ...

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