On deck this week

February 16, 2015
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Mon: James Watson sez: Cancer cure is coming in minus 14 years! Chris Rock (3) vs. Jean-Jacques Rousseau Tues: Bayesian survival analysis with horseshoe priors—in Stan! Larry David (4) vs. Thomas Hobbes Wed: VB-Stan: Black-box black-box variational Bayes Jesus (1) vs. Leo Tolstoy Thurs: Another example of why centering predictors can be good idea Mohandas […] The post On deck this week appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and…

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Heroic Econometrics Teachers: Tom Rothenberg and Dennis Sargan

February 16, 2015
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I'm not sure why this popped into my head just now. There have been many fine graduate econometrics teachers/mentors; their armies of well-trained students now populate top universities.  But two seem to me to have transcended the rest, achieving ...

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Friends don’t let friends concatenate results inside a loop

February 16, 2015
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Friends don’t let friends concatenate results inside a loop

Friends have to look out for each other. Sometimes this can be slightly embarrassing. At lunch you might need to tell a friend that he has some tomato sauce on his chin. Or that she has a little spinach stuck between her teeth. Or you might need to tell your […]

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pacman 0.2.0: Initial CRAN Release

February 16, 2015
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pacman 0.2.0: Initial CRAN Release

We’re please to announce the first CRAN release of pacman v. 0.2.0. pacman is the combined work of Dason Kurkiewicz & Tyler Rinker. pacman is an R package management tool that combines the functionality of base library related functions into intuitively … Continue reading →

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pacman 0.2.0: Initial CRAN Release

February 16, 2015
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pacman 0.2.0: Initial CRAN Release

We’re please to announce the first CRAN release of pacman v. 0.2.0. pacman is the combined work of Dason Kurkiewicz & Tyler Rinker. pacman is an R package management tool that combines the functionality of base library related functions into intuitively … Continue reading →

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Stan Down Under

February 15, 2015
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Stan Down Under

I (Bob, not Andrew) am in Australia until April 30. I’ll be giving some Stan-related and some data annotation talks, several of which have yet to be concretely scheduled. I’ll keep this page updated with what I’ll be up to. All of the talks other than summer school will be open to the public (the […] The post Stan Down Under appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social…

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Testing for Multivariate Normality

February 15, 2015
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Testing for Multivariate Normality

The assumption that multivariate data are (multivariate) normally distributed is central to many statistical techniques. The need to test the validity of this assumption is of paramount importance, and a number of tests are available.A recently release...

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New Canadian Provincial Data

February 15, 2015
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New Canadian Provincial Data

I was delighted to see the release, last week, of a new Statistics Canada research paper, "Provincial Convergence and Divergence in Canada, 1926 to 2011". Co-authored by W. Mark Brown and (UVic grad.) Ryan McDonald.It's a very interesting paper that ma...

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Simone de Beauvoir (2) vs. Raymond Carver

February 15, 2015
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Simone de Beauvoir (2) vs. Raymond Carver

Yesterday‘s match is the closest call we’ve had yet. The funniest comment was the very first, from Anonymous: Yoko. I’d go up to her after the seminar and give her a list of all the bands I hate, and ask her if she could break them up too. Similarly from Daniel: Alan Turing broke the […] The post Simone de Beauvoir (2) vs. Raymond Carver appeared first on Statistical Modeling,…

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“Peer assessment enhances student learning”

February 15, 2015
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Dennis Sun, Naftali Harris, Guenther Walther, and Michael Baiocchi write: Peer assessment has received attention lately as a way of providing personalized feedback that scales to large classes. . . . By conducting a randomized controlled trial in an introductory statistics class, we provide evidence that peer assessment causes significant gains in student achievement. The […] The post “Peer assessment enhances student learning” appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference,…

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Trial until first succes

February 15, 2015
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Trial until first succes

Studying on in Bayesian Approaches to Clinical Trials and Health-Care Evaluation (David J. Spiegelhalter, Keith R. Abrams, Jonathan P. Myles) they state that if you have one success in a trial, that a design is needed to know what that means. For examp...

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Alan Turing (2) vs. Yoko Ono

February 14, 2015
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Alan Turing (2) vs. Yoko Ono

For yesterday‘s match, I’ll have to go with Ed Wood. Best argument came from Nick: I’d rather watch him talk than watch one of his movies. And, in all seriousness, I think Wood’s talk would be better. Schlafly must’ve given thousands of speeches by now, and I think whatever she has to say would just […] The post Alan Turing (2) vs. Yoko Ono appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal…

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Two Unrecognized Hall Of Fame Statisticians

February 14, 2015
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To follow up on a recent post, I thought it would be amusing to consider the most important unrecognized statisticians. That is, those statisticians of the past who made important contributions which have been largely forgotten. Any suggestions? Dead...

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Induction, Popper and Pseudoscience

February 14, 2015
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Induction, Popper and Pseudoscience

February is a good time to read or reread these pages from Popper’s Conjectures and Refutations. Below are (a) some of my newer reflections on Popper after rereading him in the graduate seminar I taught one year ago with Aris Spanos (Phil 6334), and (b) my slides on Popper and the philosophical problem of induction, first posted here. I welcome reader questions […]

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Fixing the visual versus fixing the story

February 13, 2015
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Fixing the visual versus fixing the story

It's great for me when my friend Alberto Cairo lent a helping hand (link). Here is the original chart showing deaths in African and Middle East countries due to recent unrest: This is Cairo's redesign: There is no doubt the...

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Ed Wood (3) vs. Phyllis Schlafly

February 13, 2015
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Ed Wood (3) vs. Phyllis Schlafly

No great arguments or killer quips on either side of yesterday‘s bout. Keith has a story where someone wrote a computer program to write a fake Levi-Strauss article which was so convincing that Levi-Strauss thought he (Levi-Strauss) had written it himself. But Aron too got a bit predictable in his old age, so I don’t […] The post Ed Wood (3) vs. Phyllis Schlafly appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal…

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What to graph, not just how to graph it

February 13, 2015
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Robin Gong writes: While we’re on the topic of visualization, I’ve been puzzled by a more general question and I’m unsure where it fits in actually. There seem to be two parts to a good visualization practice, and in our class we’ve been focusing more on one of them, that is “how to get my […] The post What to graph, not just how to graph it appeared first on…

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Introduction to Linear Models and Matrix Algebra MOOC starts this Monday Feb 16

February 13, 2015
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Matrix algebra is the language of modern data analysis. We use it to develop and describe statistical and machine learning methods, and to code efficiently in languages such as R, matlab and python. Concepts such as principal component analysis (PCA) are best described with matrix algebra. It is particularly useful to describe linear models. Linear

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Wrapping up Bayes@Lund 2015

February 12, 2015
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Wrapping up Bayes@Lund 2015

For the second year around I and Ullrika Sahlin arranged the mini-conference Bayes@Lund, with the aim of bringing together researchers in the in the south of Sweden working with Bayesian methods. This year the committee was also beefed up by Paul Cap...

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The advantages of using count() to get N-way frequency tables as data frames in R

The advantages of using count() to get N-way frequency tables as data frames in R

Introduction I recently introduced how to use the count() function in the “plyr” package in R to produce 1-way frequency tables in R.  Several commenters provided alternative ways of doing so, and they are all appreciated.  Today, I want to extend that tutorial by demonstrating how count() can be used to produce N-way frequency tables […]

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The advantages of using count() to get N-way frequency tables as data frames in R

The advantages of using count() to get N-way frequency tables as data frames in R

Introduction I recently introduced how to use the count() function in the “plyr” package in R to produce 1-way frequency tables in R.  Several commenters provided alternative ways of doing so, and they are all appreciated.  Today, I want to extend that tutorial by demonstrating how count() can be used to produce N-way frequency tables […]

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Claude Levi-Strauss (4) vs. Raymond Aron

February 12, 2015
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Claude Levi-Strauss (4) vs. Raymond Aron

Thanks for our bracket-maker Paul Davidson, here’s what we have so far (as of a few days ago): OK, yesterday‘s winner: what can you say? Leonardo da Vinci vs. The guy who did Piss Christ. The funniest argument in all the comments came from Anonymous, who wrote: Serrano. Any schmuck can paint the Mona Lisa, […] The post Claude Levi-Strauss (4) vs. Raymond Aron appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal…

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Is Reproducibility as Effective as Disclosure? Let’s Hope Not.

February 12, 2015
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Jeff and I just this week published a commentary in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on our latest thinking on reproducible research and its ability to solve the reproducibility/replication "crisis" in science (there's a version on arXiv too). In a nutshell, we believe reproducibility (making data and code available so that others can

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