As if the 2010s never happened

September 19, 2017
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E. J. writes: I’m sure I’m not the first to send you this beauty. Actually, E. J., you’re the only one who sent me this! It’s a news article, “Can the fear of death instantly make you a better athlete?”, reporting on a psychology experiment: For the first study, 31 male undergraduates who liked basketball […] The post As if the 2010s never happened appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal…

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Randomized response, privacy, and Bayes theorem

September 19, 2017
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Randomized response, privacy, and Bayes theorem

Suppose you want to gather data on an incriminating question. For example, maybe a statistics professor would like to know how many students cheated on a test. Being a statistician, the professor has a clever way to find out what he wants to know while giving each student deniability. Randomized response Each student is asked […]

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Review: Putting Stories to Work and Out On the Wire

September 19, 2017
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Review: Putting Stories to Work and Out On the Wire

Two books I’ve read recently make good points about stories that apply to data stories, without the books being about data: Shawn Callahan’s Putting Stories to Work and Jessica Abel’s Out On the Wire. Strategic Use of Stories In Putting Stories to Work, Shawn Callahan has a very pragmatic view of how stories can be […]

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Maybe this paper is a parody, maybe it’s a semibluff

September 18, 2017
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Peter DeScioli writes: I was wondering if you saw this paper about people reading Harry Potter and then disliking Trump, attached. It seems to fit the shark attack genre. In this case, the issue seems to be judging causation from multiple regression with observational data, assuming that control variables are enough to narrow down to […] The post Maybe this…

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The path of zip codes

September 18, 2017
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The path of zip codes

Toe bone connected to the foot bone, Foot bone connected to the leg bone, Leg bone connected to the knee bone,...              — American Spiritual, "Dem Bones" Last week I read an interesting article on Robert Kosara's data visualization blog. Kosara connected the geographic centers of the US zip codes in [...] The post The path of zip codes appeared first…

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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

September 18, 2017
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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Communication of statistics in times of fake news In a recent paper Emanuele Baldacci, (Director, Eurostat) and Felicia Pelagalli, (President, InnovaFiducia) deal with the ‘challenges for official statistics of changes in the information market spurred by network technology, data revolution and changes in information consumers’ behaviours’ (p.3) Three scenarios The status-quo or bad scenario: ‘Information will continue to … Continue reading The Good,…

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Political polls – why they work – or don’t

September 18, 2017
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Political polls – why they work – or don’t

Political polls – why do they work – or don’t This is written in the week before the 2017 New Zealand General Election and it is an exciting time. Many New Zealanders are finding political polls fascinating right now. We … Continue reading →

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The Minimal Reproducible Example Paradox

How many times have I reminded a user of posting a minimal, self-contained, and reproducible example (reprex)? Probably 500 times. How many times do I think I will still need to remind users of this? Perhaps 5000 times. I think there is a paradox, and there isn’t a clever solution. The paradox is that we software developers know much more…

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Editing Podcasts with Logic Pro X

September 18, 2017
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Editing Podcasts with Logic Pro X

I thought I’d write a brief description of how I edit podcasts using Logic Pro X because when I was first getting into podcasts, I didn’t find a lot of useful stuff out there. A lot of it was YouTube videos of advanced editing or very bas...

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Unbiased Hamiltonian Monte Carlo with couplings

September 17, 2017
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Unbiased Hamiltonian Monte Carlo with couplings

With Jeremy Heng we have recently arXived a paper describing how to remove the burn-in bias of Hamiltonian Monte Carlo (HMC). This follows a recent work on unbiased MCMC estimators in general on which I blogged here. The case of HMC requires a specific yet very simple coupling. A direct consequence of this work is that Hamiltonian Monte […]

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Machine Learning Meets Central Banking

September 17, 2017
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Machine Learning Meets Central Banking

Here's a nice new working paper from the Bank of England.  There's nothing new methodologically, but there are three fascinating and detailed applications / case studies (banking supervision under imperfect information, UK CPI inflation forecastin...

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Where does the discussion go?

September 17, 2017
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Jorge Cimentada writes: In this article, Yascha Mounk is saying that political scientists have failed to predict unexpected political changes such as the Trump nomination and the sudden growth of populism in Europe, because, he argues, of the way we’re testing hypotheses. By that he means the quantitative aspect behind science discovery. He goes on […] The post Where does…

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Le Monde puzzle [#1021]

September 17, 2017
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Le Monde puzzle [#1021]

A puzzling Le Monde mathematical puzzle for which I could find no answer in the allotted time!: A most democratic electoral system allows every voter to have at least one representative by having each of the N voters picking exactly m candidates among the M running candidates and setting the size n of the representative […]

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Extended StanCon 2018 Deadline!

September 17, 2017
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(this post is by Betancourt) We received an ensemble of exciting submissions for StanCon2018, but some of our colleagues requested a little bit of extra time to put the finishing touches on their submissions.  Being the generous organizers that we are, we have decided to extend the submission deadline for everyone by two weeks. Contributed submissions […] The post Extended StanCon…

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Type M errors in the wild—really the wild!

September 16, 2017
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Type M errors in the wild—really the wild!

Jeremy Fox points me to this article, “Underappreciated problems of low replication in ecological field studies,” by Nathan Lemoine, Ava Hoffman, Andrew Felton, Lauren Baur, Francis Chaves, Jesse Gray, Qiang Yu, and Melinda Smith, who write: The cost and difficulty of manipulative field studies makes low statistical power a pervasive issue throughout most ecological subdisciplines. […] The post Type M…

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Type M errors studied in the wild

September 15, 2017
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Brendan Nyhan points to this article, “Very large treatment effects in randomised trials as an empirical marker to indicate whether subsequent trials are necessary: meta-epidemiological assessment,” by Myura Nagendran, Tiago Pereira, Grace Kiew, Douglas Altman, Mahiben Maruthappu, John Ioannidis, and Peter McCulloch. From the abstract: Objective To examine whether a very large effect (VLE; defined […] The post Type M…

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Provisional programme: ESRC funded conference: Bayesian Data Analysis in the Social Sciences Curriculum (Nottingham, UK 29th Sept 2017)

September 15, 2017
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Provisional programme: ESRC funded conference: Bayesian Data Analysis in the Social Sciences Curriculum (Nottingham, UK 29th Sept 2017)

Bayesian Data Analysis in the Social Sciences CurriculumSupported by the ESRC’s Advanced Training InitiativeVenue:           Bowden Room Nottingham Conference Centre          ...

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A long view of hurricanes

September 15, 2017
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A long view of hurricanes

Kaiser Fung, founder of Junk Charts and Principal Analytics Prep, discusses a nice chart showing 30 years of hurricanes in the Atlantic.

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New Zealand election polling

September 15, 2017
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New Zealand election polling

Llewelyn Richards-Ward writes: Here is a forecaster apparently using a simulated (?Bayesian) approach and smoothing over a bunch of poll results in an attempt to guess the end result. I looked but couldn’t find his methodology but he is at University of Auckland, if you want to track him down… As a brief background, we […] The post New Zealand…

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American Democracy and its Critics

September 15, 2017
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I just happened to come across this article of mine from 2014: it’s a review published in the American Journal of Sociology of the book “American Democracy,” by Andrew Perrin. My review begins: Actually-existing democracy tends to have support in the middle of the political spectrum but is criticized on the two wings. I like […] The post American Democracy…

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One Little Thing: knitr::imgur_upload()

Earlier this year, Nick Tierney wrote a blog post titled “Magic reprex”. I strongly recommend to you to read it. The credit mostly goes to Jenny Bryan (for the excellent reprex package), but I think this post is worth reading because it shares the joy of discovering little things, which is extremely valuable in my eyes. Nick mentioned the function…

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Pull Requests as A Teaching Tool

Amelia quoted Feynman on Twitter a while ago, “What I cannot create, I do not understand.” I replied, “To me ‘create’ means ‘create a minimal example’.” One of my examples was the first Hugo theme I had ever written, hugo-xmin. Motivation As I mentioned in the announcement of the blogdown package, the blogdown book was quite painful for me to…

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Le Monde puzzle [#1020]

September 14, 2017
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Le Monde puzzle [#1020]

A collection of liars in this Le Monde mathematical puzzle: A circle of 16 liars and truth-tellers is such that everyone states that their immediate neighbours are both liars. How many liars can there be? A circle of 12 liars and truth-tellers is such that everyone state that their immediate neighbours are one liar plus […]

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