The normal distribution – three tricky bits

January 18, 2016
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The normal distribution – three tricky bits

There are several tricky things about teaching and understanding the normal distribution, and in this post I’m going to talk about three of them. They are the idea of a model, the limitations of the normal distribution, and the idea … Continue reading →

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Set up RStudio in the cloud to work with GitHub

January 17, 2016
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Set up RStudio in the cloud to work with GitHub

I love GitHub for version control and collaboration, though I'm no master of it. And the tools for integrating git and GitHub with RStudio are just amazing boons to productivity. Unfortunately, my University-supplied computer does not play well with ...

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Nina Zumel and John Mount part of R Day at Strata + Hadoop World in San Jose 2016

January 17, 2016
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Nina Zumel and I are honored to have been invited to be part of Strata + Hadoop World in San Jose 2016 R Day organized by RStudio and O’Reilly. We have written a lot on the topic of model validation in R and we are very excited to distill it down to an exciting tutorial. … Continue reading Nina Zumel and John Mount part of R Day at Strata +…

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A simple ANOVA

January 17, 2016
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A simple ANOVA

I was browsing Davies Design and Analysis of Industrial Experiments (second edition, 1967). Published by for ICI in times when industry did that kind of thing. It is quite an applied book. On page 107 there is an example where the variance of a pr...

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The devil really is in the details; or, You’ll be able to guess who I think are the good guys and who I think are the bad guys in this story, but I think it’s still worth telling because it provides some insight into how (some) scientists view statistics

January 17, 2016
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I noticed this on Retraction Watch: “Scientists clearly cannot rely on the traditional avenues for correcting problems in the literature.” PubPeer responds to an editorial slamming the site. I’ve never actually read anything on PubPeer but I understand it’s a post-publication review site, and I like post-publication review. So I’m heading into this one on […] The post The devil really is in the details; or, You’ll be able to…

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Why Does "Pi" Appear in the Normal Density

January 16, 2016
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Why Does "Pi" Appear in the Normal Density

Every now and then a student will ask me why the formula for the density of a Normal random variable includes the constant, π, or more correctly (2π)-½.The answer is that this term ensures that the density function is "proper" - that is, the integra...

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Scientists Not Behaving Badly

January 16, 2016
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Scientists Not Behaving Badly

Andrea Panizza writes: I just read about psychologist Uri Simonson debunking a research by colleagues Raphael Silberzahn & Eric Uhlmann on the positive effects of noble-sounding German surnames on people’s careers (!!!). Here the fact is mentioned. I think that the interesting part (apart, of course, from the general weirdness of Silberzahn & Uhlmann’s research […] The post Scientists Not Behaving Badly appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and…

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Turkopticon: Defender of Amazon’s Anonymous Workforce

January 16, 2016
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Turkopticon: Defender of Amazon’s Anonymous Workforce

Labor crowdsourcing is the system by which large crowds or workers contribute to a project allowing for complex and tedious tasks to be rapidly and efficiently completed. The largest labor crowdsourcing platform in the world, Amazon Mechancial TURK (Mt...

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Crowdsourcing research

January 16, 2016
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Crowdsourcing research

Last evening, Anthony Goldbloom, the founder of Kaggle.com, gave a very nice talk at a joint Statistical Programming DC/Data Science DC event about the Kaggle experience and what can be learned from the results of their competitions. One of the take away messages was that crowdsourcing data problems to a diligent and motivated group of entrepreneurial data […]

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McElreath’s Statistical Rethinking: A Bayesian Course with Examples in R and Stan

January 15, 2016
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McElreath’s Statistical Rethinking: A Bayesian Course with Examples in R and Stan

We’re not even halfway through with January, but the new year’s already rung in a new book with lots of Stan content: Richard McElreath (2016) Statistical Rethinking: A Bayesian Course with Examples in R and Stan. Chapman & Hall/CRC Press. This one got a thumbs up from the Stan team members who’ve read it, and […] The post McElreath’s Statistical Rethinking: A Bayesian Course with Examples in R and Stan…

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Using Excel versus using R

January 15, 2016
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Here is a video I made showing how R should not be considered “scarier” than Excel to analysts. One of the takeaway points: it is easier to email R procedures than Excel procedures. Win-Vector’s John Mount shows a simple analysis both in Excel and in R. A save of the “email” linking to all code … Continue reading Using Excel versus using R

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Artificial Intelligence: Solving the Chinese Room Argument

January 15, 2016
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Artificial Intelligence: Solving the Chinese Room Argument

Yesterday, the very best AI (artificial intelligence) had trouble beating a novice human chess player. Today, the very best human player has enormous difficulty beating the best AI. Tomorrow, the very best human player will never beat any AI. However, ...

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Unz Ivy Stats Flashback

January 15, 2016
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Unz Ivy Stats Flashback

This news story reminded me of some threads from a few years ago about Ron Unz, the political activist who wrote a statistics-filled article a few years ago claiming that Harvard and other Ivy League colleges discriminate against Asian-Americans and in favor of Jews in undergraduate admissions. It turned out that some of his numbers […] The post Unz Ivy Stats Flashback appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and…

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When Excel goes bad

January 15, 2016
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As we know Excel is very powerful and very flexible, which is why it gets used for all sorts of data, but the myriad of functions and tools available means we can do all sorts of clever things with our worksheets, from drop down lists to dynamic charts...

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Profile of Hilary Parker

January 15, 2016
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If you've ever wanted to know more about my Not So Standard Deviations co-host (and Johns Hopkins graduate) Hilary Parker, you can go check out the great profile of her on the American Statistical Association's This Is Statistics web site. What advice would you give to high school students thinking about majoring in statistics? It’s

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MTA sucks

January 14, 2016
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MTA sucks

They had a sign on the wall promoting this Easy Pay express metrocard that would auto-refill and I was like, cool, so when I got to the ofc I looked it up, found the sign-up page, gave my information and chose the EasyPayXpress PayPerRide Plan, clicked on lu et endendu or whatever they call it, […] The post MTA sucks appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

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Talk to Upstate Data Science Group on Caret

January 14, 2016
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Talk to Upstate Data Science Group on Caret

Last night I gave an introduction and demo of the caret R package to the Upstate Data Science group, meeting at Furman University. It was fairly well attended (around 20 people), and well received.It was great to get out of my own comfort zone a b...

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rstanarm and more!

January 14, 2016
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rstanarm and more!

Ben Goodrich writes: The rstanarm R package, which has been mentioned several times on stan-users, is now available in binary form on CRAN mirrors (unless you are using an old version of R and / or an old version of OSX). It is an R package that comes with a few precompiled Stan models — […] The post rstanarm and more! appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social…

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"Secret Data" and Differential Privacy

January 14, 2016
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See Cochrane's original post and followup.  The followup mentions the idea of differential privacy as a "technology" that may provide a potential solution when there are issues of data confidentiality.   Actually differential privacy is ...

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Collectionner les Figurines Lego avec ses Ami(e)s

January 14, 2016
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Collectionner les Figurines Lego avec ses Ami(e)s

Dans mon précédant billet, je regardais combien de figurines Lego je devais acheter pour avoir toute la série, avec ma fille. Pour la série de 16, il fallait, en moyenne, acheter 54 sachets, à 3 euros pièces. Dans les commentaires, @Guillaume et @Gaelle me faisaient noter que les échanges, ça pouvait aider. Bon, tout d’abord j’aime pas qu’on donne des conseils à mes filles pour avoir raison contre moi !…

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precision in MCMC

January 13, 2016
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precision in MCMC

While browsing Images des Mathématiques, I came across this article [in French] that studies the impact of round-off errors on number representations in a dynamical system and checked how much this was the case for MCMC algorithms like the slice sampler (recycling some R code from Monte Carlo Statistical Methods). By simply adding a few […]

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Pro-PACE, anti-PACE

January 13, 2016
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Pro Simon Wessely, a psychiatrist who has done research on chronic fatigue syndrome, pointed me to an overview of the PACE trial written by its organizers, Peter White, Trudie Chalder, and Michael Sharpe, and also to this post of his from November, coming to the defense of the much-maligned PACE study: Nothing as complex as […] The post Pro-PACE, anti-PACE appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

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Compute the centroid of a polygon in SAS

January 13, 2016
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Compute the centroid of a polygon in SAS

Recently I blogged about how to compute a weighted mean and showed that you can use a weighted mean to compute the center of mass for a system of N point masses in the plane. That led me to think about a related problem: computing the center of mass (called […] The post Compute the centroid of a polygon in SAS appeared first on The DO Loop.

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