## When are complicated models helpful in psychology research and when are they overkill?

January 23, 2013
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Nick Brown is bothered by this article, “An unscented Kalman filter approach to the estimation of nonlinear dynamical systems models,” by Sy-Miin Chow, Emilio Ferrer, and John Nesselroade. The introduction of the article cites a bunch of articles in serious psych/statistics journals. The question is, are such advanced statistical techniques really needed, or even legitimate, [...]

## Interpreting some charts about guns

January 23, 2013
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Felix linked to a set of charts about guns in the U.S. (and elsewhere). The original charts, by Liz Fosslien, are found here. I like the clean style used by Fosslien. Some of the charts are thought-provoking. Many of them...

## New book announcement: R and Data Mining – Examples and Case Studies

January 23, 2013
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R and Data Mining: Examples and Case Studies Author: Yanchang Zhao Publisher: Academic Press, Elsevier Publish date: December 2012 ISBN: 978-0-12-396963-7 Length: 256 pages URL: http://www.rdatamining.com/books/rdm This book introduces into using R for data mining with examples and case studies. … Continue reading →

## Breaking bad programming habits. What’s yours?

January 23, 2013
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I like to be efficient in my SAS/IML programs, but sometimes I get into bad habits. Recently I realized that I was reshaping a bunch of SAS/IML row vectors because I wanted to write them to a SAS data set. This is completely unnecessary! The SAS/IML language will create a [...]

## Marking sub-intervals of multimodal highest density intervals

January 23, 2013
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Here's a small aesthetic fix for the program BernGrid.R, so that it marks all interior end points of sub-intervals in a multimodal highest density interval.For example, Figure 6.4 (p. 107) shows the posterior HDI with only the lowest and highest points...

## Reducing Respondent Burden: Item Sampling

January 22, 2013
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You received confirmation this morning.  Someone made a mistake programming that battery of satisfaction ratings on your online survey.  Instead of each respondent rating all 12 items using a random rotation, only six randomly selected i...

## Binomial Confidence Intervals

January 22, 2013
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$Binomial Confidence Intervals$

This stems from a couple of binomial distribution projects I have been working on recently.  It’s widely known that there are many different flavors of confidence intervals for the binomial distribution.  The reason for this is that there is a coverage problem with these intervals (see Coverage Probability).  A 95% confidence interval isn’t always (actually [...]

## Binomial Confidence Intervals

January 22, 2013
By
$Binomial Confidence Intervals$

This stems from a couple of binomial distribution projects I have been working on recently.  It’s widely known that there are many different flavors of confidence intervals for the binomial distribution.  The reason for this is that there is a coverage problem with these intervals (see Coverage Probability).  A 95% confidence interval isn’t always (actually [...]

## Reserving based on log-incremental payments in R, part III

January 22, 2013
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This is the third post about Christofides' paper on Regression models based on log-incremental payments [1]. The first post covered the fundamentals of Christofides' reserving model in sections A - F, the second focused on a more realistic exam...

## from down-under, Lake Menteith upside-down

January 22, 2013
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The dataset used in Bayesian Core for the chapter on image processing is a Landsat picture of Lake of Menteith in Scotland (close to Loch Lomond). (Yes, Lake of Menteith, not Loch Menteith!) Here is the image produced in the book. I just got an email from Matt Moores at QUT that the image is [...]

## Analyzing Pre-Post Data with Repeated Measures or ANCOVA

January 22, 2013
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This kind of situation happens all the time, in which a colleague, a reviewer, or a statistical consultant insists that you need to do the analysis differently. Sometimes they're right, but sometimes, as was true here, the two analyses answer different research questions.

## Methods changed – Information changed

January 22, 2013
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The joint OECD – WTO Trade in Value-Added Initiative breaks with conventional measurements of  trade, which record gross flows of goods and …Continue reading »

## That claim that students whose parents pay for more of college get worse grades

January 22, 2013
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Theodore Vasiloudis writes: I came upon this article by Laura Hamilton, an assistant professor in the University of California at Merced, that claims that “The more money that parents provide for higher education, the lower the grades their children earn.” I can’t help but feel that there something wrong with the basis of the study [...]

## Comparing Transformation Styles: attach, transform, mutate and within

January 22, 2013
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There are several ways to perform data transformations in R. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take one variable, square it and add 100. How many ways might an R beginner screw up such a simple … Continue reading →

## The State of Information Visualization, 2013

January 22, 2013
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Well, the world hasn’t ended, so here’s a look back at what happened in visualization in 2012, and a look ahead in case the world is still around a year from now. 2012: What Was Last year was an exciting one, at least for me. First I started my sabbatical year at Tableau, then I decided to stay there. I went to SxSW and Malofiej. I met a lot of…

## Workshop on science communication for graduate students

January 21, 2013
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Nathan Sanders writes: Applications are now open for the Communicating Science 2013 workshop (http://workshop.astrobites.com/), to be held in Cambridge, MA on June 13-15th, 2013. Graduate students at US institutions in all fields of science and engineering are encouraged to apply – funding is available for travel expenses and accommodations. The application can be found here: [...]

## Montreal R User group meetup at Wajam

January 21, 2013
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This Thursday (Jan 24th), 5:30pm, the good folks at Wajam are hosting a meetup of the Montreal R User Group. The event will be at Bolidea at 4115 St Laurent, Montréal, QC. Be sure to RSVP. From Benjamin Rollert: This is an opportunity for people interested in R to hang out at our office, eat […]

## Comparing the Words Spoken at US Presidential Inauguration Speeches

January 21, 2013
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US Presidential Inauguration Speeches: How Does Obama's Second Compare? [guardian.co.uk], designed by data visualization wizard Santiago Ortiz, compares the US Presidential Inauguration Speeches since Richard Nixon became president in 1969. One can ...

## Emissions Globe: a 3D Visualization of Carbon Emissions

January 21, 2013
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Emissions Globe [emissionsglobe.com] developed by interactive media designer Robbie Tilton is a WebGL-based 3D data visualization that reveals the world countries with the largest carbon emissions. Next to the more experiential 3D globe representati...

## On the use and abuse of weasels in science journalism

January 21, 2013
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Dean Burnett writes a column in Guardian, sometimes about science but more entertainingly on pseudo-, wannabe-, and not-actually- science. Most of the time this is good BS-shovelling fun and I recommend it. Unfortunately today we get some ill-considered overreach under the guise of shovelling. The subject is a silly equation purporting to define how depressing […]

## On the use and abuse of weasels in science journalism

January 21, 2013
By

Dean Burnett writes a column in Guardian, sometimes about science but more entertainingly on pseudo-, wannabe-, and not-actually- science. Most of the time this is good BS-shovelling fun and I recommend it. Unfortunately today we get some ill-considered overreach under the guise of shovelling. The subject is a silly equation purporting to define how depressing [...]

## Finite-population Anova calculations for models with interactions

January 21, 2013
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Jim Thomson writes: I wonder if you could provide some clarification on the correct way to calculate the finite-population standard deviations for interaction terms in your Bayesian approach to ANOVA (as explained in your 2005 paper, and Gelman and Hill 2007). I understand that it is the SD of the constrained batch coefficients that is [...]

## Class on computational social science this semester, Fridays, 1:00-3:40pm

January 21, 2013
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Sharad Goel, Jake Hofman, and Sergei Vassilvitskii are teaching this awesome class on computational social science this semester in the applied math department at Columbia. Here’s the course info. You should take this course. These guys are ama...