Reading some wild traffic statistics from New Zealand

March 19, 2015
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Only 6% of crashes in New Zealand involve foreign drivers, according to the latest figures provided by the Ministry of Transport. But in some remote regions of the South Island particularly popular with tourists for their scenery... foreign drivers are involved in about a quarter of all crashes. These sentences come from a CNN article about a vigilante movement in those regions popular with tourists. The vigilantes snatch car keys…

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Lying with statistics, CAM version

March 19, 2015
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Lying with statistics, CAM version

Full disclosure here: at one time I wanted to be a complementary and alternative (CAM) researcher. Or integrative, or whatever the cool kids call it these days. I thought that CAM research would yield positive fruit if they could just tighten up their ...

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A simple (and fair) way all statistics journals could drive up their impact factor.

March 18, 2015
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Hypothesis: If every method in every stats journal was implemented in a corresponding R package (easy), was required to have a  companion document that was a tutorial on how to use the software (easy), included a reference to how to cite the paper if you used the software (easy) and the paper/tutorial was posted to

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What do CERN, the ISS, and Stephen Fry have in Common?

March 18, 2015
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What do CERN, the ISS, and Stephen Fry have in Common?

You’ll have to read the New Yorker article on Richard M. Stallman and the The GNU Manifesto by Maria Bustillos to find out! And what’s up with Tim O’Reilly’s comments about the Old Testment vs. New Testament?   That’s an ad hominem attack of the highest order, guaranteed to get the Judeo-Christians even more riled […] The post What do CERN, the ISS, and Stephen Fry have in Common? appeared…

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Jane Austen vs. Karl Popper; Lee advances

March 18, 2015
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For yesterday’s contest I’ll have to go with this comment by Nuthin: This series of posts is so tedious that I’m considering removing this blog from my RSS feed altogether. Stewart Lee is a master of hecklers. In a lot of his work he pretty much invites people to heckle, he antagonizes his audience, etc. […] The post Jane Austen vs. Karl Popper; Lee advances appeared first on Statistical Modeling,…

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Link: CG&A Article on Tapestry

March 18, 2015
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I’ve written a short piece about the Tapestry conference for the Graphically Speaking column in Computer Graphics and Applications. The article talks about the reasoning behind Tapestry, how it’s different from academic conferences, and gives a few examples of talks. It even includes anecdotal evidence to show that the conference has enabled actual knowledge transfer. If you prefer a PDF … Continue reading Link: CG&A Article on Tapestry

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New time unit needed!

March 18, 2015
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We need a time unit that’s bigger than a minute but smaller than an hour. I thought of it when writing this comment in which I referred to “2100 valuable minutes of classroom time” during the semester (that’s 75 minutes per class, twice a week, for 14 weeks). A minute of class time is pretty […] The post New time unit needed! appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and…

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the vim cheat sheet

March 18, 2015
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the vim cheat sheet

Filed under: Kids, Linux, R, University life, Wines Tagged: An Evil Guest, editor, unix, vim

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Finding observations that match a target value

March 18, 2015
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Finding observations that match a target value

Imagine that you have one million rows of numerical data and you want to determine if a particular "target" value occurs. How might you find where the value occurs? For univariate data, this is an easy problem. In the SAS DATA step you can use a WHERE clause or a […]

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Dark themes for writing

March 18, 2015
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Dark themes for writing

I spend much of my day sitting in front of a screen, coding or writing. To limit the strain on my eyes, I use a dark theme as much as possible. That is, I write with light colored text on a dark background. I don’t know why this is not the default in more software […]

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A subtle way to over-fit

March 17, 2015
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If you train a model on a set of data, it should fit that data well. The hope, however, is that it will fit a new set of data well. So in machine learning and statistics, people split their data into two parts. They train the model on one half, and see how well it […]

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Bayesian classics

March 17, 2015
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Bayesian classics

This week I’ll start my Bayesian Statistics master’s course at the Collegio Carlo Alberto. I realized that some of last year students got PhD positions in prestigious US universities. So I thought that letting this year’s students have a first grasp of some great Bayesian papers wouldn’t do harm. The idea is that in addition to the course, […]

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Bayesian classics

March 17, 2015
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Bayesian classics

This week I’ll start my Bayesian Statistics master’s course at the Collegio Carlo Alberto. I realized that some of last year students got PhD positions in prestigious US universities. So I thought that letting this year’s students have a first grasp of some great Bayesian papers wouldn’t do harm. The idea is that in addition to the course, […]

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Sigmund Freud vs. Stewart Lee; Dick advances

March 17, 2015
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Yesterday‘s thread was won by Slugger, who wrote: I accidentally swallowed a stelazine capsule and have seen that Grandma Moses is in fact a reptilian lifeform without the ability to vocalize. My vote goes to PKD. Where did that light switch come from, anyway? I could’ve sworn it was a pull cord. . . . […] The post Sigmund Freud vs. Stewart Lee; Dick advances appeared first on Statistical Modeling,…

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Data science done well looks easy – and that is a big problem for data scientists

March 17, 2015
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Data science has a ton of different definitions. For the purposes of this post I'm going to use the definition of data science we used when creating our Data Science program online. Data science is: Data science is the process of formulating a quantitative question that can be answered with data, collecting and cleaning the

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The 1980 Math Olympiad Program: Where are they now?

March 17, 2015
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Brian Hunt: He was the #1 math team kid in our team (Montgomery County, Maryland). I think he came in first place in the international olympiad the next year (yup, here’s the announcement). We carpooled once or twice to county math team practices, and I remember that his mom would floor it rather than slow […] The post The 1980 Math Olympiad Program: Where are they now? appeared first on…

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R in Insurance: Abstract submission closes end of March

March 17, 2015
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R in Insurance: Abstract submission closes end of March

Hurry! The abstract submission deadline for the 3rd R in Insurance conference in Amsterdam, 29 June 2015 is approaching soon. You have until the 28th of March to submit a one-page abstract for consideration. Both academic and practitioner proposals rel...

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Stephen Senn: The pathetic P-value (Guest Post)

March 16, 2015
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Stephen Senn: The pathetic P-value (Guest Post)

Stephen Senn Head of Competence Center for Methodology and Statistics (CCMS) Luxembourg Institute of Health The pathetic P-value This is the way the story is now often told. RA Fisher is the villain. Scientists were virtuously treading the Bayesian path, when along came Fisher and gave them P-values, which they gladly accepted, because they could […]

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Helping Your Organization Migrate to R

March 16, 2015
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Helping Your Organization Migrate to R

by Bob Muenchen As the R programming environment has grown in capability and popularity, so have the number of organizations planning to migrate to it from proprietary tools. I’ve helped members of various organizations transition from SAS, SPSS and/or Stata to R (see Workshop … Continue reading →

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Shortchanging and subverting the message

March 16, 2015
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Shortchanging and subverting the message

Reader Michael N. calls this an "unusual" marketing bar chart--because the designer distorted the data in a way that weakens, rather than strengthen, the story! The infographic is pitching savings if the family switches to Republic. The savings is about...

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Grandma Moses vs. Philip K. Dick (2); Gandhi advances

March 16, 2015
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Grandma Moses vs. Philip K. Dick (2); Gandhi advances

Yesterday’s most relevant comment came from Ben: Gandhi would have a far more interesting things to say about the current state of world politics, etc. The issues that Gandhi was known for (de-colonization, passive resistance) remain immensely relevant but with very different parameters than the 1920’s-1940’s. By contrast, Mother Teresa’s main mission (serving the poor) […] The post Grandma Moses vs. Philip K. Dick (2); Gandhi advances appeared first on…

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The State of the Art in Causal Inference: Some Changes Since 1972

March 16, 2015
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For the first issue of the journal Observational Studies, editor Dylan Small will reprint William Cochran’s 1972 article on the topic (which begins, “Observational studies are a class of statistical studies that have increased in frequency and importance during the past 20 years. In an observational study the investigator is restricted to taking selected observations […] The post The State of the Art in Causal Inference: Some Changes Since 1972…

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On deck this week

March 16, 2015
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Mon: The State of the Art in Causal Inference: Some Changes Since 1972 Grandma Moses vs. Philip K. Dick (2) Tues: The 1980 Math Olympiad Program: Where are they now? Sigmund Freud vs. Stewart Lee Wed: New time unit needed! Jane Austen vs. Karl Popper Thurs: Cracked.com > Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal, New York […] The post On deck this week appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and…

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