research-lies-allegations-windpipe update

September 7, 2016
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Paul Alper writes: Found this today in the Washington Post. Recall that at my suggestion you blogged about this affair previously: http://andrewgelman.com/2016/06/16/research-lies-allegations-windpipe-surgery/ Damn windpipe surgeons, always causing tro...

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The new quantitative journalism

September 7, 2016
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The first of the breed was Bill James. But now we have a bunch: Felix Salmon, Nate Silver, Amanda Cox, Carl Bialik, . . . . I put them in a different category than traditional science journalists such as Malcolm Gladwell, Gina Kolata, Stephen Dubner who are invested in the “scientist as hero” story, or […] The post The new quantitative journalism appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and…

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Interview With a Data Sucker

September 7, 2016
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A few months ago Jill Sederstrom from ASH Clinical News interviewed me for this article on the data sharing editorial published by the The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) and the debate it generated. The article presented a nice summary, but I t...

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“Brief, decontextualized instances of colaughter”

September 6, 2016
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“Brief, decontextualized instances of colaughter”

Bill Jefferys points me to this news article and writes: Looks at first glance like another NPR example of poor statistics, but who knows? I took a look and here were my thoughts, in order of occurrence: NPR . . . PPNAS . . . Also this: “the results were consistent across all the societies […] The post “Brief, decontextualized instances of colaughter” appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference,…

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R demos for BDA3

September 6, 2016
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Last year we published some Matlab/Octave and Python demos for BDA3. During the summer my student Markus Paasiniemi ported these demos to R. New R BDA3 demos are now available in github. We hope these are helpful for someone. They are now just R code, although R Markdown would be cool. Btw. we are expecting […] The post R demos for BDA3 appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and…

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Inane Journal "Impact Factors"

September 6, 2016
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Why are journals so obsessed with "impact factors"? (The five-year impact factor is average citations/article in a five-year window.)  They're often calculated to three decimal places, and publishers trumpet victory when they go from (say) 1.225 t...

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Graph a step function in SAS

September 6, 2016
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Graph a step function in SAS

Last week I wrote about how to compute sample quantiles and weighted quantiles in SAS. As part of that article, I needed to draw some step functions. Recall that a step function is a piecewise constant function that jumps by a certain amount at a finite number of points. Graph […] The post Graph a step function in SAS appeared first on The DO Loop.

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googleVis 0.6.1 on CRAN

September 6, 2016
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googleVis 0.6.1 on CRAN

We released googleVis version 0.6.1 on CRAN last week. The update fixes issues with setting certain options, following the switch from RJSONIO to jsonlite. Screen shot of some of the Google ChartsNew to googleVis? The package provides an interface betw...

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Link: Jérôme Cukier’s Series on Visualization with React

September 6, 2016
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Link: Jérôme Cukier’s Series on Visualization with React

While D3 is the standard way of doing visualization on the web right now, there's a lot of interesting stuff happening in the world of JavaScript framework React. And it turns out, you can do some really interesting visualization stuff with React, once you understand the basics. In a series of very thorough postings, Jérôme Cukier takes you through […]

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The nature of mathematics and statistics and what it means to learn and teach them

September 6, 2016
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The nature of mathematics and statistics and what it means to learn and teach them

I’ve been thinking lately…. Sometimes it pays to stop and think. I have been reading a recent textbook for mathematics teachers, Dianne Siemon et al, Teaching mathematics: foundations to middle years (2011). On page 47 the authors asked me to “Take … Continue reading →

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A Short Guide for Students Interested in a Statistics PhD Program

September 6, 2016
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This summer I had several conversations with undergraduate students seeking career advice. All were interested in data analysis and were considering graduate school. I also frequently receive requests for advice via email. We have posted on this topic...

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astroABC: ABC SMC sampler for cosmological parameter estimation

September 5, 2016
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astroABC: ABC SMC sampler for cosmological parameter estimation

“…the chosen statistic needs to be a so-called sufficient statistic in that any information about the parameter of interest which is contained in the data, is also contained in the summary statistic.” Elise Jenningsa and Maeve Madigan arXived a paper on a new Python code they developed for implementing ABC-SMC, towards astronomy or rather cosmology […]

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Know your data 20: trust and distrust in our surveillance society

September 5, 2016
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A very important article from the Times starts with the following sentence: Want to invisibly spy on 10 iPhone owners without their knowledge? Gather their every keystroke, sound, message and location? That will cost you $650,000, plus a $500,000 setup fee with an Israeli outfit called the NSO Group. In the U.S., there is a disconnect between a populace whose distrust of government is at an all-time high and the…

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Garrison Keillor would be spinning etc.

September 5, 2016
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Garrison Keillor would be spinning etc.

Under the subject line, “Misleading Graphs of the Week,” Bill Jefferys sends along this: I agreed with Bill’s colleague Helen Read who wondered why should the 90th percentile be some magic number? Just change it to 85% or 95% or whatever and all the graphs will look different. Also kinda horrible that they’re presenting percentages […] The post Garrison Keillor would be spinning etc. appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal…

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Matlab goes deep [learning]

September 5, 2016
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Matlab goes deep [learning]

A most interesting link I got when reading Le Monde, about MatLab proposing deep learning tools…Filed under: Books, pictures, R, Statistics, University life Tagged: deep learning, Le Monde, Matlab

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conditional sampling

September 4, 2016
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conditional sampling

An interesting question about stratified sampling came up on X validated last week, namely how to optimise a Monte Carlo estimate based on two subsequent simulations, one, X, from a marginal and one or several Y from the corresponding conditional given X, when the costs of producing those two simulations significantly differ. When looking at […]

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In Bayesian regression, it’s easy to account for measurement error

September 4, 2016
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In Bayesian regression, it’s easy to account for measurement error

Mikhail Balyasin writes: I have come across this paper by Jacob Westfall and Tal Yarkoni, “Statistically Controlling for Confounding Constructs Is Harder than You Think.” I think it talks about very similar issues you raise on your blog, but in this case they advise to use SEM [structural equation models] to control for confounding constructs. […] The post In Bayesian regression, it’s easy to account for measurement error appeared first…

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Did she know we were writing a book?

September 3, 2016
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Did she know we were writing a book?

Writing a book is a sacrifice. It takes a lot of time, represents a lot of missed opportunities, and does not (directly) pay very well. If you do a good job it may pay back in good-will, but producing a serious book is a great challenge. Nina Zumel and I definitely troubled over possibilities for … Continue reading Did she know we were writing a book?

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How paracompact is that?

September 3, 2016
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How paracompact is that?

Dominic on stan-users writes: I was reading through http://arxiv.org/pdf/1410.5110v1.pdf and came across the term with which I was not familiar: “paracompact.” I wrote a short blog post about it: https://idontgetoutmuch.wordpress.com/2016/04/17/every-manifold-is-paracompact. It may be of interest to other folks reading the aforementioned paper. I would have used a partition of unity to justify the corollary myself […] The post How paracompact is that? appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and…

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Fast CAR: Two weird tricks for fast conditional autoregressive models in Stan

September 3, 2016
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Fast CAR:  Two weird tricks for fast conditional autoregressive models in Stan

Max Joseph writes: Conditional autoregressive (CAR) models are popular as prior distributions for spatial random effects with areal spatial data. Historically, MCMC algorithms for CAR models have benefitted from efficient Gibbs sampling via full conditional distributions for the spatial random effects. But, these conditional specifications do not work in Stan, where the joint density needs […] The post Fast CAR: Two weird tricks for fast conditional autoregressive models in Stan…

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Two figures on the accuracy of polygraphs as lie detectors.

September 2, 2016
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Two figures on the accuracy of polygraphs as lie detectors.

Here's a pair of figures from a 2003 report by the National Academies 'Committee to Review the Scientific Evidence on the Polygraph' (full text), which includes several well-known statisticians. The figure below shows the sensitivity versus false-positive rate for 52 controlled laboratory studies of naive examinees, untrained in polygraph countermeasures. Each study examinee was assigned … Continue reading Two figures on the accuracy of polygraphs as lie detectors. →

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Sleeping Beauty and the Red Dice

September 2, 2016
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Sleeping Beauty and the Red Dice

In response to my previous article on the Sleeping Beauty Problem, I got this comment from a reader:The late great philosopher David Lewis was a halfer. I'd be interested in any reactions to his paper on it: http://fitelson.org/probability/lewis_s...

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ETAOIN SHRDLU and all that

September 2, 2016
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ETAOIN SHRDLU and all that

Statistics can be useful, even if it’s idealizations fall apart on close inspection. For example, take English letter frequencies. These frequencies are fairly well known. E is the most common letter, followed by T, then A, etc. The string of letters “ETAOIN SHRDLU” comes from the days of Linotype when letters were arranged in that order, […]

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