On Some Alternatives to Regression Models

March 20, 2015
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On Some Alternatives to Regression Models

When you start discussing with people in machine learning, you quickly hear something like “forget your econometric models, your GLMs, I can easily find a machine learning ‘model’ that can beat yours”. I am usually very sceptical, especially when I hear “easily” or “always“. I have no problem about the fact that I use old econometric models, but I had the feeling that things aren’t that easy. I can understand…

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John Updike vs. Bertrand Russell; Nietzsche advances

March 20, 2015
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In yesterday‘s bout, another founder of religion falls, thanks to this comment by Zbicyclist: Do we want an audience full of would-be Ubermensches, or an audience of the proletariat? Considering Columbia is an Ivy League school, I guess we have to go with the Ubermensches. And today’s contest features the eminently sane conservative vs. the […] The post John Updike vs. Bertrand Russell; Nietzsche advances appeared first on Statistical Modeling,…

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What Consumers Learn Before Deciding to Buy: Representation Learning

March 20, 2015
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What Consumers Learn Before Deciding to Buy: Representation Learning

Features form the basis for much of our preference modeling. When asked to explain one's preferences, features are typically accepted as appropriate reasons: this job paid more, that candidate supports tax reform, or it was closer to home. We believe t...

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Bayesian models, causal inference, and time-varying exposures

March 20, 2015
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Mollie Wood writes: I am a doctoral student in clinical and population health research. My dissertation research is on prenatal medication exposure and neurodevelopmental outcomes in children, and I’ve encountered a difficult problem that I hope you might be able to advise me on. I am working on a problem in which my main exposure […] The post Bayesian models, causal inference, and time-varying exposures appeared first on Statistical Modeling,…

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It’s Analytics Survey Time!

March 20, 2015
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It’s Analytics Survey Time!

Every other year Rexer Analytics surveys Data Analysts, Predictive Modelers, Data Scientists, Data Miners, and all other types of analytic professionals, students, and academics regarding the software they use.  I then update the main results in The Popularity of Data Analysis … Continue reading →

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Two new interviews

March 20, 2015
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Two new interviews

I was recently interviewed as part of a promotion for the Monash Business School. The interviews can be watched below if anyone is interested. The titles chosen weren’t my ideas. Predicting the future: pushing the boundaries of electricity forecastin...

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Conference in Honour of Aman Ullah

March 19, 2015
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Conference in Honour of Aman Ullah

Last weekend, a small conference was held to honour Aman Ullah, a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of California, Riverside. I was to have participated in this gathering, but regrettably those plans had to b...

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The synoptic problem and statistics [book review]

March 19, 2015
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The synoptic problem and statistics [book review]

A book that came to me for review in CHANCE and that came completely unannounced is Andris Abakuks’ The Synoptic Problem and Statistics.  “Unannounced” in that I had not heard so far of the synoptic problem. This problem is one of ordering and connecting the gospels in the New Testament, more precisely the “synoptic” gospels […]

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Bumps chart goes mainstream

March 19, 2015
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Bumps chart goes mainstream

It’s a happy day when one of my favorite chart types, the Bumps chart, makes it to the Wall Street Journal, and the front page no less! (Link to article) This chart shows the ground shifting in global auto production...

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Utility bills

March 19, 2015
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Utility bills

Because I'm involved in many collaborative projects, some of which luckily involving LaTeX, and because I'm trying (sort-of succeeding) to spend as much time as possible outside the office (mostly failing) to work on the books, in the pa...

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A surprisingly tricky issue when using genomic signatures for personalized medicine

March 19, 2015
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A surprisingly tricky issue when using genomic signatures for personalized medicine

My student Prasad Patil has a really nice paper that just came out in Bioinformatics (preprint in case paywalled). The paper is about a surprisingly tricky normalization issue with genomic signatures. Genomic signatures are basically statistical/machine learning functions applied to the measurements for a set of genes to predict how long patients will survive, or how they

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Karl Marx vs. Friedrich Nietzsche (4); Austen advances

March 19, 2015
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For yesterday, I was strongly rooting for Popper. I read several of his books about thirty years ago and they had a huge effect on me (and on a lot of social scientists, I think). But the best comment was about Austen. Here’s Dalton with the comment: “A woman, especially if she has the misfortune […] The post Karl Marx vs. Friedrich Nietzsche (4); Austen advances appeared first on Statistical…

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Next Step after OGD: Government’s Big Data Scientist

March 19, 2015
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Next Step after OGD: Government’s Big Data Scientist

Open Government Data (OGD) Initiatives have been important steps helping to give broader access to administrative data. But there was …Continue reading →

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March Madness!

March 19, 2015
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March Madness!

Ummm . . . this one’s gonna really irritate all the subscription-cancelers . . . Paul Davidson updated the brackets (as of a couple days ago): And here’s a version showing the survivors among each of the eight categories. The artists are all gone, and only one religious leader is left, but the other categories […] The post March Madness! appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

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Reading some wild traffic statistics from New Zealand

March 19, 2015
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Only 6% of crashes in New Zealand involve foreign drivers, according to the latest figures provided by the Ministry of Transport. But in some remote regions of the South Island particularly popular with tourists for their scenery... foreign drivers are involved in about a quarter of all crashes. These sentences come from a CNN article about a vigilante movement in those regions popular with tourists. The vigilantes snatch car keys…

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Lying with statistics, CAM version

March 19, 2015
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Lying with statistics, CAM version

Full disclosure here: at one time I wanted to be a complementary and alternative (CAM) researcher. Or integrative, or whatever the cool kids call it these days. I thought that CAM research would yield positive fruit if they could just tighten up their ...

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A simple (and fair) way all statistics journals could drive up their impact factor.

March 18, 2015
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Hypothesis: If every method in every stats journal was implemented in a corresponding R package (easy), was required to have a  companion document that was a tutorial on how to use the software (easy), included a reference to how to cite the paper if you used the software (easy) and the paper/tutorial was posted to

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What do CERN, the ISS, and Stephen Fry have in Common?

March 18, 2015
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What do CERN, the ISS, and Stephen Fry have in Common?

You’ll have to read the New Yorker article on Richard M. Stallman and the The GNU Manifesto by Maria Bustillos to find out! And what’s up with Tim O’Reilly’s comments about the Old Testment vs. New Testament?   That’s an ad hominem attack of the highest order, guaranteed to get the Judeo-Christians even more riled […] The post What do CERN, the ISS, and Stephen Fry have in Common? appeared…

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Jane Austen vs. Karl Popper; Lee advances

March 18, 2015
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For yesterday’s contest I’ll have to go with this comment by Nuthin: This series of posts is so tedious that I’m considering removing this blog from my RSS feed altogether. Stewart Lee is a master of hecklers. In a lot of his work he pretty much invites people to heckle, he antagonizes his audience, etc. […] The post Jane Austen vs. Karl Popper; Lee advances appeared first on Statistical Modeling,…

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Link: CG&A Article on Tapestry

March 18, 2015
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I’ve written a short piece about the Tapestry conference for the Graphically Speaking column in Computer Graphics and Applications. The article talks about the reasoning behind Tapestry, how it’s different from academic conferences, and gives a few examples of talks. It even includes anecdotal evidence to show that the conference has enabled actual knowledge transfer. If you prefer a PDF … Continue reading Link: CG&A Article on Tapestry

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New time unit needed!

March 18, 2015
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We need a time unit that’s bigger than a minute but smaller than an hour. I thought of it when writing this comment in which I referred to “2100 valuable minutes of classroom time” during the semester (that’s 75 minutes per class, twice a week, for 14 weeks). A minute of class time is pretty […] The post New time unit needed! appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and…

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the vim cheat sheet

March 18, 2015
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the vim cheat sheet

Filed under: Kids, Linux, R, University life, Wines Tagged: An Evil Guest, editor, unix, vim

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