In the past weeks I have received and read several papers (and X validated entries)where the Bayes factor is used to compare priors. Which does not look right to me, not on the basis of my general dislike of Bayes factors!, but simply because this seems to clash with the (my?) concept of Bayesian model […]

# Category: Statistics

## A. J. Liebling vs. Dorothy Parker (2); Steve Martin advances

As Dalton wrote: On one hand, Serena knows how to handle a racket. But Steve Martin knows how to make a racket with some strings stretched taught over a frame. Are you really gonna bet against the dude who went to toe-to-toe Kermit the Frog in racket making duel? Today we have an unseeded eater […]

## The hard part in becoming a command line wizard

I’ve long been impressed by shell one-liners. They seem like magical incantations. Pipe a few terse commands together, et voilà! Out pops the solution to a problem that would seem to require pages of code. Are these one-liners real or mythology? To some extent, they’re both. Below I’ll give a famous real example. Then I’ll argue […]

## 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 […]

## Update on that study of p-hacking

Ron Berman writes: I noticed you posted an anonymous email about our working paper on p-hacking and false discovery, but was a bit surprised that it references an early version of the paper. We addressed the issues mentioned in the post more than two months ago in a version that has been available online since […]

## Bayesian intelligence in Warwick

This is an announcement for an exciting CRiSM Day in Warwick on 20 March 2019: with speakers 10:00-11:00 Xiao-Li Meng (Harvard): “Artificial Bayesian Monte Carlo Integration: A Practical Resolution to the Bayesian (Normalizing Constant) Paradox” 11:00-12:00 Julien Stoehr (Dauphine): “Gibbs sampling and ABC” 14:00-15:00 Arthur Ulysse Jacot-Guillarmod (École Polytechnique Fedérale de Lausanne): “Neural Tangent Kernel: […]

## Bayesian intelligence in Warwick

This is an announcement for an exciting CRiSM Day in Warwick on 20 March 2019: with speakers 10:00-11:00 Xiao-Li Meng (Harvard): “Artificial Bayesian Monte Carlo Integration: A Practical Resolution to the Bayesian (Normalizing Constant) Paradox” 11:00-12:00 Julien Stoehr (Dauphine): “Gibbs sampling and ABC” 14:00-15:00 Arthur Ulysse Jacot-Guillarmod (École Polytechnique Fedérale de Lausanne): “Neural Tangent Kernel: […]

## Guest Post: STEPHEN SENN: ‘Fisher’s alternative to the alternative’

As part of the week of posts on R.A.Fisher (February 17, 1890 – July 29, 1962), I reblog a guest post by Stephen Senn from 2012, and 2017. See especially the comments from Feb 2017. ‘Fisher’s alternative to the alternative’ By: Stephen Senn [2012 marked] the 50th anniversary of RA Fisher’s death. It is a good […]

## Interview with Stephanie Hicks

Editor’s note: For a while we ran an interview series for statisticians and data scientists, but things have gotten a little hectic around here so we’ve dropped the ball! But we are re-introducing the series, starting with Stephanie Hicks. …

## Le Monde puzzle [#1085]

A new Le Monde mathematical puzzle in the digit category: Given 13 arbitrary relative integers chosen by Bo, Abigail can select any subset of them to be drifted by plus or minus one by Bo, repeatedly until Abigail reaches the largest possible number N of multiples of 5. What is the minimal possible value of […]

## Le Monde puzzle [#1085]

A new Le Monde mathematical puzzle in the digit category: Given 13 arbitrary relative integers chosen by Bo, Abigail can select any subset of them to be drifted by plus or minus one by Bo, repeatedly until Abigail reaches the largest possible number N of multiples of 5. What is the minimal possible value of […]

## Serena Williams vs. Steve Martin (4); The Japanese dude who won the hot dog eating contest advances

We didn’t have much yesterday, so I went with this meta-style comment from Jesse: I’m pulling for Kobayashi if only because the longer he’s in, the more often Andrew will have to justify describing him vs using his name. The thought of Andrew introducing the speaker as “and now, here’s that Japanese dude who won […]

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

Someone who wishes to remain anonymous writes: I just read your paper with Daniel Simpson and Michael 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 on both […]

## 50/50 photography competition [another public image]

## Happy Birthday R.A. Fisher: ‘Two New Properties of Mathematical Likelihood’

Today is R.A. Fisher’s birthday. I will post some Fisherian items this week in honor of it*. This paper comes just before the conflicts with Neyman and Pearson erupted. Fisher links his tests and sufficiency, to the Neyman and Pearson lemma in terms of power. We may see them as ending up in a similar […]

## research outreach wants to improve my public image [ltd]

I have received this most bizarre email (links are mine): Dear Dr. Christian Robert, Please excuse the direct nature of this contact, however I would like to speak with you regarding your work on the Accelerating MCMC algorithms study. Research Outreach work in collaboration with research teams assisting with their Public Outreach activity, through means […]

## Query Generation in R

R users have been enjoying the benefits of SQL query generators for quite some time, most notably using the dbplyr package. I would like to talk about some features of our own rquery query generator, concentrating on derived result re-use. Introduction SQL represents value use by nesting. To use a query result within another query … Continue reading Query Generation in R

## P-hacking in study of “p-hacking”?

Someone who wishes to remain anonymous writes: This paper [“p-Hacking and False Discovery in A/B Testing,” by Ron Berman, Leonid Pekelis, Aisling Scott, and Christophe Van den Bulte] ostensibly provides evidence of “p-hacking” in online experimentation (A/B testing) by looking at the decision to stop experiments right around thresholds for the platform presenting confidence that […]

## Naming elliptic curves for cryptography

There are an infinite number of elliptic curves, but a small number that are used in cryptography, and these special curves have names. Apparently there are no hard and fast rules for how the names are chosen, but there are patterns. The named elliptic curves are over a prime field, i.e. a finite field with […]

## take a random integer

A weird puzzle from FiveThirtyEight: what is the probability that the product of three random integers is a multiple of 100? Ehrrrr…, what is a random integer?! The solution provided by the Riddler is quite stunning Reading the question charitably (since “random integer” has no specific meaning), there will be an answer if there is […]