Lab: I Can Has Likelihood Surface? (Introduction to Statistical Computing)

October 11, 2013
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In which we practice passing functions as arguments to other functions, by way of an introduction to likelihood and its maximization; and, incidentally, work more with plotting in R. Assignment Introduction to Statistical Computing

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Homework: I Made You a Likelihood Function, But I Ate It (Introduction to Statistical Computing)

October 11, 2013
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In which we continue to practice using functions as arguments and as return values, while learning something about the standard error of maximum likelihood estimates, and about the modularity of methods like the jack-knife. Assignment Introductio...

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Split, Apply, Combine: Using Basic R (Introduction to Statistical Computing)

October 11, 2013
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Lecture 12: Design patterns and their benefits: clarity on what is to be done, flexibility about how to do it, ease of adapting others' solutions. The split/apply/combine pattern: divide big structured data sets up into smaller, related parts; apply ...

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Split, Apply, Combine: Using plyr (Introduction to Statistical Computing)

October 11, 2013
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Lecture 13, Split/apply/combine II: using plyr. Abstracting the split/apply/combine pattern: using a single function to appropriately split up the input, apply the function, and combine the results, depending on the type of input and output data. Sy...

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Midterm Exam (Introduction to Statistical Computing)

October 11, 2013
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Midterm Exam: eight questions about thirteen lines of code. Introduction to Statistical Computing

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Self-syndication

October 11, 2013
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Self-syndication

This is a piece I've written for The SWITCH project website. SWITCH is a research project addressing issues related to the social market economy in Europe. The topics addressed in the project range from macro financial sustainability conditions to the ...

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Why do we still teach a semester of trigonometry? How about engineering instead?

October 11, 2013
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Arthur Benjamini says we should teach statistics before calculus.  He points out that most of what we do in high school math is preparing us for calculus. He makes the point that while physicists, engineers and economists need calculus, in the … Continue reading →

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Gladwell and Chabris, David and Goliath, and science writing as stone soup

October 11, 2013
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Gladwell and Chabris, David and Goliath, and science writing as stone soup

The only thing is, I’m not sure who’s David here and who is Goliath. From the standpoint of book sales, Gladwell is Goliath for sure. On the other hand, Gladwell’s credibility has been weakened over the years by fights with bigshots such as Steven Pinker. Maybe the best analogy is a boxing match where Gladwell […]The post Gladwell and Chabris, David and Goliath, and science writing as stone soup appeared…

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Two applications of the "runs test"

October 11, 2013
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Two applications of the "runs test"

In my last blog post I described how to implement a "runs test" in the SAS/IML language. The runs test determines whether a sequence of two values (for example, heads and tails) is likely to have been generated by random chance. This article describes two applications of the runs test. [...]

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Random Sequence of Heads and Tails: For R Users

October 10, 2013
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Random Sequence of Heads and Tails: For R Users

Rick Wicklin on the SAS blog made a post today on how to tell if a sequence of coin flips were random.  I figured it was only fair to port the SAS IML code over to R.  Just like Rick Wicklin did in his example this is the Wald-Wolfowitz test for randomness.  I tried to […]

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Calculating AUC the hard way

October 10, 2013
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Calculating AUC the hard way

The Area Under the Receiver Operator Curve is a commonly used metric of model performance in machine learning and many other binary classification/prediction problems. The idea is to generate a threshold independent measure of how well a model is able to distinguish between two possible outcomes. Threshold independent here just means that for any model […]

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De Novo Transcriptome Assembly with Trinity: Protocol and Videos

October 10, 2013
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De Novo Transcriptome Assembly with Trinity: Protocol and Videos

One of the clearest advantages RNA-seq has over array-based technology for studying gene expression is not needing a reference genome or a pre-existing oligo array. De novo transcriptome assembly allows you to study non-model organisms, cancer cells, o...

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Cancelled NIH study sections: a subtle, yet disastrous, effect of the government shutdown

October 10, 2013
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Editor's note: This post is contributed by Debashis Ghosh. Debashis is the chair of the Biostatistical Methods and Research Design (BMRD) study sections at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  BMRD's focus is statistical methodology. I write today to discuss effects of … Continue reading →

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Chris Chabris is irritated by Malcolm Gladwell

October 10, 2013
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Chris Chabris is irritated by Malcolm Gladwell

Christopher Chabris reviewed the new book by Malcolm Gladwell: One thing “David and Goliath” shows is that Mr. Gladwell has not changed his own strategy, despite serious criticism of his prior work. What he presents are mostly just intriguing possibilities and musings about human behavior, but what his publisher sells them as, and what his […]The post Chris Chabris is irritated by Malcolm Gladwell appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal…

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That’s Smooth

October 10, 2013
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That’s Smooth

I had someone ask me the other day how to take a scatterplot and draw something other than a straight line through the graph using Excel.  Yes, it can be done in Excel and it’s really quite simple, but there are some limitations when using the stock Excel dialog screens. So it is probably in […]

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The Seven Year Itch

October 10, 2013
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The Seven Year Itch

Eagereyes.org turned seven years old last week, on October 1st. Seven years is a long time on the web. In dog years, the site is almost fifty years old! Has it lost its edge? Have I gone soft? Where is the bite? Where is the fight? The Establishment This site has become a part of […]

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Bad statistics: crime or free speech (II)? Harkonen update: Phil Stat / Law /Stock

October 10, 2013
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Bad statistics: crime or free speech (II)? Harkonen update: Phil Stat / Law /Stock

There’s an update (with overview) on the infamous Harkonen case in Nature with the dubious title “Uncertainty on Trial“, first discussed in my (11/13/12) post “Bad statistics: Crime or Free speech”, and continued here. The new Nature article quotes from Steven Goodman: “You don’t want to have on the books a conviction for a practice that many […]

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Diagrams for hierarchical models – we need your opinion

October 9, 2013
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Diagrams for hierarchical models – we need your opinion

When trying to understand a hierarchical model, I find it helpful to make a diagram of the dependencies between variables. But I have found the traditional directed acyclic graphs (DAGs) to be incomplete at best and downright confusing at worst. Theref...

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Mister P: What’s its secret sauce?

October 9, 2013
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Mister P:  What’s its secret sauce?

This is a long and technical post on an important topic: the use of multilevel regression and poststratification (MRP) to estimate state-level public opinion. MRP as a research method, and state-level opinion (or, more generally, attitudes in demographic and geographic subpopulation) as a subject, have both become increasingly important in political science—and soon, I expect, […]The post Mister P: What’s its secret sauce? appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference,…

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The Care and Feeding of Your Scientist Collaborator

October 9, 2013
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Editor’s Note: This post written by Roger Peng is part of a two-part series on Scientist-Statistician interactions. The first post was written by Elizabeth C. Matsui, an Associate Professor in the Division of Allergy and Immunology at the Johns Hopkins … Continue reading →

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Robert G Brown (1923-2013)

October 9, 2013
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Robert G Brown (1923-2013)

Robert Goodell Brown was the father of exponential smoothing. He died last week at the age of 90. While I never met him, I was indebted to him for exponential smoothing and his practical and insightful books. Today I received this email from King Harrison III advising of his death. Twenty years ago I attended the ISF 93 conference in Pittsburgh, which honored Bob Brown on his 70th birthday, and…

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How to tell whether a sequence of heads and tails is random

October 9, 2013
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How to tell whether a sequence of heads and tails is random

While walking in the woods, a statistician named Goldilocks wanders into a cottage and discovers three bears. The bears, being hungry, threaten to eat the young lady, but Goldilocks begs them to give her a chance to win her freedom. The bears agree. While Mama Bear and Papa Bear block [...]

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The (third) runway bride

October 9, 2013
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The (third) runway bride

I think I should disclaim the conflict of interest in this one (since Marta is one of the authors of the paper), but it was really, really cool to see her study on the impact on health of noise pollution close to airports in the newspapers today (for e...

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