Category: Statistical computing

R fixed its default histogram bin width!

I remember hist() in R as having horrible defaults, with the histogram bars way too wide. (See this discussion: A key benefit of a histogram is that, as a plot of raw data, it contains the seeds of its own error assessment. Or, to put it another way, the jaggedness of a slightly undersmoothed histogram […]

Should he go to grad school in statistics or computer science?

Someone named Nathan writes: I am an undergraduate student in statistics and a reader of your blog. One thing that you’ve been on about over the past year is the difficulty of executing hypothesis testing correctly, and an apparent desire to see researchers move away from that paradigm. One thing I see you mention several […]

NYC Meetup Thursday: Under the hood: Stan’s library, language, and algorithms

I (Bob, not Andrew!) will be doing a meetup talk next Thursday in New York City. Here’s the link with registration and location and time details (summary: pizza unboxing at 6:30 pm in SoHo): Bayesian Data Analysis Meetup: Under the hood: Stan’s library, language, and algorithms After summarizing what Stan does, this talk will focus […]

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Reproducibility and Stan

Aki prepared these slides which cover a series of topics, starting with notebooks, open code, and reproducibility of code in R and Stan; then simulation-based calibration of algorithms; then model averaging and prediction. Lots to think about here: t…

Reproducibility and Stan

Aki prepared these slides which cover a series of topics, starting with notebooks, open code, and reproducibility of code in R and Stan; then simulation-based calibration of algorithms; then model averaging and prediction. Lots to think about here: t…

How we should they carry out repeated cross-validation? They would like a third expert opinion…”

Someone writes: I’m a postdoc studying scientific reproducibility. I have a machine learning question that I desperately need your help with. . . . I’m trying to predict whether a study can be successfully replicated (DV), from the texts in the original published article. Our hypothesis is that language contains useful signals in distinguishing reproducible […]

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“My advisor and I disagree on how we should carry out repeated cross-validation. We would love to have a third expert opinion…”

Youyou Wu writes: I’m a postdoc studying scientific reproducibility. I have a machine learning question that I desperately need your help with. My advisor and I disagree on how we should carry out repeated cross-validation. We would love to have a third expert opinion… I’m trying to predict whether a study can be successfully replicated […]

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“Do you have any recommendations for useful priors when datasets are small?”

A statistician who works in the pharmaceutical industry writes: I just read your paper (with Dan Simpson and Mike Betancourt) “The Prior Can Often Only Be Understood in the Context of the Likelihood” and I find it refreshing to read that “the practical utility of a prior distribution within a given analysis then depends critically […]

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“Do you have any recommendations for useful priors when datasets are small?”

A statistician who works in the pharmaceutical industry writes: I just read your paper (with Dan Simpson and Mike Betancourt) “The Prior Can Often Only Be Understood in the Context of the Likelihood” and I find it refreshing to read that “the practical utility of a prior distribution within a given analysis then depends critically […]

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Hey, check this out: Columbia’s Data Science Institute is hiring research scientists and postdocs!

Here’s the official announcement: The Institute’s Postdoctoral and Research Scientists will help anchor Columbia’s presence as a leader in data-science research and applications and serve as resident experts in fostering collaborations with the world-class faculty across all schools at Columbia University. They will also help guide, plan and execute data-science research, applications and technological innovations […]

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“Simulations are not scalable but theory is scalable”

Eren Metin Elçi writes: I just watched this video the value of theory in applied fields (like statistics), it really resonated with my previous research experiences in statistical physics and on the interplay between randomised perfect sampling algorithms and Markov Chain mixing as well as my current perspective on the status quo of deep learning. […]

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Stan development in RStudio

Check this out! RStudio now has special features for Stan: – Improved, context-aware autocompletion for Stan files and chunks – A document outline, which allows for easy navigation between Stan code blocks – Inline diagnostics, which help to find issues while you develop your Stan model – The ability to interrupt Stan parallel workers launched […]

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Limitations of “Limitations of Bayesian Leave-One-Out Cross-Validation for Model Selection”

“If you will believe in your heart and confess with your lips, surely you will be saved one day” – The Mountain Goats paraphrasing Romans 10:9 One of the weird things about working with people a lot is that it doesn’t always translate into multiple opportunities to see them talk.  I’m pretty sure the only […]

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Why are functional programming languages so popular in the programming languages community?

Matthijs Vákár writes: Re the popularity of functional programming and Church-style languages in the programming languages community: there is a strong sentiment in that community that functional programming provides important high-level primitives that make it easy to write correct programs. This is because functional code tends to be very short and easy to reason about […]

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“Dynamically Rescaled Hamiltonian Monte Carlo for Bayesian Hierarchical Models”

Aki points us to this paper by Tore Selland Kleppe, which begins: Dynamically rescaled Hamiltonian Monte Carlo (DRHMC) is introduced as a computationally fast and easily implemented method for performing full Bayesian analysis in hierarchical statistical models. The method relies on introducing a modified parameterisation so that the re-parameterised target distribution has close to constant […]

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A.I. parity with the West in 2020

Someone just sent me a link to an editorial by Ken Church, in the journal Natural Language Engineering (who knew that journal was still going? I’d have thought open access would’ve killed it). The abstract of Church’s column says of China, There is a bold government plan for AI with specific milestones for parity with […]

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