A critical look at “critical thinking”: deduction and induction

August 23, 2013
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A critical look at “critical thinking”: deduction and induction

I’m cleaning away some cobwebs around my old course notes, as I return to teaching after 2 years off (since I began this blog). The change of technology alone over a mere 2 years (at least here at Super Tech U) might be enough to earn me techno-dinosaur status: I knew “Blackboard” but now it’s […]

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The Flavor Connection: Mapping Commonalities in Food Flavors

August 22, 2013
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The Flavor Connection: Mapping Commonalities in Food Flavors

The Flavor Connection [scientificamerican.com] by Jan Willem Tulp for popular science magazine Scientific American maps the similarities of flavor compounds between different foods. Each food is represented by a blue dot, which is sized according to...

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Improvements to Kindle Version of BDA3

August 22, 2013
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I let Andrew know about the comments about the defective Kindle version of BDA2 and he wrote to his editor at Chapman and Hall, Rob Calver, who wrote back with this info: I can guarantee that the Kindle version of the third edition will be a substantial improvement. We publish all of our mathematics and […]The post Improvements to Kindle Version of BDA3 appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference,…

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Chris Lane, U.S. tourism boycotts, and large relative risks on small probabilities

August 22, 2013
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Chris Lane was tragically killed (link via Leah J.) in a shooting in Duncan, Oklahoma. According to the reports, it sounds like it was apparently a random and completely senseless act of violence. It is horrifying to think that those kids were … Continue reading →

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“The comment section is open, but I’m not going to read them”

August 22, 2013
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That’s Tyler Cowen’s policy. I read almost all the comments here. I’m glad I read them, I think. Over the years, I’ve learned a lot of interesting things from the comments. Sometimes, though, I wish I hadn’t bothered. Cowen gets about 10 times as many comments as I do, so I think in his case […]The post “The comment section is open, but I’m not going to read them” appeared…

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More Bayesian Football Models

August 22, 2013
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More Bayesian Football Models

I recently had a lot of fun coding up a Bayesian Poisson model of football scores in the Spanish la Liga. I describe the model, implemented using R and JAGS, in these posts: part 1, part 2, part 3. Turns out that Gianluca Baio and Marta Blangiardo al...

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Numbersense Pros: Interview with Dean Baker

August 22, 2013
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Numbersense Pros: Interview with Dean Baker

Today's Numbersense Pros features Dean Baker, an economist and co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. His blog, Beat the Press, is my first stop for economics news. What attracts me is his data-first attitude. Every post on his site is about interpreting economic data--there is none of the data-free theorizing that is typical on other economics blogs. Baker adopts a cynical, almost satirical, tone, which is fun…

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How to get started in analytics

August 22, 2013
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How to get started in analytics

I will be giving a webinar today (Thursday) at 1 pm EST. The topic is Big Data and Marketing. I will give some tips on how to get into the data game. Click here to register. The registration link is...

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Workshop for Women in Machine Learning

August 21, 2013
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This might interest some of you: CALL FOR ABSTRACTS Workshop for Women in Machine Learning Co-located with NIPS 2013, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA December 5, 2013 http://www.wimlworkshop.org Deadline for abstract submissions: September 16, 2013 WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION The Workshop for Women in Machine Learning is a day-long event taking place on the first day of NIPS. […]The post Workshop for Women in Machine Learning appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference,…

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All the Open Datasets from New York City Visualized in a Single View

August 21, 2013
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All the Open Datasets from New York City Visualized in a Single View

"Visualizing NYC's Open Data" [chriswhong.com] by self-proclaimed urbanist, map maker and data junkie Chris Wong provides a single view of the more than 1,100 open datasets made available by New York City. The visualization of the "dataset of datase...

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Treading a New Path for Reproducible Research: Part 1

August 21, 2013
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Treading a New Path for Reproducible Research: Part 1

Discussions about reproducibility in scientific research have been on the rise lately, including on this blog. There are many underlying trends that have produced this increased interest in reproducibility: larger and larger studies being harder to replicate independently, cheaper data … Continue reading →

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Champions league

August 21, 2013
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Champions league

Before I even start any real writing here, I should remark that I am most definitely not an Inter Milan fan (but they are my brother's and dad's team, so I thought I used this picture anyway); nor is this post really about football (well: it is in...

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Utility script for launching bare JAR files

August 21, 2013
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Utility script for launching bare JAR files

Torsten Seemann compiled a list of minimum standards for bioinformatics command line tools, things like printing help when no commands are specified, including version info, avoid hardcoded paths, etc. These should be obvious to any seasoned software e...

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BDA3 table of contents (also a new paper on visualization)

August 21, 2013
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BDA3 table of contents (also a new paper on visualization)

In response to our recent posting of Amazon’s offer of Bayesian Data Analysis 3rd edition at 40% off, some people asked what was in this new edition, with more information beyond the beautiful cover image and the brief paragraph I’d posted earlier. Here’s the table of contents. The following sections have all-new material: 1.4 New […]The post BDA3 table of contents (also a new paper on visualization) appeared first on…

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The case method and statistics

August 21, 2013
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Readers of my books will not be surprised to hear that I am a fan of the case method in teaching. The case method was pioneered by Harvard Law School in 1870, and I was exposed to it at Harvard Business School, where it is used to teach everything from marketing to leadership, and from economics to operations, and even accounting. Since the 1920s, the case method replaced the "lecture…

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Comparing two groups? Two tips that make a difference

August 21, 2013
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Comparing two groups? Two tips that make a difference

A common visualization is to compare characteristics of two groups. This article emphasizes two tips that will help make the comparison clear. First, consider graphing the differences between the groups. Second, in any plot that has a categorical axis, sort the categories by a meaningful quantity. This article is motivated [...]

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Las Vegas and financial institutions

August 21, 2013
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Las Vegas and financial institutions

Exactly one month ago, I entered the Bellagio casino to gamble at the roulette. It was actually a request from my daughter’s godfather (who happens to be a probabilist, actually). On a comment on a previous post, he suggested the following deal, In the Bellagio you put 10$ for me on the 33 and 10$ for you as well. If 33 shows up, you bring me to a French “3…

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Job opening at an organization that promotes reproducible research!

August 21, 2013
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I was told about an organization called Reproducibility Initiative. They tell me they are trying to make what was described in our “50 shades of gray” post standard across all of science, particularly areas like cancer research. I don’t know anything else about them, but that sounds like a good start! Here’s the ad: Data […]The post Job opening at an organization that promotes reproducible research! appeared first on Statistical…

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BKLYNR: Mapping the Age of each Building in Brooklyn

August 20, 2013
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BKLYNR: Mapping the Age of each Building in Brooklyn

BKLYNR [bklynr.com] by web designer Thomas Rhiel is a highly detailed map that reveals the age of each of the more than 320,000 buildings currently present in Brooklyn. The interactive map reveals how the historical urban development has rippled acro...

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Time-series forecasting: Bike Accidents

August 20, 2013
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Time-series forecasting: Bike Accidents

About a year ago I posted this video visualization of all the reported accidents involving bicycles in Montreal between 2006 and 2010. In the process I also calculated and plotted the accident rate using a monthly moving average. The results followed a pattern that was for the most part to be expected. The rate shoots up […]

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“[” and “[[” with the apply() functions

August 20, 2013
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“[” and “[[” with the apply() functions

Did you know you can use "[" and "[[" as function names for subsetting with calls to the apply-type functions? For example, suppose you have a bunch of identifier strings like "ZYY-43S-CWA3" and you want to pull off the bit before the first hyphen ("ZYY" in this case). (For code to create random IDs like […]

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When did statistics jump the shark?

August 20, 2013
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Statistics jumped the shark the moment they adopted the following definition, (Gelman & Hill, page 13): A probability distribution corresponds to an urn with a potentially infinite number of balls inside. When a ball is drawn at random, the &#8220...

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A couple of requests for the @Statistics2013 future of statistics workshop

August 20, 2013
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A couple of requests for the @Statistics2013 future of statistics workshop

Statistics 2013 is hosting a workshop on the future of statistics. Given the timing and the increasing popularity of our discipline I think its a great idea to showcase the future of our field. I just have two requests: Please … Continue reading →

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