## The championship! Thomas Hobbes vs. Philip K. Dick

April 6, 2015
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OK, since this is the final round, you’re allowed to make as many Calvin and Hobbes jokes and as many dick jokes as you want. These two guys have been through a lot together. To get here, Hobbes defeated, in order, Larry David, Leo Tolstoy, Chris Rock, Ed Wood, and Miguel de Cervantes; while Dick […] The post The championship! Thomas Hobbes vs. Philip K. Dick appeared first on Statistical…

## But when you call me Bayesian, I know I’m not the only one

April 6, 2015
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Textbooks on statistics emphasize care and precision, via concepts such as reliability and validity in measurement, random sampling and treatment assignment in data collection, and causal identification and bias in estimation. But how do researchers decide what to believe and what to trust when choosing which statistical methods to use? How do they decide the […] The post But when you call me Bayesian, I know I’m not the only…

## What popular baby names teach us about data analytics

April 6, 2015
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In my latest piece for Harvard Business Review (link), I tackle this common problem in the interactions between data scientists and business managers: A typical big data analysis goes like this: First, a data scientist finds some obscure data accumulating in a server. Next, he or she spends days or weeks slicing and dicing the numbers, eventually stumbling upon some unusual insights. Then, a meeting is organized to present the…

## Why oil prices came down, and won’t anymore

April 6, 2015
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This article was republished by the Significance, the official magazine of the American Statistical Association and Royal Statistical Society (UK). You have probably heard that the price of crude oil has tumbled from $115 per barrel (159 litres, an archaic but established unit of measurement) in June 2014 to$54 in March 2015. Why oil […]

## Let’s talk at SAS Global Forum 2015

April 6, 2015
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The 2015 SAS Global Forum is in Dallas, TX, and I'll be there. There are many talks to see and people to meet, so thank goodness for the agenda builder, which enables you to create a schedule in advance. I always enjoy talking with SAS customers about statistics, simulations, matrix […] The post Let's talk at SAS Global Forum 2015 appeared first on The DO Loop.

## Philip K. Dick (2) vs. George Carlin (2); Hobbes advances

April 5, 2015
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For yesterday’s semifinal, I was all ready to go with this argument by Zbicyclist in favor of Cervantes: For someone who wasn’t writing in English, he’s credited with a fair number of English catchphrases. Let’s bring the old guy back to life and see what else he’s got. When thou art at Rome, do as […] The post Philip K. Dick (2) vs. George Carlin (2); Hobbes advances appeared first…

## This is why I’m a political scientist and not a psychologist

April 5, 2015
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I can understand how people can hold all sorts of wacked-out political views (after all, in the past, people have supported ideas as crazy as abolitionism, polygamy, monarchy, and the nationalization of the means of production), but certain things in psychology just continue to baffle me, even though I know they’re true. The most recent […] The post This is why I’m a political scientist and not a psychologist appeared…

## Hierarchical Two Compartimental PK Model

April 5, 2015
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In this post I am running the Theoph dataset from MEMSS (Data sets and sample analyses from Pinheiro and Bates, "Mixed-effects Models in S and S-PLUS" (Springer, 2000)) in a JAGS model. To quote the MEMSS manual:'Boeckmann, Sheiner and Beal (1994...

## Joan Clarke, Turing, I.J. Good, and “that after-dinner comedy hour…”

April 5, 2015
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I finally saw The Imitation Game about Alan Turing and code-breaking at Bletchley Park during WWII. This short clip of Joan Clarke, who was engaged to Turing, includes my late colleague I.J. Good at the end (he’s not second as the clip lists him). Good used to talk a great deal about Bletchley Park and […]

## Inside the Econometric Game

April 4, 2015
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Now that the Econometric Game, 2015 is over I can reveal the cases that the teams grappled with. The Case Makers were Bas Werker and Ramon van den Akker, both of Tilburg University.You'll recall that thirty teams, from various parts of the world, playe...

## The Final Four: Cervantes, Hobbes, Dick, Carlin! Today’s semifinal: Miguel de Cervantes (2) vs. Thomas Hobbes

April 4, 2015
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We’re nearing the end! Yesterday‘s winner was decided based on several Carlin quotes. From Paul, a great line on Muhammad Ali: He said, ‘No, that’s where I draw the line. I’ll beat ‘em up, but I don’t want to kill ‘em.’ And the government said, ‘Well, if you won’t kill people, we won’t let you […] The post The Final Four: Cervantes, Hobbes, Dick, Carlin! Today’s semifinal: Miguel de Cervantes…

## Stan meetup in NYC on Tuesday

April 4, 2015
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The next Stan meetup in NYC is on Tuesday, 4/7/2015. If you have installation issues, modeling trouble, or just want to pick some of the developers’ brains, show up. Free. Registration required: http://www.meetup.com/Stan-Users-NYC/events/221561385/   P.S. Boston, Stan meetups are coming your way. The post Stan meetup in NYC on Tuesday appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

## “Thinking about the possibility of spurious correlation isn’t a matter of liking—it should be pretty much automatic.”

April 4, 2015
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I agree with sociologist David Weakliem when he writes the above sentence. Here’s the full paragraph: Krugman says, “you can, if you like, try to argue that this relationship is spurious, maybe not causal.” Actually, I [Weakliem] liked his original figure, since I agree with Krugman on economic policy. But thinking about the possibility of […] The post “Thinking about the possibility of spurious correlation isn’t a matter of liking—it…

## How and why to return functions in R

April 3, 2015
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One of the advantages of functional languages (such as R) is the ability to create and return functions “on the fly.” We will discuss one good use of this capability and what to look out for when creating functions in R. Why wrap/return fun...

## And the Winners Are…………

April 3, 2015
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The results of the Econometric Game (AKA The World Championship of Econometrics) were decided in Amsterdam yesterday.Here are the results for the 2015 competition:First Place - Maastricht UniversitySecond Place - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champa...

## John Updike vs. George Carlin (2); Hobbes and Dick advance

April 3, 2015
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Yesterday‘s winners were determined by Zbicylist’s comment: Nasty, brutish and short — and not necessarily human. Pretty good, but now that Hobbes has made it into the Final Four, the competition’s stiffer. He’ll need something better than “nasty, brutish, and short” to get past Cervantes and make it into the final. And today we fill […] The post John Updike vs. George Carlin (2); Hobbes and Dick advance appeared first…

## A rare topical post

April 3, 2015
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Harvey Motulsky writes: Every year at passover, I struggle to peel two dozen hard boiled eggs and search the web to see if there isn’t a trick to do it better. But all the hits say the same thing: put the eggs in cold water, then bring to a boil. But this guy [J. Kenji […] The post A rare topical post appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and…

## Surveymonkey’s unipolarity and I

April 3, 2015
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I was creating an online survey using Surveymonkey earlier this week. They asked me to try their new design, and so I did. There appeared to be a bug in one of the features. It kept preventing me from displaying the questions in a certain way. I tried a bunch of tricks but after ten minutes, decided to switch back to the old design. I clicked on their Feedback link…

## Why You Need to Study Statistics

April 3, 2015
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The American Statistical Association is continuing its campaign to get you to study statistics, if you haven't already. I have to agree with them that being a statistician is a pretty good job. Their latest video highlights a wide range of statistician...

## Books to Read While the Algae Grow in Your Fur, January 2015

April 2, 2015
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## Round of 8 bracket; Ed Wood (3) vs. Thomas Hobbes; Philip K. Dick (2) vs. Jane Austen

April 2, 2015
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Paul Davidson sends along the updated bracket, along with the comment that the writers seem to be doing very well. True! The 8 remaining contestants include 5 writers (along with one comedian, one philosopher, and one cult figure). Yesterday we had no competition because I was afraid that people would not take it seriously on […] The post Round of 8 bracket; Ed Wood (3) vs. Thomas Hobbes; Philip K.…

## There are 5 ways to get fired from Caesars: (1) theft, (2) sexual harassment, (3) running an experiment without a control group, (4) keeping a gambling addict away from the casino, and (5) chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings

April 2, 2015
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We first encountered the famous casino operator in February, 2011, when Michael Schrage was hyping the data-driven philosophy of its CEO, Gary Loveman, in Technology Review. Here’s a typical bit from the article: Schrage: What do you like to tell your academic colleagues about the challenges of real-world experimentation and innovation? Loveman: Honestly, my only […] The post There are 5 ways to get fired from Caesars: (1) theft, (2)…

## Graphical forms impose assumptions on the data

April 2, 2015
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In a comment to my previous post, reader Chris P. pointed me to the following set of maps, also from the New York Times crew, on the legalization of gay marriage in the U.S. (link) (For those who did not...