Secret Santa: What is the probability that someone pulls her own name from a hat?

December 4, 2013
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Secret Santa: What is the probability that someone pulls her own name from a hat?

Each year my siblings choose names for a Christmas gift exchange. It is not unusual for a sibling to pick her own name, whereupon the name is replaced into the hat and a new name is drawn. In fact, that "glitch" in the drawing process was a motivation for me [...]

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Story time on aspirin

December 4, 2013
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USA Today, who brought us a dubious early signaling system for sudden cardiac arrest in a prior post, also gave us “Story Time!” on aspirin on the same day (link). The article started with the conclusion: “Taking an aspirin before bed may reduce the chance of having a heart attack or stroke in the morning”. What is the data used to support this cause—effect statement? *** The researchers looked at…

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Stephen Senn: Dawid’s Selection Paradox (guest post)

December 4, 2013
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Stephen Senn: Dawid’s Selection Paradox (guest post)

Stephen Senn Head, Methodology and Statistics Group, Competence Center for Methodology and Statistics (CCMS), Luxembourg “Dawid’s Selection Paradox” You can protest, of course, that Dawid’s Selection Paradox is no such thing but then those who believe in the inexorable triumph of logic will deny that anything is a paradox. In a challenging paper published nearly […]

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Sample size and power for rare events

December 3, 2013
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Sample size and power for rare events

We have written a bit on sample size for common events, we have written about rare events, and we have written about frequentist significance testing. We would like to specialize our sample size analysis to rare events (which allows us to derive a somewhat tighter estimate). In web marketing and a lot of other applications […] Related posts: Estimating rates from a single occurrence of a rare event A bit…

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Maximizing Return from Every Item in the Marketing Research Questionnaire

December 3, 2013
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Maximizing Return from Every Item in the Marketing Research Questionnaire

Consumers will not complete long questionnaires, so marketing research must get the most it can from every item.  In this post, we look into the toolbox of R packages and search for statistical models that enable us to learn a great deal about eac...

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On the future of the textbook

December 3, 2013
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The latest issue of Technological Innovations in Statistics Education is focused on the future of the textbook. Editor Rob Gould has put together an interesting list of contributions as well as discussions from the leaders in the field of statistics … Continue reading →

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Guest Post: Risk, Insurance and the Actuary

December 3, 2013
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Guest Post: Risk, Insurance and the Actuary

Risk, Insurance, and the Actuary Risk is an inherent part of our daily life. As a result, most of us, take out insurance policies as a means of protection against scenarios which, were they to occur, may cause hardship whether … Continue reading →

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Objects of the class “Lawrence Summers”: Arne Duncan edition

December 3, 2013
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Objects of the class “Lawrence Summers”:  Arne Duncan edition

We have a new “Objects of the class,” and it’s a good one! Here’s what happened. I came across a thoughtful discussion by Mark Palko of how it was that Secretary of Education Arne Duncan ticked off so many people with his recent remarks about “white suburban moms”: To understand why Duncan hit such a […]The post Objects of the class “Lawrence Summers”: Arne Duncan edition appeared first on Statistical…

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Preview of book Data Mining Applications with R

December 3, 2013
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Preview of book Data Mining Applications with R

An edited book titled Data Mining Applications with R will be on market soon, which features 15 real-word applications on data mining with R. A preview of the book is available on Google Books. R code, data and color figures … Continue reading →

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R in Insurance Conference, London, 14 July 2014

December 3, 2013
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R in Insurance Conference, London, 14 July 2014

Following the very positive feedback that Andreas and I have received from delegates of the first R in Insurance conference in July of this year, we are planning to repeat the event next year. We have already reserved a bigger auditorium. The second co...

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R in Insurance Conference, London, 14 July 2014

December 3, 2013
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R in Insurance Conference, London, 14 July 2014

Following the very positive feedback that Andreas and I have received from delegates of the first R in Insurance conference in July of this year, we are planning to repeat the event next year. We have already reserved a bigger auditorium. The second co...

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Immersion Reveals How People are Connected via Email

December 2, 2013
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Immersion Reveals How People are Connected via Email

Immersion [mit.edu] is a quite revealing visualization tool of which the NSA - or your own national security agency - can only be jealous of... Developed by MIT students Daniel Smilkov, Deepak Jagdish and C�sar Hidalgo, Immersion generates a time-va...

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Does a professor’s intervention in online discussions have the effect of prolonging discussion or cutting it off?

December 2, 2013
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Usually I don’t post answers to questions right away, but Mark Liberman was kind enough to answer my question yesterday so I think I should reciprocate. Mark asks: I’ve been playing around with data from Coursera transaction logs, for an economics course and a modern poetry course so far. For the Modern Poetry course, where […]The post Does a professor’s intervention in online discussions have the effect of prolonging discussion…

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Facts about the population of the world ! New version in The factlab

December 2, 2013
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(This article was originally published at Access to Statistics, and syndicated at StatsBlogs.) Please comment on the article here: Access to Statistics

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Newest release of BCEA

December 2, 2013
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Very shortly, I'll upload the newest release of BCEA, my R package to post-process the output of a (Bayesian) health economic model and produce systematic summaries (such as graphs and tables) for a full economic evaluation and probabilistic sensitivit...

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Shaping up Laplace Approximation using Importance Sampling

December 2, 2013
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Shaping up Laplace Approximation using Importance Sampling

In the last post I showed how to use Laplace approximation to quickly (but dirtily) approximate the posterior distribution of a Bayesian model coded in R. This is just a short follow up where I show how to use importance sampling as an easy method to...

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Speeding up model bootstrapping in GNU R

December 2, 2013
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After my last post I have recurringly received two questions: (a) is it worthwhile to analyze GNU R speed in simulations and (b) how would simulation speed compare between GNU R and Python. In this post I want to address the former question and next ti...

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Solving Big Data’s big skills shortage – The Conversation

December 2, 2013
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Solving Big Data’s big skills shortage – The Conversation

From: http://theconversation.com/solving-big-datas-big-skills-shortage-20352The skills required to tap Big Data include statistics, mathematics, computer science and engineering. Shutterstock.comAccording to analyst firm Gartner, Big Data is at the por...

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Academics should not feel guilty for maximizing their potential by leaving their homeland

December 2, 2013
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In a New York Times op-ed titled Migration Hurts the Homeland, Paul Collier tells us that What’s good for migrants from poor places is not always good for the countries they’re leaving behind. He makes the argument that those that … Continue reading →

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Should personal genetic testing be regulated? Battle of the blogroll

December 2, 2013
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On the side of less regulation is Alex Tabarrok in “Our DNA, Our Selves”: At the same time that the NSA is secretly and illegally obtaining information about Americans the FDA is making it illegal for Americans to obtain information about themselves. In a warning letter the FDA has told Anne Wojcicki, The Most Daring […]The post Should personal genetic testing be regulated? Battle of the blogroll appeared first on…

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Beyond the obvious

December 2, 2013
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Beyond the obvious

Flowing Data has been doing some fine work on the baby names data. The names voyager is a successful project by Martin Wattenberg that has received praise from many corners. It's one of these projects that have taken on a...

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The e-Writing Jungle Part 3: Web-Based e-books Using Python / Sphinx

December 2, 2013
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In the previous Parts 1 and 2, I essentially dealt with two extremes: (1) LaTeX to pdf to web, and (2) raw HTML (however arrived at) with math rendered by MathJax. Now let's look at something of a middle ground: the Python package, Sphinx, for producin...

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Write a matrix in the "long form"

December 2, 2013
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Write a matrix in the "long form"

If you write an n x p matrix from PROC IML to a SAS data set, you'll get a data set with n rows and p columns. For some applications, it is more convenient to write the matrix in a "long format" with np observations and three columns. The first [...]

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