Is a 60% risk reduction really no big deal?

January 28, 2016
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Paul Alper writes: Here’s something really important. Notice how meaningless the numbers can be. Referring to a 60% risk reduction in flu due to the flu vaccine: As for the magical “60?” Dr. Tom Jefferson didn’t mince words: “Sorry I have no idea where the 60% comes from – it’s either pure propaganda or bandied […] The post Is a 60% risk reduction really no big deal? appeared first on…

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What’s your Hall number?

January 28, 2016
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What’s your Hall number?

Today I attended the funeral of Peter Hall, one of the finest mathematical statisticians ever to walk the earth and easily the best from Australia. One of the most remarkable things about Peter was his astonishing productivity, with over 600 papers. As...

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Link: Tamara Munzner Has A Blog!

January 28, 2016
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Link: Tamara Munzner Has A Blog!

Late last year, Tamara Munzner started a blog, called Vis & More. So far, she mostly writes in response to Stephen Few’s postings late last year about some recent visualization papers. Her style is quite academic (most of her posting titles start with “On”…), but very readable and she has lots of interesting things to say. Just … Continue reading Link: Tamara Munzner Has A Blog!

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"Application of High-dimensional Linear Regression with Gaussian Design to Communication" (Next Week at the Statistics Seminar)

January 28, 2016
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Attention conservation notice: Only of interest if (1) you care about the intersection of high-dimensional statistics with information theory, and (2) will be in Pittsburgh next Wednesday. It is, perhaps, only appropriate that the first statistics se...

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love-hate Metropolis algorithm

January 27, 2016
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love-hate Metropolis algorithm

Hyungsuk Tak, Xiao-Li Meng and David van Dyk just arXived a paper on a multiple choice proposal in Metropolis-Hastings algorithms towards dealing with multimodal targets. Called “A repulsive-attractive Metropolis algorithm for multimodality” [although I wonder why XXL did not jump at the opportunity to use the “love-hate” denomination!]. The proposal distribution includes a [forced] downward […]

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“Why IT Fumbles Analytics Projects”

January 27, 2016
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“Why IT Fumbles Analytics Projects”

Someone pointed me to this Harvard Business Review article by Donald Marchand and Joe Peppard, “Why IT Fumbles Analytics,” which begins as follows: In their quest to extract insights from the massive amounts of data now available from internal and external sources, many companies are spending heavily on IT tools and hiring data scientists. Yet […] The post “Why IT Fumbles Analytics Projects” appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference,…

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How to print cash, graphically

January 27, 2016
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How to print cash, graphically

Twitter user @glennrice called out a "journalist" for producing the following chart: You can't say the Columbia Heartbeat site doesn't deserve a beating over this graph. I don't recognize the software but my guess is one of these business intelligence...

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Compute a moving average in SAS

January 27, 2016
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Compute a moving average in SAS

A common question on SAS discussion forums is how to compute a moving average in SAS. This article shows how to use PROC EXPAND and contains links to articles that use the DATA step or macros to compute moving averages in SAS. In a previous post, I explained how to […] The post Compute a moving average in SAS appeared first on The DO Loop.

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R typos

January 26, 2016
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R typos

At MCMskv, Alexander Ly (from Amsterdam) pointed out to me some R programming mistakes I made in the introduction to Metropolis-Hastings algorithms I wrote a few months ago for the Wiley on-line encyclopedia! While the outcome (Monte Carlo posterior) of the corrected version is moderately changed this is nonetheless embarrassing! The example (if not the […]

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Exactly how risky is breathing?

January 26, 2016
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This article by by George Johnson in the NYT describes a study by Kamen P. Simonov​​ and Daniel S. Himmelstein​ that examines the hypothesis that people living at higher altitudes experience lower rates of lung cancer than people living at lower altitudes. All of the usual caveats apply. Studies like this, which compare whole populations, can

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Exactly how risky is breathing?

January 26, 2016
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This article by by George Johnson in the NYT describes a study by Kamen P. Simonov​​ and Daniel S. Himmelstein​ that examines the hypothesis that people living at higher altitudes experience lower rates of lung cancer than people living at lower altitudes. All of the usual caveats apply. Studies like this, which compare whole populations, can

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The time-reversal heuristic—a new way to think about a published finding that is followed up by a large, preregistered replication (in context of Amy Cuddy’s claims about power pose)

January 26, 2016
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The time-reversal heuristic—a new way to think about a published finding that is followed up by a large, preregistered replication (in context of Amy Cuddy’s claims about power pose)

[Note to busy readers: If you’re sick of power pose, there’s still something of general interest in this post; scroll down to the section on the time-reversal heuristic. I really like that idea.] Someone pointed me to this discussion on Facebook in which Amy Cuddy expresses displeasure with my recent criticism (with Kaiser Fung) of […] The post The time-reversal heuristic—a new way to think about a published finding that…

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Where but when and why: deaths of journalism

January 26, 2016
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Where but when and why: deaths of journalism

On Twitter, someone pointed me to the following map of journalists who were killed between 1993 and 2015. I wasn't sure if the person who posted this liked or disliked this graphic. We see a clear metaphor of gunshots and...

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Flowing triangles

January 26, 2016
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Flowing triangles

I have admired the work of the artist Bridget Riley for a long time. She is now in her eighties, but as it seems still very creative and productive. Some of her recent work combines simple triangles in fascinating compositions. The longer I look at the...

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high dimension Metropolis-Hastings algorithms

January 25, 2016
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high dimension Metropolis-Hastings algorithms

When discussing high dimension models with Ingmar Schüster Schuster [blame my fascination for accented characters!] the other day, we came across the following paradox with Metropolis-Hastings algorithms. If attempting to simulate from a multivariate standard normal distribution in a large dimension, when starting from the mode of the target, i.e., its mean γ, leaving the […]

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On research parasites and internet mobs – let’s try to solve the real problem.

January 25, 2016
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A couple of days ago one of the editors of the New England Journal of Medicine posted an editorial showing some moderate level of support for data sharing but also introducing the term "research parasite": A second concern held by some is that a new class of research person will emerge — people who had nothing

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Ted Versus Powerpose and the Moneygoround, Part One

January 25, 2016
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Ted Versus Powerpose and the Moneygoround, Part One

So. I was reading the newspaper the other day and came across a credulous review of the recent book by Amy “Power Pose” Cuddy. The review, by Heather Havrilesky, expressed some overall wariness regarding the self-help genre, but I was disappointed to see no skepticism regarding Cuddy’s scientific claims. And then I did a web […] The post Ted Versus Powerpose and the Moneygoround, Part One appeared first on Statistical…

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On deck this week

January 25, 2016
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Mon: Ted Versus Powerpose and the Moneygoround, Part One Tues: “Null hypothesis” = “A specific random number generator” Wed: “Why IT Fumbles Analytics Projects Thurs: Is a 60% risk reduction really no big deal? Fri: Placebo effect shocker: After reading this, you won’t know what to believe. Sat: TOP SECRET: Newly declassified documents on evaluating […] The post On deck this week appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and…

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MCMC burn-in

January 25, 2016
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MCMC burn-in

In Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC), it’s common to throw out the first few states of a Markov chain, maybe the first 100 or the first 1000. People say they do this so the chain has had a chance to “burn in.” But this explanation by itself doesn’t make sense. It may be good to […]

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I will survive!

January 25, 2016
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Here's a very long post, to make up for the recent silence on the blog... Lately, I've been working on a new project involving the use of survival analysis data and results, specifically for health economic evaluation (cue Cake's rendition below).I hav...

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What is a moving average?

January 25, 2016
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What is a moving average?

A moving average (also called a rolling average) is a statistical technique that is used to smooth a time series. Moving averages are used in finance, economics, and quality control. You can overlay a moving average curve on a time series to visualize how each value compares to a rolling […] The post What is a moving average? appeared first on The DO Loop.

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Not So Standard Deviations Episode 8 – Snow Day

January 25, 2016
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Hilary and I were snowed in over the weekend, so we recorded Episode 8 of Not So Standard Deviations. In this episode, Hilary and I talk about how to get your foot in the door with data science, the New England Journal's view on data sharing, Google's "Cohort Analysis", and trying to predict a movie's

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(Legally) Free Books!

January 24, 2016
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(Legally) Free Books!

(An earlier version of this post inadvertently included links to "pirated" material. This has now been rectified, and the post has been completely re-written.)There are several Econometrics books, and comprehensive sets of lecture notes, that can be ac...

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