StanCon 2018 Helsinki, 29-31 August 2018

January 17, 2018
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StanCon 2018 Helsinki, 29-31 August 2018

StanCon 2018 Asilomar was so much fun that we are organizing StanCon 2018 Helsinki August 29-31, 2018 at Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland (location chosen using antithetic sampling). Full information is available at StanCon 2018 Helsinki website Summary of the information What: One day of tutorials and two days of talks, open discussions, and statistical modeling […] The post StanCon 2018 Helsinki, 29-31 August 2018 appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal…

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How much does it cost to give birth in the US?

January 17, 2018
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How much does it cost to give birth in the US?

Money magazine (Jan/Feb 2018) contains an article about how much it costs to give birth in the US. The costs, which are based on insurance data, include prenatal care and hospital delivery but exclude infant care. The data are compiled for each state (including Washington, DC) and by type of [...] The post How much does it cost to give…

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Two meanings of priors, part II: Quantifying uncertainty about model parameters

January 17, 2018
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by Angelika Stefan & Felix Schönbrodt This is the second part of “Two meanings of priors”. The first part explained a first meaning – “priors as subjective probabilities of models”. While the first meaning of priors r...

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Bayes 2018/Bayesian Biostatistics

January 16, 2018
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Bayes 2018/Bayesian Biostatistics

This year, our annual Bayes 20XX conference has been jointly organised with the MRC Biostatistics Unit Cambridge and is also a satellite event before the main ISBA conference in Edinburgh.I believe that the call for abstract is now officially open...

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Static sensitivity analysis: Computing robustness of Bayesian inferences to the choice of hyperparameters

January 16, 2018
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Static sensitivity analysis:  Computing robustness of Bayesian inferences to the choice of hyperparameters

Ryan Giordano wrote: Last year at StanCon we talked about how you can differentiate under the integral to automatically calculate quantitative hyperparameter robustness for Bayesian posteriors. Since then, I’ve packaged the idea up into an R library that plays nice with Stan. You can install it from this github repo. I’m sure you’ll be pretty […] The post Static sensitivity…

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Statistical behavior at the end of the world: the effect of the publication crisis on U.S. research productivity

January 16, 2018
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Under the heading, “I’m suspicious,” Kevin Lewis points us to this article with abstract: We exploit the timing of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the geographical variation in mortality risks individuals faced across states to analyse reproduction decisions during the crisis. The results of a difference-in-differences approach show evidence that fertility decreased in states that […] The post Statistical behavior…

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A look at how the New York Times readers look at the others

January 16, 2018
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A look at how the New York Times readers look at the others

Kaiser Fung, creator of Junk Charts and Principal Analytics Prep, discusses a popular chart by the New York Times on the impact of the Trump tax bill on middle-class households.

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Screenshots Can Be Helpful, But Only Text Can Be Copied And Executed

Last year I have mentioned that we cannot be friends if you give me source code only in screenshots. I exaggerated a little bit. I certainly won’t hate you if you send me screenshots, but my point is that you will make it difficult for me to do anything about your code. If I cannot run the code right away,…

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Screenshots Can Be Helpful, But Only Text Can Be Copied And Executed

Last year I have mentioned that we cannot be friends if you give me source code only in screenshots. I exaggerated a little bit. I certainly won’t hate you if you send me screenshots, but my point is that you will make it difficult for me to do anything about your code. If I cannot run the code right away,…

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Base R can be Fast

January 15, 2018
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Base R can be Fast

“Base R” (call it “Pure R”, “Good Old R”, just don’t call it “Old R” or late for dinner) can be fast for in-memory tasks. This is despite the commonly repeated claim that: “packages written in C/C++ are (edit: “always”) faster than R code.” The benchmark results of “rquery: Fast Data Manipulation in R” really … Continue reading Base R…

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Hey, here’s a new reason for a journal to reject a paper: it’s “annoying” that it’s already on a preprint server

January 15, 2018
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Alex Gamma writes: I’m interested in publishing in journal X. So I inquire about X’s preprint policy. X’s editor informs me that [Journal X] does not prohibit placing submitted manuscripts on preprint servers. Some reviewers may notice the server version of the article, however, and they may find the lack of anonymity so annoying that […] The post Hey, here’s…

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2017 Review and 2018 Outlook on Cybersecurity

January 15, 2018
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2017 Review and 2018 Outlook on Cybersecurity

Kaiser Fung, founder of Principal Analytics Prep and Columbia's MS in Applied Analytics, continues the 2018 outlook series with a look at cybersecurity, discussing why this is a bottomless problem.

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Data unavailable? Use the "eyeball distribution" to simulate

January 15, 2018
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Data unavailable? Use the "eyeball distribution" to simulate

Last week I got the following message: Dear Rick: How can I create a normal distribution within a specified range (min and max)? I need to simulate a normal distribution that fits within a specified range. I realize that a normal distribution is by definition infinite... Are there any alternatives, [...] The post Data unavailable? Use the "eyeball distribution" to…

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Brexit^{-1}

January 15, 2018
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I've been asked to post about the EuroCIM (European Causal Inference Meeting), which will be held later this year in Florence. I very happily oblige, because: a) this is usually a very good conference; b) it is organised by nice and obviously very good...

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Dear Thomas Frank

January 14, 2018
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It’s a funny thing: academics are all easily reachable by email, but non-academics can be harder to track down. Someone pointed me today to a newspaper article by political analyst Thomas Frank that briefly mentioned my work. I had a question for Frank, but the only correspondence I had with him was from ten years […] The post Dear Thomas…

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Comparing Interval Forecasts

January 14, 2018
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Here's a new one, "On the Comparison of Interval Forecasts".  You'd think that interval forecast evaluation would be easy.  After all, point forecast evaluation is (more or less) well understood and easy, and density forecast evaluation ...

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Comparing Interval Forecasts

January 14, 2018
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Here's a new one, "On the Comparison of Interval Forecasts".  You'd think that interval forecast evaluation would be easy.  After all, point forecast evaluation is (more or less) well understood and easy, and density forecast evaluation ...

Read more »

S. Senn: Being a statistician means never having to say you are certain (Guest Post)

January 14, 2018
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S. Senn: Being a statistician means never having to say you are certain (Guest Post)

Stephen Senn Head of  Competence Center for Methodology and Statistics (CCMS) Luxembourg Institute of Health Twitter @stephensenn Being a statistician means never having to say you are certain A recent discussion of randomised controlled trials[1] by Angus Deaton and Nancy Cartwright (D&C) contains much interesting analysis but also, in my opinion, does not escape rehashing […]

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Setting up RStudio Server quickly on Amazon EC2

January 13, 2018
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Setting up RStudio Server quickly on Amazon EC2

I have recently been working on projects using Amazon EC2 (elastic compute cloud), and RStudio Server. I thought I would share some of my working notes. Amazon EC2 supplies near instant access to on-demand disposable computing in a variety of sizes (billed in hours). RStudio Server supplies an interactive user interface to your remote R … Continue reading Setting up…

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The puzzle: Why do scientists typically respond to legitimate scientific criticism in an angry, defensive, closed, non-scientific way? The answer: We’re trained to do this during the process of responding to peer review.

January 13, 2018
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[image of Cantor’s corner] Here’s the “puzzle,” as we say in social science. Scientific research is all about discovery of the unexpected: to do research, you need to be open to new possibilities, to design experiments to force anomalies, and to learn from them. The sweet spot for any researcher is at Cantor’s corner. (See […] The post The puzzle:…

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The retraction paradox: Once you retract, you implicitly have to defend all the many things you haven’t yet retracted

January 12, 2018
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Mark Palko points to this news article by Beth Skwarecki on Goop, “the Gwyneth Paltrow pseudoscience empire.” Here’s Skwarecki: When Goop publishes something weird or, worse, harmful, I often find myself wondering what are they thinking? Recently, on Jimmy Kimmel, Gwyneth laughed at some of the newsletter’s weirder recommendations and said “I don’t know what […] The post The retraction…

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Why are these explanations so popular?

January 11, 2018
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David Weakliem writes: According to exit polls, Donald Trump got 67% of the vote among whites without a college degree in 2016, which may be the best-ever performance by a Republican (Reagan got 66% of that group in 1984). Weakliem first rejects one possibility that’s been going around: One popular idea is that he cared […] The post Why are…

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A Python program for multivariate missing-data imputation that works on large datasets!?

January 11, 2018
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Alex Stenlake and Ranjit Lall write about a program they wrote for imputing missing data: Strategies for analyzing missing data have become increasingly sophisticated in recent years, most notably with the growing popularity of the best-practice technique of multiple imputation. However, existing algorithms for implementing multiple imputation suffer from limited computational efficiency, scalability, and capacity […] The post A Python…

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