Category: Statistics

Distribution of zip code population

There are three schools of thought regarding power laws: the naive, the enthusiasts, and the skeptics. Of course there are more than three schools of thought, but there are three I want to talk about. The naive haven’t heard of power laws or don’t know much about them. They probably tend to expect things to […]

Landau kernel

The previous post was about the trick Lebesgue used to construct a sequence of polynomials converging to |x| on the interval [-1, 1]. This was the main step in his proof of the Weierstrass approximation theorem. Before that, I wrote a post on Bernstein’s proof that used his eponymous polynomials to prove Weierstrass’ theorem. This […]

Did that “bottomless soup bowl” experiment ever happen?

I’m trying to figure out if Brian “Pizzagate” Wansink’s famous “bottomless soup bowl” experiment really happened. Way back when, everybody thought the experiment was real. After all, it was described in a peer-reviewed journal article. Here’s my friend Seth Roberts in 2006: An experiment in which people eat soup from a bottomless bowl? Classic! Or […]

Lebesgue’s proof of Weierstrass’ theorem

A couple weeks ago I wrote about the Weierstrass approximation theorem, the theorem that says every continuous function on a closed finite interval can be approximated as closely as you like by a polynomial. The post mentioned above uses a proof by Bernstein. And in that post I used the absolute value function as an […]

el lector de cadaveres [book review]

El lector de cadaveres (the corpse reader) by Antonio Garrido (from Valencià) is an historical novel I picked before departing to Japan as the cover reminded me of van Gulik’s Judge Dee which I very enjoyed (until a terrible movie came out!). Although van Gulik apparently took the idea from a 18th-century Chinese detective crime […]

hiking the Kumano Kodo Nakahechi imperial route

The Kumano Kodo is a network of paths of pilgrimage towards places seen as sacred by either buddhists or shintoists (or syncretists!) from the 700’s. Meaning for non-believers a well-established system of ancient hiking paths in the mountainous forests of the Kii peninsula, south of Osaka, Kyoto and Nara. Apart from the potential dangers of […]

A. Spanos: Egon Pearson’s Neglected Contributions to Statistics

Continuing with posts on E.S. Pearson in marking his birthday: Egon Pearson’s Neglected Contributions to Statistics by Aris Spanos     Egon Pearson (11 August 1895 – 12 June 1980), is widely known today for his contribution in recasting of Fisher’s significance testing into the Neyman-Pearson (1933) theory of hypothesis testing. Occasionally, he is also credited with […]

What can be learned from this study?

James Coyne writes: A recent article co-authored by a leading mindfulness researcher claims to address the problems that plague meditation research, namely, underpowered studies; lack of or meaningful control groups; and an exclusive reliance on subjective self-report measures, rather than measures of the biological substrate that could establish possible mechanisms. The article claims adequate sample […]

deadlines for BayesComp’2020

While I have forgotten to send a reminder that August 15 was the first deadline of BayesComp 2020 for the early registrations, here are further deadlines and dates BayesComp 2020 occurs on January 7-10 2020 in Gainesville, Florida, USA Registration is open with regular rates till October 14, 2019 Deadline for submission of poster proposals […]

Bayesian Computation conference in January 2020

X writes to remind us of the Bayesian computation conference: – BayesComp 2020 occurs on 7-10 January 2020 in Gainesville, Florida, USA – Registration is open with regular rates till October 14, 2019 – Deadline for submission of poster proposals is December 15, 2019 – Deadline for travel support applications is September 20, 2019 – […]

Amending Conquest’s Law to account for selection bias

Robert Conquest was a historian who published critical studies of the Soviet Union and whose famous “First Law” is, “Everybody is reactionary on subjects he knows about.” I did some searching on the internet, and the most authoritative source seems to be this quote from Conquest’s friend Kingsley Amis: Further search led to this elaboration […]

Statistical Concepts in Their Relation to Reality–E.S. Pearson

In marking Egon Pearson’s birthday (Aug. 11), I’ll  post some Pearson items this week. They will contain some new reflections on older Pearson posts on this blog. Today, I’m posting “Statistical Concepts in Their Relation to Reality” (Pearson 1955). I’ve linked to it several times over the years, but always find a new gem or […]

Why does my academic lab keep growing?

Andrew, Breck, and I are struggling with the Stan group funding at Columbia just like most small groups in academia. The short story is that to apply for enough grants to give us a decent chance of making payroll in the following year, we have to apply for so many that our expected amount of […]