Peircean Induction and the Error-Correcting Thesis (Part I)

September 11, 2015
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Peircean Induction and the Error-Correcting Thesis (Part I)

Yesterday was C.S. Peirce’s birthday. He’s one of my all time heroes. You should read him: he’s a treasure chest on essentially any topic. I only recently discovered a passage where Popper calls Peirce one of the greatest philosophical thinkers ever (I don’t have it handy). If Popper had taken a few more pages from Peirce, he would have […]

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Being polite vs. saying what we really think

September 11, 2015
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Being polite vs. saying what we really think

We recently discussed an article by Isabel Scott and Nicholas Pound entitled, “Menstrual Cycle Phase Does Not Predict Political Conservatism,” in which Scott and Pound definitively shot down some research that was so ridiculous it never even deserved the dignity of being shot down. The trouble is, the original article, “The Fluctuating Female Vote: Politics, […] The post Being polite vs. saying what we really think appeared first on Statistical…

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Tufte soundbites

September 11, 2015
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Tom B. alerted me to an interview with Ed Tufte, by Ad Age (link). It's a good read. The journalist attended one of Tufte's courses but then the interview was conducted via email. So it reads like a condensed version...

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Let’s apply for some of that sweet, sweet National Sanitation Foundation funding

September 10, 2015
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Let’s apply for some of that sweet, sweet National Sanitation Foundation funding

Paul Alper pointed me to this news article about where the bacteria and fungi hang out on airplanes. This is a topic that doesn’t interest me at all, but then I noticed this, at the very end of the article: Note: A previous version of this article cited the National Science Foundation rather than the […] The post Let’s apply for some of that sweet, sweet National Sanitation Foundation funding…

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Light entertainment: what is truth?

September 10, 2015
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Light entertainment: what is truth?

Benjamin Lee at the Guardian didn't like the new Tom Hardy movie Legend much (link). His verdict in brief: The legend must live on but Legend certainly won't. Then, Lee saw this Legend ad (link): (Tip from Doeke W., long-time...

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Meet Teletherm, the hot new climate change statistic!

September 10, 2015
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Meet Teletherm, the hot new climate change statistic!

Peter Dodds, Lewis Mitchell, Andrew Reagan, and Christopher Danforth write: We introduce, formalize, and explore what we believe are fundamental climatological and seasonal markers: the Summer and Winter Teletherm—the on-average hottest and coldest days of the year. We measure the Teletherms using 25 and 50 year averaging windows for 1218 stations in the contiguous United […] The post Meet Teletherm, the hot new climate change statistic! appeared first on Statistical…

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The Econ Ph.D. Placement Network

September 10, 2015
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Speaking of interesting applications of network connectedness measures, check out Ricky Vohra's latest post in Leisure of the Theory Class. It reports on a fascinating paper by Chu Kin ("Roy") Chan, a talented undergrad who visited Penn for the pa...

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Plot the conditional distribution of the response in a linear regression model

September 10, 2015
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Plot the conditional distribution of the response in a linear regression model

A friend who teaches courses about statistical regression asked me how to create a graph in SAS that illustrates an important concept: the conditional distribution of the response variable. The basic idea is to draw a scatter plot with a regression line, then overlay several probability distributions along the line, […] The post Plot the conditional distribution of the response in a linear regression model appeared first on The DO…

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Some thoughts on Economics, Mathematics, Econometrics, Statistics, Machine Learning, etc

September 10, 2015
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Some thoughts on Economics, Mathematics, Econometrics, Statistics, Machine Learning, etc

There were a lot of posts, recently, related to those topics, starting with Noah Smith ‘s piece entitled “Economics has a Math Problem” and more recently “Econometrics, Math, and Machine Learning…what?” by Matt Bogard. I don’t have (yet) a clear mind on those issues, but there are still a few thoughts that I wanted to share. I did not really want to, but I’ve been asked, on Twitter, and I thought it might be good…

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Le Monde puzzle [#928]

September 9, 2015
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Le Monde puzzle [#928]

A combinatorics Le Monde mathematical puzzle: How many distinct integers between 0 and 16 can one pick so that all positive differences are distinct? If k is the number of distinct integers, the number of positive differences is 1+2+…+(k-1) = k(k-1)/2, which cannot exceed 16, because it is a subset of {1,2,…,16}, meaning k cannot […]

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Le Monde puzzle [#928]

September 9, 2015
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Le Monde puzzle [#928]

A combinatorics Le Monde mathematical puzzle: How many distinct integers between 0 and 16 can one pick so that all positive differences are distinct? If k is the number of distinct integers, the number of positive differences is 1+2+…+(k-1) = k(k-1)/2, which cannot exceed 16, because it is a subset of {1,2,…,16}, meaning k cannot […]

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Please help: BayesFactor testimonials

September 9, 2015
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I'm compiling a portfolio about the BayesFactor software, and I would love to have short comments (a few sentences to a paragraph) from people who have found the software useful. If you have used the software and you wouldn't mind sending me a short bl...

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Reproducibility is hard

September 9, 2015
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Reproducibility is hard

Reproducibility is hard. It will probably always be hard, because it’s hard keeping things organized. I recently had a paper accepted at G3, concerning a huge set of sample mix-ups in a large eQTL study. I’d discovered and worked out the issue back in December, 2010. I gave a talk about it at the Mouse […]

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Reproducibility is hard

September 9, 2015
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Reproducibility is hard

Reproducibility is hard. It will probably always be hard, because it’s hard keeping things organized. I recently had a paper accepted at G3, concerning a huge set of sample mix-ups in a large eQTL study. I’d discovered and worked out the issue back in December, 2010. I gave a talk about it at the Mouse […]

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Home alone

September 9, 2015
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Home alone

As Marta is heading to a conference, XY and I will spend a couple of days at home alone. Hopefully that won't end up like in the picture here...

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Irwin Shaw: “I might mistrust intellectuals, but I’d mistrust nonintellectuals even more.”

September 9, 2015
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Irwin Shaw:  “I might mistrust intellectuals, but I’d mistrust nonintellectuals even more.”

A few weeks ago I picked up a paperback of stories by Irwin Shaw, printed in the late 1950s. I love these little pocket books—but this one was a bit too disposable: after about 50 pages the spine gave out and the pages started to fall out, which was a bit irritating because then I […] The post Irwin Shaw: “I might mistrust intellectuals, but I’d mistrust nonintellectuals even more.”…

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Rethinking the index data, with modesty and clarity in mind

September 9, 2015
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Rethinking the index data, with modesty and clarity in mind

I discussed the rose chart used in the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) report last week. This type of data is always challenging to visualize. One should start with an objective. If the goal is a data dump, that is to...

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No one in Gene Woolsey’s class made spelling errors

September 9, 2015
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I wished I had a chance to take Gene Woolsey's class. Woolsey was a major personality in Operations Research, and from reading a set of remembrances in ORMS Today (June 2015), I learned that he was also an amazing teacher. And no one in his class made spelling errors! How cool is that. Well, I don't know if no one ever made a spelling error but I bet that the…

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debunking a (minor and personal) myth

September 9, 2015
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debunking a (minor and personal) myth

For quite a while, I entertained the idea that Beta and Dirichlet proposals  were more adequate than (log-)normal random walks proposals for parameters on (0,1) and simplicia (simplices, simplexes), respectively, when running an MCMC. For instance, for p in (0,1) the value of the Markov chain at time t-1, the proposal at time t could […]

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debunking a (minor and personal) myth

September 9, 2015
By
debunking a (minor and personal) myth

For quite a while, I entertained the idea that Beta and Dirichlet proposals  were more adequate than (log-)normal random walks proposals for parameters on (0,1) and simplicia (simplices, simplexes), respectively, when running an MCMC. For instance, for p in (0,1) the value of the Markov chain at time t-1, the proposal at time t could […]

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Recipe for Centered Horizontal Stacked Barplots (Useful for Likert scale responses)

September 8, 2015
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Recipe for Centered Horizontal Stacked Barplots (Useful for Likert scale responses)

There is a nice package and paper about this here: http://www.jstatsoft.org/v57/i05/paper. However, the associated code is complex and uses lattice. Here's a brief recipe using base graphics that implements the above figure: set.seed(40) x

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Statbusters: Were you drunk on Labor Day?

September 8, 2015
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On Labor Day, our new Statbusters column appeared. This one concerns a popular news story from some weeks ago, saying science has proven that there are four types of drunks. The four refers to four "clusters" formed by running a cluster analysis algorithm. But four is decided by the analyst. Some algorithms won't run unless the analyst specifies the number of clusters; other algorithms generate the best structure for every…

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“Dow 36,000” guy offers an opinion on Tom Brady’s balls. The rest of us are supposed to listen?

September 8, 2015
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Football season is returning so it’s time for us to return to that favorite statistical topic from the past football season: Tom Brady’s deflated balls. Back in June, Jonathan Falk pointed me to this report. You can click through if you’d like and take a look. I didn’t bother reading it because it had no […] The post “Dow 36,000” guy offers an opinion on Tom Brady’s balls. The rest…

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