On deck this week

July 14, 2014
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Mon: “Building on theories used to describe magnets, scientists have put together a model that captures something very different . . .” Tues: Questions about “Too Good to Be True” Wed: “The Europeans and Australians were too eager to believe in renal denervation” Thurs: Ethics and statistics Fri: Differences between econometrics and statistics: From varying […] The post On deck this week appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and…

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A log transformation of positive and negative values

July 14, 2014
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A log transformation of positive and negative values

In my four years of blogging, the post that has generated the most comments is "How to handle negative values in log transformations." Many people have written to describe data that contain negative values and to ask for advice about how to log-transform the data. Today I describe a transformation […]

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Stan London Meetup 16 July

July 14, 2014
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Michael Betancourt announces: The Stan Development Team is happy to announce the first Stan London Meetup, Wednesday, July 16th, 6-8 PM Bentham House, Seminar Room 4 4-8 Endsleigh Gardens, London, WC1H 0EG Nominally the plan is to begin with a casual introduction to Stan and then break out into discussion based on the interests of […] The post Stan London Meetup 16 July appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference,…

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Stan goes to the World Cup

July 13, 2014
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Stan goes to the World Cup

I thought it would be fun to fit a simple model in Stan to estimate the abilities of the teams in the World Cup, then I could post everything here on the blog, the whole story of the analysis from beginning to end, showing the results of spending a couple hours on a data analysis. […] The post Stan goes to the World Cup appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal…

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Bing hearts World Cup 2014, Google – not so much

July 12, 2014
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Bing hearts World Cup 2014, Google – not so much

While Google has been doing a great job of their front page animations (today's is very nice, illustrating how Brazil and The Netherlands are on their way to Russia for 2018), Bing appears to be far more attentive to actually...

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D&D 5e: Probabilities for Advantage and Disadvantage

July 12, 2014
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D&D 5e:  Probabilities for Advantage and Disadvantage

The new rules for D&D 5e (formerly known as D&D Next) are finally here: Dungeons & Dragons, 5th Edition: Basic Rules D&D 5e introduces a new game mechanic, advantage and disadvantage. Basic d20 Rules Usually, players roll a 20-sided die (d20) to resolve everyting from attempts at diplomacy to hitting someone with a sword. Each […] The post D&D 5e: Probabilities for Advantage and Disadvantage appeared first on Statistical Modeling,…

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odfweave setup and counting logicals

July 12, 2014
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Two short items in this blogpost. Since it was not obvious how to run odfWeave() in my particular setup, the call I am using. Then there were several people crosstabulating logical vectors, so I wanted to play along, 80 times faster than table().odfWea...

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Finite-Sample Properties of the 2SLS Estimator

July 12, 2014
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Finite-Sample Properties of the 2SLS Estimator

During a recent conversation with Bob Reed (U. Canterbury) I recalled an interesting experience that I had at the American Statistical Association Meeting in Houston, in 1980. I was sitting in a session listening to an author presenting a paper about t...

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Le Monde puzzle [#875]

July 11, 2014
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Le Monde puzzle [#875]

I learned something in R today thanks to Le Monde mathematical puzzle: A two-player game consists in A picking a number n between 1 and 10 and B and A successively choosing and applying one of three transforms to the current value of n n=n+1, n=3n, n=4n, starting with B, until n is larger than […]

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Sometimes I feel (some) need for speed

July 11, 2014
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Sometimes I feel (some) need for speed

I’m the first to acknowledge that most of my code could run faster. The truth of the matter is that, in essence, I write ‘quickies': code that will run once or twice, so there is no incentive to spend days or hours in shaving seconds of a computation. Most analyses of research data fall in […]

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Bayesian Wizardry for Muggles

July 11, 2014
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Monday, I will be giving the closing talk of the R in Insurance Conference, in London, on Bayesian Computations for Actuaries, as to be more specific, Getting into Bayesian Wizardry… (with the eyes of a muggle actuary). The animated version of the slides (since we will spend some time on MCMC algorithm, I thought that animated graphs could be more informative) can be downloaded from here. Those slides are based…

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Hey—this is a new kind of spam!

July 11, 2014
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Ya think they’ll never come up with something new, and then this comes along: Dear Dr. Gelman, I am writing to inquire about the availability of obtaining a self-funded visiting scholar position in your institution for one year. I will cover all my expenses during my visit. I have completed a M.A. at Sichuan international […] The post Hey—this is a new kind of spam! appeared first on Statistical Modeling,…

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Create custom tick marks for axes on the log scale

July 11, 2014
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Create custom tick marks for axes on the log scale

In my previous blog post, I showed how to use log axes on a scatter plot in SAS to better visualize data that range over several orders of magnitude. Because the data contained counts (some of which were zero), I used a custom transformation x → log10(x+1) to visualize the […]

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Higgs discovery two years on (2: Higgs analysis and statistical flukes)

July 11, 2014
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Higgs discovery two years on (2: Higgs analysis and statistical flukes)

I’m reblogging a few of the Higgs posts, with some updated remarks, on this two-year anniversary of the discovery. (The first was in my last post.) The following, was originally “Higgs Analysis and Statistical Flukes: part 2″ (from March, 2013).[1] Some people say to me: “This kind of reasoning is fine for a ‘sexy science’ like high energy physics (HEP)”–as if their statistical […]

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ABC in Cancún

July 10, 2014
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ABC in Cancún

Here are our slides for the ABC [very] short course Jean-Michel and I give at ISBA 2014 in Cancún next Monday (if your browser can manage Slideshare…) Although I may switch the pictures from Iceland to Mexico, on Sunday, there will be not much change on those slides we both have previously used in previous […]

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Item Response Theory and Item Information Exploration

July 10, 2014
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Item Response Theory and Item Information Exploration

In the following post I will map out some item information functions for item response theory (IRT) models using the common 3 parameter logistic model for binary responses. The model takes three parameters (obviously) which relate to the item features ...

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Welcome to my Homepage

July 10, 2014
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Welcome to my Homepage

My academic homepage just has been launched. Welcome to visit: Honglang Wang’s Homepage.    

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Chicago alert: Mister P and Stan to be interviewed on WBEZ today (Fri) 3:15pm

July 10, 2014
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Chicago alert:  Mister P and Stan to be interviewed on WBEZ today (Fri) 3:15pm

Niala Boodho on the Afternoon Shift will be interviewing Yair and me about our age-period-cohort extravaganza which became widely-known after being featured in this cool interactive graph by Amanda Cox in the New York Times. And here’s the interview. The actual paper is called The Great Society, Reagan’s revolution, and generations of presidential voting and […] The post Chicago alert: Mister P and Stan to be interviewed on WBEZ today…

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How Much Can We Learn from Top Rankings using Nonnegative Matrix Factorization?

July 10, 2014
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How Much Can We Learn from Top Rankings using Nonnegative Matrix Factorization?

Purchases are choices from available alternatives. Post-purchase, we know what is the most preferred, but all the other options score the same. Regardless of differences in appeal, all the remaining items received the same score of not chosen. A second...

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Bayesian solution to the Lincoln index problem

July 10, 2014
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Bayesian solution to the Lincoln index problem

Last year my occasional correspondent John D. Cook wrote an excellent blog post about the Lincoln index, which is a way to estimate the number of errors in a document (or program) by comparing results from two independent testers.  Here's his pres...

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Open-source tools for running online field experiments

July 10, 2014
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Dean Eckles points me to this cool new tool for experimentation: I [Eckles] just wanted to share that in a collaboration between Facebook and Stanford, we have a new paper out about running online field experiments. One thing this paper does is describe some of the tools we use to design, deploy, and analyze experiments, […] The post Open-source tools for running online field experiments appeared first on Statistical Modeling,…

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Around the blogosphere

July 10, 2014
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A number of folks have reacted to various blogs and talks I have recently given. I'm glad that my writing has inspired others, and I recommend reading these wonderful responses. *** Diane Ravitch, the eminent scholar of New York education and author of several great books, found my 2011 post about Bill Gates's view of education. Here is her reaction: How refreshing to know that statisticians like Kaiser Fung are…

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Return of the barrel

July 10, 2014
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Return of the barrel

Back in 2008, I wrote about this unfortunate chart by the Guardian (link): The barrel imagery interferes with communicating the data. The green portion looks about the same size as the red portion when the number is four times smaller....

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