He’s looking for probability puzzles

May 5, 2015
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Adrian Torchiana writes: I recently created a little probability puzzle app for android, and I was wondering whether you have any suggestions for puzzles that are engaging, approachable to someone who hasn’t taken a probability course, and don’t involve coins or dice. I think my easy puzzles are easy enough, but I’m having trouble thinking […] The post He’s looking for probability puzzles appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference,…

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Painting the full picture of the employment situation

May 5, 2015
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Painting the full picture of the employment situation

It's very frustrating to read the mainstream articles about the recent unemployment report. For example, the New York Times said "U.S. Jobless Claims Hit 15-year Low." (link) At this point, everyone should be aware of how employment statistics, in particular,...

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Predicting events, when they haven’t happened yet

May 5, 2015
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Predicting events, when they haven’t happened yet

Suppose you have to predict the probabilities of events which haven't happened yet. How do you do this?Here is an example from the 1950s when Longley-Cook, an actuary at an insurance company, was asked to price the risk for a mid-air collision of two p...

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Clusters May Be Categorical but Cluster Membership Is Not All-or-None

May 5, 2015
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Clusters May Be Categorical but Cluster Membership Is Not All-or-None

Very early in the study of statistics and R, we learn that random variables can be either categorical or continuous. Regrettably, we are forced to relearn this distinction over and over again as we debug error messages produced by our code (e.g., ...

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Spurious Correlations: Death by getting tangled in bedsheets and the consumption of cheese! (Aris Spanos)

May 5, 2015
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Spurious Correlations: Death by getting tangled in bedsheets and the consumption of cheese! (Aris Spanos)

These days, there are so many dubious assertions about alleged correlations between two variables that an entire website: Spurious Correlation (Tyler Vigen) is devoted to exposing (and creating*) them! A classic problem is that the means of variables X and Y may both be trending in the order data are observed, invalidating the assumption that […]

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take those hats off [from R]!

May 4, 2015
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take those hats off [from R]!

This is presumably obvious to most if not all R programmers, but I became aware today of a hugely (?) delaying tactic in my R codes. I was working with Jean-Michel and Natesh [who are visiting at the moment] and when coding an MCMC run I was telling them that I usually preferred to code […]

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How the Tech Media Keeps Artificial Intelligence at a Distance

May 4, 2015
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How the Tech Media Keeps Artificial Intelligence at a Distance

In sympathy with yesterday's post about AI as presented in films, consider this recent article from the Wall Street Journal: Artificial Intelligence Experts are in High Demand. A list of mostly machine learning experts is produced as evidence for the...

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A causal-inference version of a statistics problem: If you fit a regression model with interactions, and the underlying process has an interaction, your coefficients won’t be directly interpretable

May 4, 2015
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A causal-inference version of a statistics problem:  If you fit a regression model with interactions, and the underlying process has an interaction, your coefficients won’t be directly interpretable

A colleague pointed me to a recent paper, “Does Regression Produce Representative Estimates of Causal Effects?” by Peter Aronow and Cyrus Samii, which begins: With an unrepresentative sample, the estimate of a causal effect may fail to characterize how effects operate in the population of interest. What is less well understood is that conventional estimation […] The post A causal-inference version of a statistics problem: If you fit a regression…

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On deck this week

May 4, 2015
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Mon: A causal-inference version of a statistics problem: If you fit a regression model with interactions, and the underlying process has an interaction, your coefficients won’t be directly interpretable. Tues: He’s looking for probability puzzles Wed: In criticism of criticism of criticism Thurs: A question about physics-types models for flows in economics Fri: What I […] The post On deck this week appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and…

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Measuring Predictability

May 4, 2015
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A friend writes the following.  (I have edited very slightly for clarity.)Based on forecasts you've seen, what would you say is a "reasonable" ratio of the standard deviation of the forecast error to the standard deviation of a covariance-stationa...

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On deck this month

May 4, 2015
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A causal-inference version of a statistics problem: If you fit a regression model with interactions, and the underlying process has an interaction, your coefficients won’t be directly interpretable. He’s looking for probability puzzles In criticism of criticism of criticism A question about physics-types models for flows in economics What I got wrong (and right) about […] The post On deck this month appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and…

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An easy way to clear your SAS titles

May 4, 2015
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An easy way to clear your SAS titles

Did you know that if you have set multiple titles in SAS, that there is an easy way to remove them? For example, suppose that you've written the following statements, which call the TITLE statement to set three titles: title "A Great Big Papa Title"; title2 "A Medium-sized Mama Title"; […] The post An easy way to clear your SAS titles appeared first on The DO Loop.

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How Hollywood Keeps Artificial Intelligence at a Distance

May 4, 2015
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How Hollywood Keeps Artificial Intelligence at a Distance

When something doesn't exist (like artificial intelligence) it's easy to think that there is some missing piece of magic required to bring it in to existence. There has been a growing interest in movie depictions of AI of late, and...

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Inventor of Arxiv speaks at Columbia this Tues 4pm

May 4, 2015
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Paul Ginsparg, professor of physics at Cornell University and inventor of Arxiv, is speaking Tuesday 5 May, 4pm in CEPSR 750. Here’s the abstract: I [Ginsparg] will give a very brief sociological overview of the current metastable state of scholarly research communication, and then a technical discussion of the practical implications of literature and usage […] The post Inventor of Arxiv speaks at Columbia this Tues 4pm appeared first on…

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Forget about pdf: this looks much better, it makes all my own papers look like kids’ crayon drawings by comparison.

May 3, 2015
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Mark Palko points me to this webpage which presents a recent research paper by Joanna Shepherd and Michael Kang. I have no comment on the research—I haven’t had a chance to read the paper—but I wanted to express how impressed I was about the presentation. It starts with a dedicated url just for this paper […] The post Forget about pdf: this looks much better, it makes all my own…

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Artificial Intelligence and Economics

May 2, 2015
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Artificial Intelligence and Economics

There are lots of articles online of the form - humanity has built some amazing things, so why haven't we produced an artificial intelligence? These articles (here's an example) often include some discussion of a task that even a very...

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Graphics Window for MacOS and RStudio Server

May 2, 2015
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It's been a recurring headache to get graphics windows to open seamlessly in MacOS and Windows, running RStudio locally and RStudio Server. A solution has been proposed by Professor David Zeitler. He has modified the openGraph function in the DBDA2E-ut...

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SPDEVPPI (2)

May 2, 2015
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Following up on our paper, which I've mentioned in the previous post, we've also updated our BCEA package to implement our SPDE-INLA method for the computation of the EVPPI. This is currently a very advanced beta version (available for download here or...

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Which of these classes should he take?

May 2, 2015
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Jake Humphries writes: I for many years wanted to pursue medicine but after recently completing a master of public health, I caught the statistics bug. I need to complete the usual minimum prerequisites for graduate study in statistics (calculus through multivariable calculus plus linear algebra) but want to take additional math courses as highly competitive […] The post Which of these classes should he take? appeared first on Statistical Modeling,…

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Should I use premium Diesel? Result: No

May 2, 2015
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Should I use premium Diesel? Result: No

A while ago I had a post: 'Should I use premium Diesel? Setup. Since that time the data has been acquired. This post describes the results.DataData is registered by me in 2014 and 2015. 2014 has standard Diesel, while 2015 has premium. Both are fr...

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Reading for the Merry Month of May

May 1, 2015
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Reading for the Merry Month of May

While you're dancing around the Maypole (or whatever else it is that you get up to), my recommendations are:Claeskens, G., J. Magnus, A. Vasnev, and W. Wang, 2014. The forecast combination puzzle: A simple theoretical explanation. Tinbergen Institute D...

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Hypothesis testing is only mostly useless

May 1, 2015
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Hypothesis testing is only mostly useless

UPDATE May 4: Nature recently reported the outcome of an attempt to replicate 100 results from psychology research. They characterize the findings as "worrying." In my previous article I argued that classical statistical inference is only mostly wron...

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Rafa’s citations above replacement in statistics journals is crazy high.

May 1, 2015
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Rafa’s citations above replacement in statistics journals is crazy high.

Editor's note:  I thought it would be fun to do some bibliometrics on a Friday. This is super hacky and the CAR/Y stat should not be taken seriously.  I downloaded data on the 400 most cited papers between 2000-2010 in some statistical journals from Web of Science. Here is a boxplot of the average number

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