Sinterklaas and Santa Claus gave presents

December 27, 2013
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Sinterklaas and Santa Claus gave presents

In December my nice little netbook acquired a shiny new openSUSE 13.1, including all the goodies I might want to use in 2014; R, Stan, Julia and Jags. So here is what you might get when you set up a computer for statistics today.JagsI have been using J...

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Statistics unplugged

December 27, 2013
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Statistics unplugged

How much does statistical software help and how much it interferes when teaching statistical concepts? Software used in the practice of statistics (say R, SAS, Stata, etc) brings to the party a mental model that it’s often alien to students, while being highly optimized for practitioners. It is possible to introduce a minimum of distraction […]

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The need to think about what you’re seeing: an incomplete geography lesson

December 27, 2013
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The need to think about what you’re seeing: an incomplete geography lesson

If your chart is titled "The Most Popular TV Show Set in Every State," what would you expect the data to look like? You'd think the list would be dominated by the hit shows like The Walking Dead and Downton...

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The performance gains from switching R’s linear algebra libraries

December 27, 2013
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The performance gains from switching R’s linear algebra libraries

What is often forgotten in the so-called data analysis "language wars” is that, across most of these languages, many common computations are performed using outsourced dynamically linked math libraries. For example, R; Python's Numpy; Julia; Matlab; and Mathematica all make heavy use of the BLAS linear algebra API. As a result, R can't be properly »more

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Julia is lightning fast: bubble sort revisited

December 26, 2013
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I had heard the name of the new technical computing language Julia buzzing around for some time already. Now during Christmas I had some time on my hands, and implemented the bubble sort algorithm that I have already posted about… See more ›

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Statistical evidence for revised standards

December 26, 2013
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In response to the discussion of X and me of his recent paper, Val Johnson writes: I would like to thank Andrew for forwarding his comments on uniformly most powerful Bayesian tests (UMPBTs) to me and his invitation to respond to them. I think he (and also Christian Robert) raise a number of interesting points […]The post Statistical evidence for revised standards appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and…

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MCMSki IV, Jan. 6-8, 2014, Chamonix (news #15)

December 26, 2013
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MCMSki IV, Jan. 6-8, 2014, Chamonix (news #15)

The programs of the talks, posters and workshop are now printed and available on Speaker Deck (talks, posters, workshop). Please let me know if you spot anything wrong (even though it will not be reprinted!). This is presumably the last news item till Jan. 5 as I am almost off to Chamonix for a week […]

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“Bad Arguments” (a book by Ali Almossawi)

December 26, 2013
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“Bad Arguments” (a book by Ali Almossawi)

I received a new book today as a present[i]: “(An illustrated book of) Bad Arguments” (Ali Almossawi 2013) [ii]. I wish I’d had it for the critical thinking class I just completed! Here’s the illustration it gives for “hasty generalization”. The author allows it to be accessed here, I just discovered. But it’s not just a clever book […]

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The Mascots of Bayesian Statistics

December 26, 2013
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The Mascots of Bayesian Statistics

Why would Bayesian statistics need a mascot/symbol/logo? Well, why not? I don’t know of any other branch of statistics that has a mascot but many programming languages have. R has an “R”, Python has a python snake, and Go has an adorable little...

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Measuring Beauty

December 25, 2013
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Measuring Beauty

I’ve come across a paper that was using “beauty” as one of the predictors. To measure beauty, the authors used Anaface.com I don’t trust metrics without trying them on a gold standard first. So, I tried how well Anaface does on something that the arts world considers as one of gold standards of beauty – […]The post Measuring Beauty appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

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Spam!

December 25, 2013
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This one totally faked me out at first. It was an email from “Nick Bagnall” that began: Dear Dr. Gelman, I made contact last year regarding your work in the CMG: Reconstructing Climate from Tree Ring Data project. We are about to start producing the 2014 edition and I wanted to discuss this with you […]The post Spam! appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

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Quandl the Data Engine

December 25, 2013
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Quandl the Data Engine

A while back, I wrote for some time on this blog about 'data engines' - search engines dedicated to online (statistical) data sets. These included BuzzData (now closed, transmogrified into LookBookHQ) datacollective.org Timetric Socrata Google Correlate Zanran DataMarket EidoSearch and...

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U-Phil: Deconstructions [of J. Berger]: Irony & Bad Faith 3

December 25, 2013
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U-Phil: Deconstructions [of J. Berger]: Irony & Bad Faith 3

Memory Lane: 2 years ago: My efficient Errorstat Blogpeople1 have put forward the following 3 reader-contributed interpretive efforts2 as a result of the “deconstruction” exercise from December 11, (mine, from the earlier blog, is at the end) of what I consider: “….an especially intriguing remark by Jim Berger that I think bears upon the current […]

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Spite.

December 24, 2013
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Congress. Wait, before you lose your lunch, bear with me. This dysfunctional legislative body has been making headlines in the news recently. And when Congress is mentioned, rarely, if ever, is it of the positive persuasion. The shutdown, for example...

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NYT version of birthday graph

December 24, 2013
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NYT version of birthday graph

They didn’t have room for all four graphs of the time-series decomposition so they just displayed the date-of-year graph: They rotated so the graph fit better on the page. The rotation worked for me, but I was a bit bummed that that they put the title and heading of the graph (“The birthrate tends to […]The post NYT version of birthday graph appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and…

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Estimating and summarizing inference for hierarchical variance parameters when the number of groups is small

December 24, 2013
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Chris Che-Castaldo writes: I am trying to compute variance components for a hierarchical model where the group level has two binary predictors and their interaction. When I model each of these three predictors as N(0, tau) the model will not converge, perhaps because the number of coefficients in each batch is so small (2 for […]The post Estimating and summarizing inference for hierarchical variance parameters when the number of groups…

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How fair is White Elephant?

December 24, 2013
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How fair is White Elephant?

Welcome to analyze stuff! For our first post, I wanted to reflect on the time of year; after all, ‘tis the season for hams and yams, caroling and sledding, and of course gifts! One popular party gift exchange game is the White Elephant, where each person brings a wrapped (typically regifted or otherwise odd-ball) gift, and then picks one in order with the option of “stealing” another unwrapped gift. Relative…

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Sentence Drawing: Part II

December 24, 2013
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Sentence Drawing: Part II

In a recent blog post I introduced Stefanie Posavec‘s Sentence Drawings. We created this ggplot2 rendition: We left off weighing the aesthetics of the Sentence Drawing with information of quality visualizations. I asked others to think of ways to display … Continue reading →

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Imprecise machines mess with history

December 24, 2013
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Imprecise machines mess with history

The mass media continues to gloss over the imprecision of machines/algorithms. Here is another example I came across the other day. In conversation, the name Martin Van Buren popped up. I was curious about this eighth President of the United States. What caught my eye in the following Google search result (right panel) is his height: Mr. Van Buren was very short, only 5 feet tall. I was about to…

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Simulation III: Monte Carlo and Markov Chain Monte Carlo (Introduction to Statistical Computing)

December 23, 2013
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Lecture 16: The Monte Carlo principle for numerical integrals: write your integral as an expectation, take a sample. Examples. Importance sampling: draw from a distribution other than the one you really are want, then weight the sample values. Mark...

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Bayes, 250 years ago

December 23, 2013
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Bayes, 250 years ago

Exactly 250 years ago, on December 23rd, while some people were still shopping to get presents for their kids, Mr Price took some time to write a letter to the Royal Society of London, He sent an essay towards solving a problem in the doctrine of chances, writen by an old friend of his (who just died), Mr. Bayes, A few days ago, Stephen Stigler came in Montréal to give a…

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Scala as a platform for statistical computing and data science

December 23, 2013
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Scala as a platform for statistical computing and data science

There has been a lot of discussion on-line recently about languages for data analysis, statistical computing, and data science more generally. I don’t really want to go into the detail of why I believe that all of the common choices are fundamentally and unfixably flawed – language wars are so unseemly. Instead I want to […]

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Scala as a platform for statistical computing and data science

December 23, 2013
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Scala as a platform for statistical computing and data science

There has been a lot of discussion on-line recently about languages for data analysis, statistical computing, and data science more generally. I don’t really want to go into the detail of why I believe that all of the common choices are fundamentally and unfixably flawed – language wars are so unseemly. Instead I want to […]

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