## Bare bones beamer

August 1, 2012
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Beamer is far and away the most popular software for presentations amongst researchers in mathematics and statistics. Most conference and seminar talks I attend these days use beamer. Unfortunately, they all look much the same. I think people find beamer themes too hard to modify easily, so a small number of templates get shared around. Even the otherwise wonderful LaTeX Templates site has no beamer examples. The beamer user guide…

## Differential Privacy

August 1, 2012
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$Differential Privacy$

Differential Privacy Privacy and confidentiality are of great concern in our era of Big Data. In this post, I want to discuss one formal approach to privacy, called differential privacy. The idea was invented by Dwork, McSherry, Nissim and Smith (2006). A nice review by Cynthia Dwork can be found here. 1. What Is It? [...]

## What’s in a Name? (Gelman’s blog)

August 1, 2012
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I just noticed Andrew Gelman’s blog today. ..too good to let pass without quick comment: He asks: What is a Bayesian? Deborah Mayo recommended that I consider coming up with a new name for the statistical methods that I used, given that the term “Bayesian” has all sorts of associations that I dislike (as discussed, [...]

## Paying survey respondents

July 31, 2012
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I agree with Casey Mulligan that participants in government surveys should be paid, and I think it should be part of the code of ethics for commercial pollsters to compensate their respondents also. As Mulligan points out, if a survey is worth doing, it should be worth compensating the participants for their time and effort. [...]

## Twitter analysis of air pollution in Beijing

July 31, 2012
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One of the air pollution detection machine in Beijing (at the American Embassy) is connected to Twitter and tweet about the air quality in real time. By default the machine in Beijing output the 24hr summary PM2.5 air pollution information. What is PM2...

## NYC and Columbia to Create Institute for Data Sciences & Engineering

July 31, 2012
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NYC and Columbia to Create Institute for Data Sciences & Engineering: The Columbia proposal was selected due to its impressive vision to build upon the University’s recent successes in applied science and create an even greater impact for the City b...

## What is a Bayesian?

July 31, 2012
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Deborah Mayo recommended that I consider coming up with a new name for the statistical methods that I used, given that the term “Bayesian” has all sorts of associations that I dislike (as discussed, for example, in section 1 of this article). I replied that I agree on Bayesian, I never liked the term and [...]

## If I were at #JSM2012 today, here’s where I’d go.

July 31, 2012
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Obviously, there are tons of sessions everyday at JSM this week and it’s physically impossible to go to everything that looks interesting. Alas, I am but one man, so choices had to be made. Here’s what looks good to me from the JSM program:...

## A book on presenting numbers from spreadsheets

July 31, 2012
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I sometimes get books in the mail that seem right in my wheelhouse, but actually I have nothing useful to say because I’m not part of the target audience. An example: the book Painting With Numbers by Randall Bolton on “presenting financials and other numbers so people will understand you.” The author seems well-connected; the [...]

## The coming commodization of infographics

July 31, 2012
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An email lay in my inbox with the tantalizing subject line: "How to Create Good Infographics Quickly and Cheaply?" It's a half-spam from one of the marketing sites that I signed up for long time ago. I clicked on the...

## Substantively Meaningful Effects

July 31, 2012
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I discuss the resistance to testing research hypotheses that variables have or do not have a meaningful effect.

## Yet Another Forecast Dashboard

July 31, 2012
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Recently, I came across quite a few examples of time series forecasting using R. Here are some examples: Time series cross-validation 4: forecasting the S&P 500 Holt-Winters forecast using ggplot2 Autoplot: Graphical Methods with ggplot2 Large-Scale Parallel Statistical Forecasting Computations in R (2011) by M. Stokely, F. Rohani, E. Tassone Forecasting time series data ARIMA [...]

## Split-plot 2: let’s throw in some spatial effects

July 31, 2012
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Disappeared for a while collecting frequent flyer points. In the process I ‘discovered’ that I live in the middle of nowhere, as it took me 36 hours to reach my conference destination (Estoril, Portugal) through Christchurch, Sydney, Bangkok, Dubai, Madrid … Continue reading →

## Forecasting the Olympics

July 31, 2012
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Forecasting sporting events is a growing research area. The International Journal of Forecasting even had a special issue on sports forecasting a couple of years ago. The London 2012 Olympics has attracted a few forecasters trying to predict medal counts, world records, etc. Here are some of the articles I’ve seen. Which Olympic records get shattered?, Nate Silver, New York Times. Statisticians predict the number of Olympic records that will…

## C++ and R

July 30, 2012
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Today I saw a link question from reddit: How important is Java/C++ vs just using R/Matlab for big data?  I learned C++ and Matlab when I was undergraduate and I am now using R by self learning as a PhD student in Stats Department. But living in this big data time, R is really not [...]

## Being Happy in Grad School

July 30, 2012
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Lana Yarosh shared her with us 5 practices (developed through much trial and error) that helped her stay happy in grad school: Pick a good conference in your field and go to it every year (including your first year, even if you have to pay for it out of pocket) — when there were times [...]

## Archetypal Analysis

July 30, 2012
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Thinking Strategically about Customer HeterogeneityIronically, market segmentation, whose motto is "one size does not fit all," seems to rely almost exclusively on one definition of what constitutes a segment.  Borrowing its definition f...

## Why I’m Staying in Academia

July 30, 2012
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Recently, I’ve seen a few blog posts/articles about professors leaving academia for industry or some other non-academic position. By my last count I think I’ve seen three from computer science professors leaving academia for Google. The mos...

## Retracted articles and unethical behavior in economics journals?

July 30, 2012
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Stan Liebowitz writes: Have you ever heard of an article being retracted in economics? I know you have only been doing this for a few years but I suspect that the answer is that none or very few are retracted. No economist would ever deceive another. There is virtually no interest in detecting cheating. And [...]

## The Rising of Olympic Mountains

July 30, 2012
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The Rising of Olympic Mountains [visualizing.org] is a decidedly minimal data visualization by Christian Gross and featured on Visualizing.org. A timeline lets you explore the 112 years of Olympic games under the International Olympic Committee (IOC)....

## The power operators: Powers of matrices and matrix elements

July 30, 2012
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I received the following question: In the DATA step I always use the ** operator to raise a values to a power, like this: x**2. But on your blog I you use the ## operator to raise values to a power in SAS/IML programs. Does SAS/IML not support the ** [...]

## Khan Academy Statistics videos are not good

July 29, 2012
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I don’t like the Khan Academy videos about statistics. But I can see why some people do. Some are okay, though some are very bad. I’m rather sorry they exist though, as they perpetuate the idea of statistics as mathematics. … Continue reading →