Claude Levi-Strauss (4) vs. Ed Wood (3); Cervantes wins

March 25, 2015
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For yesterday we have a tough call, having to decide between two much-loved philosophical writers, as Jonathan put it in comments: Camus on ramdomness; how make a model when there is no signal — only noise. Cervantes on making the world fit the model through self-delusion. Two fascinating statistics lectures with the same underlying theme […] The post Claude Levi-Strauss (4) vs. Ed Wood (3); Cervantes wins appeared first on…

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Link: Data Journalism in the 19th Century

March 25, 2015
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Scott Klein of ProPublica has written a great story about an early use of data in journalism, and Horace Greeley, the colorful journalist behind it. Greeley found an issue and then gathered the data to show the extent of the problem. This is not unlike today. In Greeley’s case, the issue was how much money members of … Continue reading Link: Data Journalism in the 19th Century

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Le Monde puzzle [#904.5]

March 25, 2015
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Le Monde puzzle [#904.5]

About this #904 arithmetics Le Monde mathematical puzzle: Find all plural integers, namely positive integers such that (a) none of their digits is zero and (b) removing their leftmost digit produces a dividing plural integer (with the convention that one digit integers are all plural). a slight modification in the R code allows for a […]

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Define first, prove later

March 25, 2015
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This post by John Cook features a quote form a book “Calculus on Manifolds,” by Michael Spivak which I think was the textbook for a course I took in college where we learned how to prove Stokes’s theorem, which is something in multivariable calculus involving the divergence and that thing that you get where you […] The post Define first, prove later appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and…

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Bayesian survival analysis for "Game of Thrones"

March 25, 2015
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Bayesian survival analysis for "Game of Thrones"

Last fall I taught an introduction to Bayesian statistics at Olin College.  My students worked on some excellent projects, and I invited them to write up their results as guest articles for this blog.One of the teams applied Bayesian survival anal...

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Designers fuss over little details and so should you

March 25, 2015
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Designers fuss over little details and so should you

Those who attended my dataviz talks have seen a version of the following chart that showed up yesterday on New York Times (link): This chart shows the fluctuation in Arctic sea ice volume over time. The dataset is a simple...

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On the number of permutations supported in SAS software

March 25, 2015
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On the number of permutations supported in SAS software

There's "big," and then there is "factorial big." If you have k items, the number of permutations is "k factorial," which is written as k!. The factorial function gets big fast. For example, the value of k! for several values of k is shown in the following table. You can […]

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A Speed Comparison Between Flexible Linear Regression Alternatives in R

March 25, 2015
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A Speed Comparison Between Flexible Linear Regression Alternatives in R

Everybody loves speed comparisons! Is R faster than Python? Is dplyr faster than data.table? Is STAN faster than JAGS? It has been said that speed comparisons are utterly meaningless, and in general I agree, especially when you are comparing apples a...

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What to cite?

March 25, 2015
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What to cite?

This question comes from a comment on another post: I’ve seen authors citing as many references as possible to try to please potential referees. Many of those references are low quality papers though. Any general guidance about a typical length for the reference section? It depends on the subject and style of the paper. I’ve […]

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Miguel de Cervantes (2) vs. Albert Camus (1); Twain wins

March 24, 2015
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Yesterday‘s winner is Mark Twain because, as Anonymous demonstrated in the comments, Twain on Eddy is more interesting than Eddy on Eddy. Today’s third-round match pits an eternal classic vs. the coolest of the cool. P.S. As always, here&#...

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Introduction to Bioconductor HarvardX MOOC starts this Monday March 30

March 24, 2015
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Bioconductor is one of the most widely used open source toolkits for biological high-throughput data. In this four week course, co-taught with Vince Carey and Mike Love, we will introduce you to Bioconductor's general infrastructure and then focus on two specific technologies: next generation sequencing and microarrays. The lectures and assessments will be annotated in

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Fitting a triangular distribution

March 24, 2015
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Fitting a triangular distribution

Sometimes you only need a rough fit to some data and a triangular distribution will do. As the name implies, this is a distribution whose density function graph is a triangle. The triangle is determined by its base, running between points a and b, and a point c somewhere in between where the altitude intersects the base. […]

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Adiabatic as I wanna be: Or, how is a chess rating like classical economics?

March 24, 2015
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Adiabatic as I wanna be:  Or, how is a chess rating like classical economics?

Chess ratings are all about change. Did your rating go up, did it go down, have you reached 2000, who’s hot, who’s not, and so on. If nobody’s abilities were changing, chess ratings would be boring, they’d be nothing but a noisy measure, and watching your rating change would be as exciting as watching a […] The post Adiabatic as I wanna be: Or, how is a chess rating like…

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ChainLadder 0.2.0 adds Solvency II CDR functions

March 24, 2015
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ChainLadder 0.2.0 adds Solvency II CDR functions

ChainLadder is an R package that provides statistical methods and models for claims reserving in general insurance.With version 0.2.0 we added new functions to estimate the claims development result (CDR) as required under Solvency II. Special thanks t...

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New job opportunities at Monash

March 24, 2015
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New job opportunities at Monash

We are now advertising for various positions in applied statistics, operations research and applied mathematics. Click here for details These jobs are with MAXIMA (the Monash Academy for Cross & Interdisciplinary Mathematical Applications). Please do not send any questions to me (I won’t answer). Click above and fol­low the instructions.

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Factor Evaluation in Quantitative Portfolio Management

March 23, 2015
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Factor Evaluation in Quantitative Portfolio Management

When it comes to managing a portfolio of stocks versus a benchmark the problem is very different from defining an absolute return strategy. In the former one has to hold more stocks than in the later where no stocks at all can be held  if there is not good enough opportunity.  The reason for that is the tracking error. This […]

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One place not to use the Sharpe ratio

March 23, 2015
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One place not to use the Sharpe ratio

Having worked in finance I am a public fan of the Sharpe ratio. I have written about this here and here. One thing I have often forgotten (driving some bad analyses) is: the Sharpe ratio isn’t appropriate for models of repeated events that already have linked mean and variance (such as Poisson or Binomial models) … Continue reading One place not to use the Sharpe ratio → Related posts: A…

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The World Championship of Econometrics!

March 23, 2015
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The World Championship of Econometrics!

Nikki Wesselius, a member of the Organizing Committee for the Econometric Game, 2015, has asked me to provide readers with information about this year's event. I'm delighted to do so,The Econometric Game (AKA "The World Championship of Econometrics") i...

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Round 3 begins! Mark Twain (4) vs. Mary Baker Eddy

March 23, 2015
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Round 3 begins!  Mark Twain (4) vs. Mary Baker Eddy

After yesterday‘s John Waters victory, we’re now in the Round of 16: Thanks again to Paul Davidson for providing the bracket. Remaining are 4 authors, 3 comedians, 3 cult figures, 1 founder of religion, 2 French intellectuals, 2 philosophers, 1 religious leader, and 0 artists. Today’s lucha is a classic grudge match—Twain and Eddy have […] The post Round 3 begins! Mark Twain (4) vs. Mary Baker Eddy appeared first…

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BayesFactor updated to version 0.9.11-1

March 23, 2015
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The BayesFactor package has been updated to version 0.9.11-1. The changes are:  CHANGES IN BayesFactor VERSION 0.9.11-1CHANGES  * Fixed memory bug causing importance sampling to fail.  CHANGES IN BayesFactor VERSION 0.9.11CHANGES  *...

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Paul Meehl continues to be the boss

March 23, 2015
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Lee Sechrest writes: Here is a remarkable paper, not well known, by Paul Meehl. My research group is about to undertake a fresh discussion of it, which we do about every five or ten years. The paper is now more than a quarter of a century old but it is, I think, dramatically pertinent to […] The post Paul Meehl continues to be the boss appeared first on Statistical Modeling,…

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On deck this week

March 23, 2015
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Mon: Paul Meehl continues to be the boss Tues: Adiabatic as I wanna be: Or, how is a chess rating like classical economics? Wed: Define first, prove later Thurs: Another disgraced primatologist . . . this time featuring “sympathetic dentists” Fri: Imagining p The post On deck this week appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

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Sense and nonsense about Big Data and surveys

March 23, 2015
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The American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) has put out its Big Data report last month (link). This one is worth reading. It has some of the most current citations, and readers of this blog will be very receptive to its core messages. The team who wrote the report is a mix of academics and practitioners. *** In Big Data, there are many self-evident truths, according to the people…

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