Joan Clarke, Turing, I.J. Good, and “that after-dinner comedy hour…”

April 5, 2015
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Joan Clarke, Turing, I.J. Good, and “that after-dinner comedy hour…”

I finally saw The Imitation Game about Alan Turing and code-breaking at Bletchley Park during WWII. This short clip of Joan Clarke, who was engaged to Turing, includes my late colleague I.J. Good at the end (he’s not second as the clip lists him). Good used to talk a great deal about Bletchley Park and […]

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Inside the Econometric Game

April 4, 2015
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Inside the Econometric Game

Now that the Econometric Game, 2015 is over I can reveal the cases that the teams grappled with. The Case Makers were Bas Werker and Ramon van den Akker, both of Tilburg University.You'll recall that thirty teams, from various parts of the world, playe...

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The Final Four: Cervantes, Hobbes, Dick, Carlin! Today’s semifinal: Miguel de Cervantes (2) vs. Thomas Hobbes

April 4, 2015
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We’re nearing the end! Yesterday‘s winner was decided based on several Carlin quotes. From Paul, a great line on Muhammad Ali: He said, ‘No, that’s where I draw the line. I’ll beat ‘em up, but I don’t want to kill ‘em.’ And the government said, ‘Well, if you won’t kill people, we won’t let you […] The post The Final Four: Cervantes, Hobbes, Dick, Carlin! Today’s semifinal: Miguel de Cervantes…

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Stan meetup in NYC on Tuesday

April 4, 2015
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The next Stan meetup in NYC is on Tuesday, 4/7/2015. If you have installation issues, modeling trouble, or just want to pick some of the developers’ brains, show up. Free. Registration required: http://www.meetup.com/Stan-Users-NYC/events/221561385/   P.S. Boston, Stan meetups are coming your way. The post Stan meetup in NYC on Tuesday appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

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“Thinking about the possibility of spurious correlation isn’t a matter of liking—it should be pretty much automatic.”

April 4, 2015
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I agree with sociologist David Weakliem when he writes the above sentence. Here’s the full paragraph: Krugman says, “you can, if you like, try to argue that this relationship is spurious, maybe not causal.” Actually, I [Weakliem] liked his original figure, since I agree with Krugman on economic policy. But thinking about the possibility of […] The post “Thinking about the possibility of spurious correlation isn’t a matter of liking—it…

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How and why to return functions in R

April 3, 2015
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One of the advantages of functional languages (such as R) is the ability to create and return functions “on the fly.” We will discuss one good use of this capability and what to look out for when creating functions in R. Why wrap/return fun...

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And the Winners Are…………

April 3, 2015
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And the Winners Are…………

The results of the Econometric Game (AKA The World Championship of Econometrics) were decided in Amsterdam yesterday.Here are the results for the 2015 competition:First Place - Maastricht UniversitySecond Place - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champa...

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John Updike vs. George Carlin (2); Hobbes and Dick advance

April 3, 2015
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Yesterday‘s winners were determined by Zbicylist’s comment: Nasty, brutish and short — and not necessarily human. Pretty good, but now that Hobbes has made it into the Final Four, the competition’s stiffer. He’ll need something better than “nasty, brutish, and short” to get past Cervantes and make it into the final. And today we fill […] The post John Updike vs. George Carlin (2); Hobbes and Dick advance appeared first…

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A rare topical post

April 3, 2015
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Harvey Motulsky writes: Every year at passover, I struggle to peel two dozen hard boiled eggs and search the web to see if there isn’t a trick to do it better. But all the hits say the same thing: put the eggs in cold water, then bring to a boil. But this guy [J. Kenji […] The post A rare topical post appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and…

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Surveymonkey’s unipolarity and I

April 3, 2015
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Surveymonkey’s unipolarity and I

I was creating an online survey using Surveymonkey earlier this week. They asked me to try their new design, and so I did. There appeared to be a bug in one of the features. It kept preventing me from displaying the questions in a certain way. I tried a bunch of tricks but after ten minutes, decided to switch back to the old design. I clicked on their Feedback link…

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Why You Need to Study Statistics

April 3, 2015
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The American Statistical Association is continuing its campaign to get you to study statistics, if you haven't already. I have to agree with them that being a statistician is a pretty good job. Their latest video highlights a wide range of statistician...

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Books to Read While the Algae Grow in Your Fur, January 2015

April 2, 2015
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Attention conservation notice: I have no taste. Jin Feng and Thomas G. Kurtz, Large Deviations for Stochastic Processes \[ \newcommand{\Expect}[1]{\mathbb{E}\left[ #1 \right]} \newcommand{\Prob}[1]{\mathbb{P}\left( #1 \right)} \] Kurtz is best known for work in the 1970s and 1980s on how sequences of Markov processes converge on a limiting Markov process, especially on how they converge on a limiting deterministic dynamical system. This book is an extension of those ideas, and best…

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Round of 8 bracket; Ed Wood (3) vs. Thomas Hobbes; Philip K. Dick (2) vs. Jane Austen

April 2, 2015
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Round of 8 bracket; Ed Wood (3) vs. Thomas Hobbes; Philip K. Dick (2) vs. Jane Austen

Paul Davidson sends along the updated bracket, along with the comment that the writers seem to be doing very well. True! The 8 remaining contestants include 5 writers (along with one comedian, one philosopher, and one cult figure). Yesterday we had no competition because I was afraid that people would not take it seriously on […] The post Round of 8 bracket; Ed Wood (3) vs. Thomas Hobbes; Philip K.…

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There are 5 ways to get fired from Caesars: (1) theft, (2) sexual harassment, (3) running an experiment without a control group, (4) keeping a gambling addict away from the casino, and (5) chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings

April 2, 2015
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We first encountered the famous casino operator in February, 2011, when Michael Schrage was hyping the data-driven philosophy of its CEO, Gary Loveman, in Technology Review. Here’s a typical bit from the article: Schrage: What do you like to tell your academic colleagues about the challenges of real-world experimentation and innovation? Loveman: Honestly, my only […] The post There are 5 ways to get fired from Caesars: (1) theft, (2)…

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Graphical forms impose assumptions on the data

April 2, 2015
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Graphical forms impose assumptions on the data

In a comment to my previous post, reader Chris P. pointed me to the following set of maps, also from the New York Times crew, on the legalization of gay marriage in the U.S. (link) (For those who did not...

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Books to Read While the Algae Grow in Your Fur, August 2014

April 2, 2015
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George Scialabba, What Are Intellectuals Good For? Essays and Reviews and The Modern Predicament When I was trying to teach myself how to be a critic (or at least how to write criticism), one of my models was this "George Scialabba" character, who ke...

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Books to Read While the Algae Grow in Your Fur, January 2015

April 2, 2015
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Attention conservation notice: I have no taste. Jin Feng and Thomas G. Kurtz, Large Deviations for Stochastic Processes \[ \newcommand{\Expect}[1]{\mathbb{E}\left[ #1 \right]} \newcommand{\Prob}[1]{\mathbb{P}\left( #1 \right)} \] Kurtz is best known for work in the 1970s and 1980s on how sequences of Markov processes converge on a limiting Markov process, especially on how they converge on a limiting deterministic dynamical system. This book is an extension of those ideas, and best…

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The Game Continues!

April 2, 2015
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The Game Continues!

I'm pleased to be able to report on the events of the second day of The Econometric Game, 2015. Thanks, once again, to Nikki for providing the information for this post.The end of Day 2 of the "Econometrics World Championships", today, saw the announce...

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April Reading

April 1, 2015
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April Reading

April 1 already - time to update your reading list. Here are some suggestions:Baek, Y. I., J. S. Cho, and P. C. B. Phillips, 2015. Testing linearity using power transforms of regressors. 2015-RWP79, Economic Research Institute, Yonsei University.Gol, A...

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Link: Dear Data

April 1, 2015
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Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec are collaborating on a clever and beautiful new project they call Dear Data (Twitter account). Every week, they are sending post cards to each other with hand-drawn visualizations of data they have gathered: public transportation, ways they communicate, etc. Giorgia and Stefanie are two of the most interesting people working in data visualization/design/art right … Continue reading Link: Dear Data

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Enough with the replication police

April 1, 2015
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Enough with the replication police

Can’t those shameless little bullies just let scientists do their research in peace? If a hypothesis test is statistically significant and a result is published in a real journal, that should be enough for any self-styled skeptic. Can you imagine what might happen if any published result could be questioned—by anybody? You’d have serious psychology […] The post Enough with the replication police appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference,…

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Yet another popular nutrition headline doesn’t stand up to scrutiny

April 1, 2015
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Yet another popular nutrition headline doesn’t stand up to scrutiny

Are science journalists required to take one good statistics course? That is the question in my head when I read this Science Times article, titled "One Cup of Coffee Could Offset Three Drinks a Day" (link). We are used to seeing rather tenuous conclusions such as "Four Cups of Coffee Reduces Your Risk of X". This headline takes it up another notch. A result is claimed about the substitution effect…

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Simulate the Monty Hall Problem in SAS

April 1, 2015
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Simulate the Monty Hall Problem in SAS

The Monty Hall Problem is one of the most famous problems in elementary probability. It is famous because the correct solution is counter-intuitive and because it caused an uproar when it appeared in the "Ask Marilyn" column in Parade magazine in 1990. Discussing the problem has been known to create […]

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