STEIN’S PARADOX

May 18, 2013
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STEIN’S PARADOX

STEIN’S PARADOX Something that is well known in the statistics world but perhaps less well known in the machine learning world is Stein’s paradox. When I was growing up, people used to say: do you remember where you were when you heard that JFK died? (I was three, so I don’t remember. My first memory […]

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What is probabilistic truth?

May 18, 2013
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What is probabilistic truth?

I am currently working on a validation metric for binary prediction models. That is, models which make predictions about outcomes that can take on either of two possible states (eg Dead/not dead, heads/tails, cat in picture/no cat in picture, etc.) The most commonly used metric for this class of models is AUC, which assesses the […]

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uuuuuuuuuuuuugly

May 18, 2013
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Hamdan Azhar writes: I came across this graphic of vaccine-attributed decreases in mortality and was curious if you found it as unattractive and unintuitive as I did. Hope all is well with you! My reply: All’s well with me. And yes, that’s one horrible graph. It has all the problems with a bad infographic with [...]The post uuuuuuuuuuuuugly appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

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Bubble sort tuning

May 18, 2013
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I was reading Paul Hiemsta's blogpost on Much more efficient bubble sort in R using the Rcpp and inline packages, went back to his first post  Bubble sort implemented in pure R and thought, surely we can do it better in pure R. So I...

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Chutes & ladders: How long is this going to take?

May 17, 2013
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Chutes & ladders: How long is this going to take?

I was playing Chutes & Ladders with my four-year-old daughter yesterday, and I thought, “How long is this going to take?” I saw an interesting mathematical analysis of the game a few years ago, but it seems to be offline, though you can read it via the wayback machine. But that didn’t answer my specific […]

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Where do theories come from?

May 17, 2013
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Where do theories come from?

Lee Sechrest sends along this article by Brian Haig and writes that it “presents what seems to me a useful perspective on much of what scientists/statisticians do and how science works, at least in the fields in which I work.” Here’s Haig’s abstract: A broad theory of scientific method is sketched that has particular relevance [...]The post Where do theories come from? appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and…

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The Future of Non Probability Sampling

May 17, 2013
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The Future of Non Probability Sampling

While attending the American Association for Public Opinion Research conference in Boston, MA the topic of non-probability samples was something of a reoccurring theme. I attended the task force panel review on the topic. However, there is currently no commonly accepted solution. It was about one year ago that Pew reported (Pew report) that their […]

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Words & Votes: The Changing Congressional Opinions on Gun Violence

May 17, 2013
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Words & Votes: The Changing Congressional Opinions on Gun Violence

The political visualization Words & Votes [sandyhookpromise.org], developed by digital agency R/GA for non-profit organization Sandy Hook Promise, provides a comprehensive look into the opinions of congressional representatives on the issue of gun vio...

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Spatial Statistics Seminar in Toronto – Tuesday, May 21, 2013 @ SAS Canada Headquarters

Spatial Statistics Seminar in Toronto – Tuesday, May 21, 2013 @ SAS Canada Headquarters

I volunteer with the Southern Ontario Regional Association (SORA) of the Statistical Society of Canada (SSC) to organize a seminar series on business analytics here in Toronto.  The final seminar of the 2012-2013 series will be held on Tuesday, May 21 at SAS Canada Headquarters.  If you’re interested in attending, please email seminar.sora@gmail.com with the […]

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When does replication reveal fraud?

May 17, 2013
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Here's a little thought experiment for your weekend pleasure. Consider the following: Joe Scientist decides to conduct a study (call it Study A) to test the hypothesis that a parameter D > 0 vs. the null hypothesis that D = 0. He … Continue reading →

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How can statisticians help psychologists do their research better?

May 17, 2013
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I received two emails yesterday on related topics. First, Stephen Olivier pointed me to this post by Daniel Lakens, who wrote the following open call to statisticians: You would think that if you are passionate about statistics, then you want to help people to calculate them correctly in any way you can. . . . [...]The post How can statisticians help psychologists do their research better? appeared first on Statistical…

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Analyzing a simple experiment with heterogeneous variances using asreml, MCMCglmm and SAS

May 17, 2013
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Analyzing a simple experiment with heterogeneous variances using asreml, MCMCglmm and SAS

I was working with a small experiment which includes families from two Eucalyptus species and thought it would be nice to code a first analysis using alternative approaches. The experiment is a randomized complete block design, with species as fixed effect and family and block as a random effects, while the response variable is growth […]

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Finding patterns in time series using regular expressions

May 17, 2013
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Finding patterns in time series using regular expressions

Regular expressions are a fantastic tool when you’re looking for patterns in time series. I wish I’d realised that sooner. Here’s a timely example: traditionally, when you have two successive quarters of negative GDP growth, you’re in recession. We have a quarterly GDP time series for Australia, and we want to know how many recessions […]

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IJF quality indicators

May 17, 2013
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IJF quality indicators

I often receive email asking about IJF quality indicators. Here is one I received today. Dear Professor Hyndman, I recently had a paper published in IJF entitled, “xxxxxxxxxxxx”. I am very pleased with the publication and consider IJF to be an excellent outlet for my work in time-series econometrics. I have an unusual request, but I hope you will consider responding. My research is judged by non-economists and IJF is…

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Multiple Pie Charts

May 16, 2013
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I was looking at a report the other day that was comparing the number of sub groups in several sets of data. The author had decided that the best way to show the quantity of each sub group was using a pie chart. All well and good but as there were 12 d...

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How do we choose our default methods?

May 16, 2013
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I was asked to write an article for the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies (COPSS) 50th anniversary volume. Here it is (it’s labeled as “Chapter 1,” which isn’t right; that’s just what came out when I used the template that was supplied). The article begins as follows: The field of statistics continues to be [...]The post How do we choose our default methods? appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal…

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I don’t like 401(k) either

May 16, 2013
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Felix Salmon hates the 401(k), and he explains his reasoning here. His strongest argument is the data, which shows that the first generation of retirees who grew up with these individual retirement savings accounts find themselves with meager retirement savings (average: $120,000, excluding those with zero). I have always disliked 401(k), and here are some reasons: I hate the myth of individual control. These accounts (just like health savings accounts…

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Prediction results!

May 16, 2013
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Prediction results!

The moment you've all been waiting for has arrived. No, not the day Ryan Gosling actually eats his cereal, but rather the results of the highly anticipated study which attempted to predict the likelihood of a college student having smoked marijuana giv...

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Does quantum uncertainty have a place in everyday applied statistics?

May 15, 2013
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Several months ago, Mike Betancourt and I wrote a discussion for the article, Can quantum probability provide a new direction for cognitive modeling?, by Emmanuel Pothos and Jerome Busemeyer, in Behavioral and Brain Sciences. We didn’t say much, but it was a milestone for me because, with this article, BBS became the 100th journal I’d [...]The post Does quantum uncertainty have a place in everyday applied statistics? appeared first on…

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Automated Archival and Visual Analysis of Tweets Mentioning #bog13, Bioinformatics, #rstats, and Others

May 15, 2013
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Automated Archival and Visual Analysis of Tweets Mentioning #bog13, Bioinformatics, #rstats, and Others

Automatically Archiving Twitter ResultsEver since Twitter gamed its own API and killed off great services like IFTTT triggers, I've been looking for a way to automatically archive tweets containing certain search terms of interest to me. Twitter's buil...

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Big News! “Practical Data Science with R” MEAP launched!

May 15, 2013
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Big News! “Practical Data Science with R” MEAP launched!

Nina Zumel and I ( John Mount ) have been working very hard on producing an exciting new book called “Practical Data Science with R.” The book has now entered Manning Early Access Program (MEAP) which allows you to subscribe to chapters as they become available and give us feedback before the book goes into […] Related posts: Setting expectations in data science projects Data Science, Machine Learning, and Statistics:…

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The bright future of applied statistics

May 15, 2013
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The bright future of applied statistics

In 2013, the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies (COPSS) celebrates its 50th Anniversary. As part of its celebration, COPSS will publish a book, with contributions from past recipients of its awards, titled “Past, Present and Future of Statistical Science". Below is … Continue reading →

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Reputations changeable, situations tolerable

May 15, 2013
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David Kessler, Peter Hoff, and David Dunson write: Marginally specified priors for nonparametric Bayesian estimation Prior specification for nonparametric Bayesian inference involves the difficult task of quantifying prior knowledge about a parameter of high, often infinite, dimension. Realistically, a statistician is unlikely to have informed opinions about all aspects of such a parameter, but may [...]The post Reputations changeable, situations tolerable appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social…

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