eagereyes will be bloggier in 2015

December 30, 2014
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I always mess with my site around the new year, and this year is no exception. In addition to a new theme, I’ve also been thinking about content. Here are some thoughts on what I want to do in 2015. I don’t know what it is, but I always start hating my website theme after about a … Continue reading eagereyes will be bloggier in 2015

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top posts for 2014

December 29, 2014
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top posts for 2014

Here are the most popular entries for 2014: 17 equations that changed the World (#2) 995 Le Monde puzzle [website] 992 “simply start over and build something better” 991 accelerating MCMC via parallel predictive prefetching 990 Bayesian p-values 960 posterior predictive p-values 849 Bayesian Data Analysis [BDA3] 846 Bayesian programming [book review] 834 Feller’s shoes […]

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How learning to code kept me sane when I was a diplomat

December 29, 2014
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How learning to code kept me sane when I was a diplomat

In January of 2011, I joined the US Foreign Service. Along with 80 others, I went through a class called A-100, and got a crash course on how to be a diplomat. We learned how to address foreign dignitaries. We got lessons in diplomatic history. The...

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Multivariate Medians

December 29, 2014
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Multivariate Medians

I'll bet that in the very first "descriptive statistics" course you ever took, you learned about measures of "central tendency" for samples or populations, and these measures included the median. You no doubt learned that one useful feature of the medi...

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Statistical methods as pocket tools

December 29, 2014
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Statistical methods as pocket tools

I was inspired by this post by John Cook, “People want Swiss Army Knives,” to think more generally about the idea of statistical methods as pocket tools. Cook argues that the Swiss Army Knife is a more useful tool than a scalpel because it can do so many more things, even if it does none […] The post Statistical methods as pocket tools appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference,…

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On deck this week

December 29, 2014
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Mon: Statistical methods as pocket tools Tues: It’s not just the confidence and drive to act. It’s having engraved inner criteria to guide action. Wed: Your closest collaborator . . . and why you can’t talk with her Thurs: What to think about in 2015: How can the principles of statistical quality control be applied […] The post On deck this week appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and…

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Getting R and Java 1.8 to work together on OSX

December 29, 2014
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Hey Mac OSX users with Java 1.8 installed. Did R just request a Java 1.6 installation and then promptly crash your session?  If so, read on… The Problem A few days ago I was attempting to use the mallet package … Continue reading →

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Data Stories starring Tamara Munzner

December 29, 2014
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The latest episode of the Data Stories podcast has Tamara Munzner as the guest. They talk about her much-anticipated book, visualization taxonomies, and a lot more. It’s a great episode, well worth listening to.

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To raise the power of a test is to lower (not raise) the “hurdle” for rejecting the null (Ziliac and McCloskey 3 years on)

December 29, 2014
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To raise the power of a test is to lower (not raise) the “hurdle” for rejecting the null (Ziliac and McCloskey 3 years on)

I said I’d reblog one of the 3-year “memory lane” posts marked in red, with a few new comments (in burgundy), from time to time. So let me comment on one referring to Ziliac and McCloskey on power. (from Oct.2011). I would think they’d want to correct some wrong statements, or explain their shifts in meaning. My hope is […]

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Econometrics in the Post-Cowles Era

December 28, 2014
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Econometrics in the Post-Cowles Era

My thanks to Olav Bjerkholt for alerting me to a special edition of the open access journal, Oekonomia, devoted to the History of Econometrics. Olav recently guest-edited this issue, and here's part of what he has to say in the Editor's Forew...

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Christmas release: ggRandomForests V1.1.2

December 28, 2014
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Christmas release: ggRandomForests V1.1.2

I’ve posted a new release of the ggRandomForests: Visually Exploring Random Forests to CRAN at (http://cran.r-project.org/package=ggRandomForests) The biggest news is the inclusion of some holiday reading – a ggRandomForests package vignette! ggRandomForests: Visually Exploring a Random Forest for Regression The vignette… Continue reading →

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Sometimes you’re so subtle they don’t get the joke

December 28, 2014
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T. A. Frail writes: When Andrew Gelman, a professor of statistics and political science at Columbia University, wrote that Who’s Bigger? ‘is a guaranteed argument-starter,’ he meant it as a compliment. In all seriousness, I wish people would read what I wrote, not what they think I meant! My quote continued: This book is a […] The post Sometimes you’re so subtle they don’t get the joke appeared first on…

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A time series contest attempt

December 28, 2014
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A time series contest attempt

I saw the post a time series contest on Rob J Hyndman's blog. Since I am still wanting to play around with some bigger data sets, so I went to the source website https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0BxmzB6Xm7Ga1MGxsdlMxbGllZnM&usp=shar...

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Are you hardcore?

December 27, 2014
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Are you hardcore?

Keep warm while cycling in the winter months with these tips from the Dataman! (tl; dr invest in warm gloves and cotton socks)

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The Demise of a "Great Ratio"

December 27, 2014
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The Demise of a "Great Ratio"

Once upon a time there was a rule of thumb that there were 20 sheep in New Zealand for every person living there. Yep, I kid you not. The old adage used to be "3 million people; 60 million sheep".I liked to think of this as another important "Great Rat...

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The anti-Woodstein

December 27, 2014
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I received the following email: Dear professor Andrew Gelman, My name is **, a resident correspondent of **. I am writing to request for an interview via email. We met once at New York Foreign Press Center one week ago. As you may know, President Obama will travel to China, Burma and Australia from November […] The post The anti-Woodstein appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

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Try answering this question without heading to Wikipedia

December 27, 2014
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Phil writes: This is kind of fun (at least for me): You would probably guess, correctly, that membership in the US Chess Federation is lower than its peak. Guess the year of peak membership, and the decline (as a percentage) in the number of members from that peak. My reply: I don’t know, but I’d […] The post Try answering this question without heading to Wikipedia appeared first on Statistical…

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3 YEARS AGO: MONTHLY (Dec.) MEMORY LANE

December 27, 2014
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3 YEARS AGO: MONTHLY (Dec.) MEMORY LANE

MONTHLY MEMORY LANE: 3 years ago: December 2011. I mark in red 3 posts that seem most apt for general background on key issues in this blog.* (12/2) Getting Credit (or blame) for Something You Don’t Deserve (and first honorable mention [to C. Robert]) (12/6) Putting the Brakes on the Breakthrough Part 1* (12/7) Part II: Breaking Through the Breakthrough* (12/11) Irony and Bad Faith: Deconstructing Bayesians […]

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I’m sure that my anti-Polya attitude is completely unfair

December 26, 2014
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Reading this post in which Mark Palko quotes from the classic “How to Solve It” by the legendary mathematician and math educator George Polya, I was reminded of my decades-long aversion to Polya, an attitude that might seem odd given that (a) Polya has an excellent reputation, and (b) I’ve never read more than a […] The post I’m sure that my anti-Polya attitude is completely unfair appeared first on…

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Common sense and statistics

December 25, 2014
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John Cook writes: Some physicists say that you should always have an order-of-magnitude idea of what a result will be before you calculate it. This implies a belief that such estimates are usually possible, and that they provide a sanity check for calculations. And that’s true in physics, at least in mechanics. In probability, however, […] The post Common sense and statistics appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and…

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Sheep tramples sense

December 25, 2014
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Sheep tramples sense

Merry Christmas, readers. *** A Twitter follower pointed me to this visual: I have yet to understand why the vertical axis of the top chart keeps changing scales over time. The white dot labelled "Peak 1982" (70 million) is barely...

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R: Principal Component Analysis on Imaging

December 25, 2014
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R: Principal Component Analysis on Imaging

Ever wonder what's the mathematics behind face recognition on most gadgets like digital camera and smartphones? Well for most part it has something to do with statistics. One statistical tool that is capable of doing such feature is the Principal Compo...

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Proxy unmasking

December 25, 2014
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Consider this paragraph from a FiveThirtyEight article about the small-schools movement (my italics): Hanushek calculated the economic value of good and bad teachers, combining the “quality” of a teacher — based on student achievement on tests — with the lifetime earnings of an average American entering the workforce. He found that a very high-performing teacher with a class of 20 students could raise her pupils’ average lifetime earnings by as…

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