Category: Statistics

blackwing [book review]

Another fantasy series of the gritty type, maybe not up to the level of the first ground-breaking Abercrombie’s but definitely great!  With some reminiscence of Lawrence’s first series but with a better defined and more complex universe and a not so repulsive central character. Maybe even not repulsive at all when considered past and current […]

Uniform approximation paradox

What I’m going to present here is not exactly a paradox, but I couldn’t think of a better way to describe it in the space of a title. I’ll discuss two theorems about uniform convergence that seem to contradict each other, then show by an example why there’s no contradiction. Weierstrass approximation theorem One of […]

Conditional probability and police shootings

A political scientist writes: You might have already seen this, but in case not: PNAS published a paper [Officer characteristics and racial disparities in fatal officer-involved shootings, by David Johnson, Trevor Tress, Nicole Burkel, Carley Taylor, and Joseph Cesario] recently finding no evidence of racial bias in police shootings: Jonathan Mummolo and Dean Knox noted […]

Multilevel Bayesian analyses of the growth mindset experiment

Jared Murray, one of the coauthors of the Growth Mindset study we discussed yesterday, writes: Here are some pointers to details about the multilevel Bayesian modeling we did in the Nature paper, and some notes about ongoing & future work. We did a Bayesian analysis not dissimilar to the one you wished for! In section […]

Florence Nightingale, Data Scientist

Florence Nightingale, Data Scientist.
In 1858 Florence Nightingale published her now famous “rose diagram” breaking down causes of mortality.

By w:Florence Nightingale (1820–1910). – http://www.royal.gov.uk/output/Page3943.asp [dea…

“Study finds ‘Growth Mindset’ intervention taking less than an hour raises grades for ninth graders”

I received this press release in the mail: Study finds ‘Growth Mindset’ intervention taking less than an hour raises grades for ninth graders Intervention is first to show national applicability, breaks new methodological ground – Study finds low-cost, online growth mindset program taking less than an hour can improve ninth graders’ academic achievement – The […]

a problem that did not need ABC in the end

While in Denver, at JSM, I came across [across validated!] this primarily challenging problem of finding the posterior of the 10³ long probability vector of a Multinomial M(10⁶,p) when only observing the range of a realisation of M(10⁶,p). This sounded challenging because the distribution of the pair (min,max) is not available in closed form. (Although […]

Hey, look! The R graph gallery is back.

We’ve recommended the R graph gallery before, but then it got taken down. But now it’s back! I wouldn’t use it on its own as a teaching tool, in that it has a lot of graphs that I would not recommend (see here), but it’s a great resource, so thanks so much to Yan Holtz […]

Lord Kelvin, Data Scientist

In 1876 A. Légé & Co., 20 Cross Street, Hatton Gardens, London completed the first “tide calculating machine” for William Thomson (later Lord Kelvin) (ref). Thomson’s (Lord Kelvin) First Tide Predicting Machine, 1876 The results were plotted on the paper cylinders, and one literally “turned the crank” to perform the calculations. The tide calculating machine … Continue reading Lord Kelvin, Data Scientist

in a house of lies [book review]

While I found the latest Rankin’s Rebus novels a wee bit disappointing, this latest installment in the stories of the Edinburghian ex-detective is a true pleasure! Maybe because it takes the pretext of a “cold case” suddenly resurfacing to bring back to life characters met in earlier novels of the series. And the borderline practice […]

You are invited to join Replication Markets

Anna Dreber writes: Replication Markets (RM) invites you to help us predict outcomes of 3,000 social and behavioral science experiments over the next year. We actively seek scholars with different voices and perspectives to create a wise and diverse crowd, and hope you will join us. We invite you – your students, and any other […]

Are supercentenarians mostly superfrauds?

Ethan Steinberg points to a new article by Saul Justin Newman with the wonderfully descriptive title, “Supercentenarians and the oldest-old are concentrated into regions with no birth certificates and short lifespans,” which begins: The observation of individuals attaining remarkable ages, and their concentration into geographic sub-regions or ‘blue zones’, has generated considerable scientific interest. Proposed […]

Nearly parallel is nearly transitive

Let X, Y, and Z be three unit vectors. If X is nearly parallel to Y, and Y is nearly parallel to Z, then X is nearly parallel to Z. Here’s a proof. Think of X, Y, and Z as points on a unit sphere. Then saying that X and Y are nearly parallel means […]

prime suspects [book review]

I was contacted by Princeton University Press to comment on the comic book/graphic novel Prime Suspects (The Anatomy of Integers and Permutations), by Andrew Granville (mathematician) & Jennifer Granville (writer), and Robert Lewis (illustrator), and they sent me the book. I am not a big fan of graphic book entries to mathematical even less than […]

Angles in the spiral of Theodorus

The previous post looked at how to plot the spiral of Theodorus shown below. We stopped the construction where we did because the next triangle to be added would overlap the first triangle, which would clutter the image. But we could certainly have kept going. If we do keep going, then the set of hypotenuse […]

How to plot the spiral of Theodorus

You may have seen the spiral of Theodorus. It sticks a sequence of right triangles together to make a sort of spiral. Each triangle has a short side of length 1, and the hypotenuse of each triangle becomes the long leg of the next triangle as shown below. How would you plot this spiral? At […]

unbiased product of expectations

While I was not involved in any way, or even aware of this research, Anthony Lee, Simone Tiberi, and Giacomo Zanella have an incoming paper in Biometrika, and which was partly written while all three authors were at the University of Warwick. The purpose is to design an efficient manner to approximate the product of […]

A weird new form of email scam

OK, we all know that spam we get—sometimes spoofed as if from our own email address!—telling us to click on some link. Scene 1 The other day I got a new sort of spam. It was from a colleague, the subject line was “Are you available in campus,” and the email went like this: On […]