What does CNN have in common with Carmen Reinhart, Kenneth Rogoff, and Richard Tol: They all made foolish, embarrassing errors that would never have happened had they been using R Markdown

September 19, 2014
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What does CNN have in common with Carmen Reinhart, Kenneth Rogoff, and Richard Tol:  They all made foolish, embarrassing errors that would never have happened had they been using R Markdown

Rachel Cunliffe shares this delight: Had the CNN team used an integrated statistical analysis and display system such as R Markdown, nobody would’ve needed to type in the numbers by hand, and the above embarrassment never would’ve occurred. And CNN should be embarrassed about this: it’s much worse than a simple typo, as it indicates […] The post What does CNN have in common with Carmen Reinhart, Kenneth Rogoff, and…

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The frequency of letters in an English corpus

September 19, 2014
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The frequency of letters in an English corpus

It's time for another blog post about ciphers. As I indicated in my previous blog post about substitution ciphers, the classical substitution cipher is no longer used to encrypt ultra-secret messages because the enciphered text is prone to a type of statistical attack known as frequency analysis. At the root […]

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Visualizing Publicly Available US Government Data Online

September 19, 2014
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Visualizing Publicly Available US Government Data Online

Brightpoint Consulting recently released a small collection of interactive visualizations based on open, publicly available data from the US government. Characterized by a rather organic graphic design style and color palette, each visualization makes...

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The New Consumer Requires an Updated Market Segmentation

September 18, 2014
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The New Consumer Requires an Updated Market Segmentation

The new consumer is the old consumer with more options and fewer prohibitions. Douglas Holt calls it the postmodern market defined by differentiation: "consumer identities are being fragmented, proliferated, recombined, and turned into salabl...

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"Inverting" Singular Matrices

September 18, 2014
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"Inverting" Singular Matrices

You can only invert a matrix if that matrix is non-singular. Right? Actually, that's wrong.You see, there are various sorts of inverse matrices, and most of them apply to the situation where the original matrix is singular. Before elaborating on t...

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The Disappearing Planet: Comparing the Extinction Rates of Animals

September 18, 2014
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The Disappearing Planet: Comparing the Extinction Rates of Animals

The subtly designed A Disappearing Planet [propublica.org] by freelance data journalist Anna Flagg reveals the extinction rates of animals, caused by a variety of human-caused effects, including climate change, habitat destruction and species displace...

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Shamer shaming

September 18, 2014
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This post is by Phil Price. I can’t recall when I first saw “shaming” used in its currently popular sense. I remember noting “slut shaming” and “fat shaming” but did they first become popular two years ago? Three? At any rate, “shaming” is now everywhere…and evidently it’s a very bad thing. When I first saw […] The post Shamer shaming…

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Scottish Independence : Bing Predicts ‘No’

September 18, 2014
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Scottish Independence : Bing Predicts ‘No’

Bing's prediction team has a feature live on the site right now that predicts Scotland will not become an independant nation as a result of today's referendum.

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Palko’s on a roll

September 18, 2014
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I just wanted to interrupt our scheduled stream of posts to link to a bunch of recent material from Mark Palko: At least we can all agree that ad hominem and overly general attacks are bad: A savvy critique of the way in which opposition of any sort can be dismissed as “ad hominem” attacks. […] The post Palko’s on…

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p value from likelihood ratio test is STILL not the same as p value from maximum likelihood estimate

September 18, 2014
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p value from likelihood ratio test is STILL not the same as p value from maximum likelihood estimate

In yesterday's post, I described two ways for finding a p value for a parameter, and pointed out that the two ways lead to different p values. As an example, I considered the slope parameter in simple linear regression. One way to get a p value for the...

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The Front-End of Methods Training

September 18, 2014
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Based on my own experience and interactions with other professors and students, most methods training in political science starts with a “baby stats” course, continues into a more detailed course on linear models, and finishes with a fairly rigorous course on the generalized linear model that includes a grab bag of the latest and greatest […]

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Common sense and statistics

September 18, 2014
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College courses often begin by trying to weaken your confidence in common sense. For example, a psychology course might start by presenting optical illusions to show that there are limits to your ability to perceive the world accurately. I’ve seen at least one physics textbook that also starts with optical illusions to emphasize the need […]

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Fun with .Rprofile and customizing R startup

September 18, 2014
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Fun with .Rprofile and customizing R startup

Over the years, I've meticulously compiled–and version controlled–massive and extensive configuration files for virtually all of my most used utilities, most notably vim, tmux, and zsh. In fact, one of the only configurable utilities for which I had no special configuration schema was R. This is extremely surprising, given that I use R everyday. One »more

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p value from likelihood ratio test is not the same as p value from maximum likelihood estimate

September 18, 2014
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p value from likelihood ratio test is not the same as p value from maximum likelihood estimate

In a post of a few hours ago, I pointed out that I was having trouble getting p values to agree for two different methods. Thanks to a suggestion from a reader, there is a resolution: The p values should not agree. This was actually my hunch and hope a...

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Animated choropleths to visualize mortality rates of children under 5 and gender differences using rMaps

September 17, 2014
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This post displays two animated choropleths. One for global mortality rates for children under 5 (per 1000 live births) and the second for the difference in global mortality rates for males and female children under 5 (per 1000). Please click here:&nbs...

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BCEA 2.1

September 17, 2014
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BCEA 2.1

We're about to release the new version of BCEA, which will contain some major changes.A couple of changes in the basic code that should improve the computational speed. In general, BCEA doesn't really run into troubles because most of the computations ...

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Sampling distribution of maximum lilkelihood estimate – help?

September 17, 2014
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Sampling distribution of maximum lilkelihood estimate – help?

I'm doing Monte Carlo simulation of sampling distributions to compute p values. For example, consider the slope parameter, β1, in simple linear regression. I want to find out if p < .05 for a null hypothesis that β1=0. I'm working with two differe...

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An open letter to Scotland on the eve of their independence vote

September 17, 2014
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Bye.

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What do you do to visualize uncertainty?

September 17, 2014
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Howard Wainer writes: What do you do to visualize uncertainty? Do you only use static methods (e.g. error bounds)? Or do you also make use of dynamic means (e.g. have the display vary over time proportional to the error, so you don’t know exactly where the top of the bar is, since it moves while […] The post What do…

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Using great circles and ggplot2 to map arrival/departure of 2014 US Open Tennis Players

September 17, 2014
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Using great circles and ggplot2 to map arrival/departure of 2014 US Open Tennis Players

Please click on the image for information on how to use R and ggplot2 to generate this plot. 

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Read from one data set and write to another with SAS/IML

September 17, 2014
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Read from one data set and write to another with SAS/IML

Many people know that the SAS/IML language enables you to read data from and write results to multiple SAS data sets. When you open a new data set, it is a good programming practice to close the previous data set. But did you know that you can have two data […]

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R package to convert statistical analysis objects to tidy data frames

September 16, 2014
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R package to convert statistical analysis objects to tidy data frames

I talked a little bit about tidy data my recent post about dplyr, but you should really go check out Hadley’s paper on the subject.R expects inputs to data analysis procedures to be in a tidy format, but the model output objects that you get back are...

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They know my email but they don’t know me

September 16, 2014
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This came (unsolicited) in the inbox today (actually, two months ago; we’re on a delay, as you’re probably aware), subject line “From PWC – animations of CEO opinions for 2014″: Good afternoon, I wanted to see if the data my colleague David sent to you was of any interest. I have attached here additional animated […] The post They know…

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