My criticism of R numeric summary

August 18, 2016
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My criticism of R numeric summary

My criticism of R‘s numeric summary() method is: it is unfaithful to numeric arguments (due to bad default behavior) and frankly it should be considered unreliable. It is likely the way it is for historic and compatibility reasons, but in my opinion it does not currently represent a desirable set of tradeoffs. summary() likely represents … Continue reading My criticism of R numeric summary

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An ethnographic study of the “open evidential culture” of research psychology

August 18, 2016
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Claude Fischer points me to this paper by David Peterson, “The Baby Factory: Difficult Research Objects, Disciplinary Standards, and the Production of Statistical Significance,” which begins: Science studies scholars have shown that the management of natural complexity in lab settings is accomplished through a mixture of technological standardization and tacit knowledge by lab workers. Yet […] The post An ethnographic study of the “open evidential culture” of research psychology appeared…

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"Forecasting with R" short course in Eindhoven

August 18, 2016
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"Forecasting with R" short course in Eindhoven

I will be giving my 3-day short-course/workshop on “Forecasting with R” in Eindhoven (Netherlands) from 19-21 October. Details at https://www.win.tue.nl/~adriemel/shortcourse.html Register here

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“Forecasting with R” short course in Eindhoven

August 18, 2016
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“Forecasting with R” short course in Eindhoven

I will be giving my 3-day short-course/workshop on “Forecasting with R” in Eindhoven (Netherlands) from 19-21 October. Details at https://www.win.tue.nl/~adriemel/shortcourse.html Register here

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Stan Course up North (Anchorage, Alaska) 23–24 Aug 2016

August 17, 2016
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Stan Course up North (Anchorage, Alaska) 23–24 Aug 2016

Daniel Lee’s heading up to Anchorage, Alaska to teach a two-day Stan course at the Alaska chapter of the American Statistical Association (ASA) meeting in Anchorage. Here’s the rundown: Information and Free Registration I hear Alaska’s beautiful in the summer—16 hour days in August and high temps of 17 degrees celsius. Plus Stan! More Upcoming […] The post Stan Course up North (Anchorage, Alaska) 23–24 Aug 2016 appeared first on…

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Two Ideas for a Better Visualization Web

August 17, 2016
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Two Ideas for a Better Visualization Web

There is a reasonable amount of information about visualization available on the web. There are still huge gaps though, especially when it comes to bridging the gap between academic research and the rest of the world, though. Here are two ideas: one simple, one rather involved. Ben Shneiderman has recently been talking to a number of […]

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On the Evils of Hodrick-Prescott Detrending

August 17, 2016
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[If you're reading this in email, remember to click through on the title to get the math to render.]Jim Hamilton has a very cool new paper, "Why You Should Never Use the Hodrick-Prescott (HP) Filter". Of course we've known of the pitfalls of HP ever si...

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What’s gonna happen in November?

August 17, 2016
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Nadia Hassan writes: 2016 may be strange with Trump. Do you have any thoughts on how people might go about modeling a strange election? When I asked you about predictability and updating election forecasts, you stated that models that rely on polls at different points should be designed to allow for surprises. You have touted […] The post What’s gonna happen in November? appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference,…

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NBC has a problem with bar lengths

August 17, 2016
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NBC has a problem with bar lengths

Seems like reader Conor H. has found a pattern. He alerted us to the problem with bar lengths in the daily medals chart on NBC, which I blogged about the other day. Through twitter (@andyn), I was sent the following,...

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The smooth bootstrap method in SAS

August 17, 2016
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The smooth bootstrap method in SAS

Last week I showed how to use the simple bootstrap to randomly resample from the data to create B bootstrap samples, each containing N observations. The simple bootstrap is equivalent to sampling from the empirical cumulative distribution function (ECDF) of the data. An alternative bootstrap technique is called the smooth […] The post The smooth bootstrap method in SAS appeared first on The DO Loop.

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National lottery

August 17, 2016
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National lottery

Yesterday, many British newspapers have covered the news of the new Dementia Atlas, released by the Department of Health.As far as I can see, the atlas uses data from a variety of sources (including the Quality Outcomes Framework, QOF, scheme...

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How schools that obsess about standardized tests ruin them as measures of success

August 16, 2016
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How schools that obsess about standardized tests ruin them as measures of success

Mark Palko and I wrote this article comparing the Success Academy chain of charter schools to Soviet-era factories: According to the tests that New York uses to evaluate schools, Success Academies ranks at the top of the state — the top 0.3 percent in math and the top 1.5 percent in English, according to the […] The post How schools that obsess about standardized tests ruin them as measures of…

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Statistical thinking on my subway commute

August 16, 2016
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So I recently moved and needed to find the optimal subway ride up to Columbia. I have been go back and forth between my two choices to collect some data to help make up my mind. Both routes require two train exchanges but only the first leg differs. In other words: Route 1 : A -> B -> C Route 2 : X -> B -> C Here, the "nodes"…

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The Win-Vector parallel computing in R series

August 16, 2016
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With our recent publication of “Can you nest parallel operations in R?” we now have a nice series of “how to speed up statistical computations in R” that moves from application, to larger/cloud application, and then to details. For your convenience here they are in order: A gentle introduction to parallel computing in R Running … Continue reading The Win-Vector parallel computing in R series

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Calorie labeling reduces obesity Obesity increased more slowly in California, Seattle, Portland (Oregon), and NYC, compared to some other places in the west coast and northeast that didn’t have calorie labeling

August 16, 2016
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Calorie labeling reduces obesity Obesity increased more slowly in California, Seattle, Portland (Oregon), and NYC, compared to some other places in the west coast and northeast that didn’t have calorie labeling

Ted Kyle writes: I wonder if you might have some perspective to offer on this analysis by Partha Deb and Carmen Vargas regarding restaurant calorie counts. [Thin columnist] Cass Sunstein says it proves “that calorie labels have had a large and beneficial effect on those who most need them.” I wonder about the impact of […] The post Calorie labeling reduces obesity Obesity increased more slowly in California, Seattle, Portland…

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Probably the most useful R function I’ve ever written

August 15, 2016
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The function in question is scriptSearch. I’m not much for superlatives — “most” and “best” imply one dimension, but we live in a multi-dimensional world. I’m making an exception. The statistic I have in mind for this use of “useful” is the waiting time between calls to the function divided by the human time saved […] The post Probably the most useful R function I’ve ever written appeared first on…

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The history of characterizing groups of people by their averages

August 15, 2016
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Andrea Panizza writes: I stumbled across this article on the End of Average. I didn’t know about Todd Rose, thus I had a look at his Wikipedia entry: Rose is a leading figure in the science of individual, an interdisciplinary field that draws upon new scientific and mathematical findings that demonstrate that it is not […] The post The history of characterizing groups of people by their averages appeared first…

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Tax Day: The Birthday Dog That Didn’t Bark

August 15, 2016
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Tax Day:  The Birthday Dog That Didn’t Bark

Following up on Valentine’s Day and April Fools, a journalist was asking about April 15: Are there fewer babies born on Tax Day than on neighboring days? Let’s go to the data: These are data from 1968-1988 so it would certainly be interesting to see new data, but here’s what we got: – April 1st […] The post Tax Day: The Birthday Dog That Didn’t Bark appeared first on Statistical…

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On deck this week

August 15, 2016
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Mon: The history of characterizing groups of people by their averages Tues: Calorie labeling reduces obesity Obesity increased more slowly in California, Seattle, Portland (Oregon), and NYC, compared to some other places in the west coast and northeast that didn’t have calorie labeling Wed: What’s gonna happen in November? Thurs: An ethnographic study of the […] The post On deck this week appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and…

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Counting the Olympic medals

August 15, 2016
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Counting the Olympic medals

Reader Conor H. sent in this daily medals table at the NBC website: He commented that the bars are not quite the right lengths. So even though China and Russia both won five total medals that day, the bar for...

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More on Nonlinear Forecasting Over the Cycle

August 15, 2016
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Related to my last post, here's a new paper that just arrived from Rachidi Kotchoni and Dalibor Stevanovic, "Forecasting U.S. Recessions and Economic Activity". It's not non-parametric, but it is non-linear. As Dalibor put it, "The method is very simpl...

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Formats for p-values and odds ratios in SAS

August 15, 2016
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Formats for p-values and odds ratios in SAS

Last week I showed some features of SAS formats, including the fact that you can use formats to bin a continuous variable without creating a new variable in the DATA step. During the discussion I mentioned that it can be confusing to look at the output of a formatted variable […] The post Formats for p-values and odds ratios in SAS appeared first on The DO Loop.

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The Repetitive and Boring History of Visualization

August 15, 2016
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The Repetitive and Boring History of Visualization

When people talk about the history of data visualization, the same set of names always comes up: Playfair, Nightingale, Snow, Minard. They are historically important, alright, but why do they overshadow all the other work that was done? And what do we know about how important they actually were? The Usual Suspects They’re like old […]

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