Should you abandon that low-salt diet? (uh oh, it’s the Lancet!)

October 12, 2016
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Should you abandon that low-salt diet? (uh oh, it’s the Lancet!)

Russ Lyons sends along this news article by Ian Johnston, who writes: The prestigious medical journal The Lancet has been attacked for publishing an academic paper that claimed eating too little salt could increase the chance of dying from a heart attack or stroke. Johnston summarizes the study: Researchers from the Population Health Research Institute […] The post Should you abandon that low-salt diet? (uh oh, it’s the Lancet!) appeared…

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The plural of anecdote is not …

October 12, 2016
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The plural of anecdote is not …

One of my favorite statistics-related wisecracks is: the plural of anecdote is not data. In today's world, the saying should really say: the plural of anecdote is not BIG DATA. In class this week, we discussed a recent Letter to the Editor of top journal, New England Journal of Medicine, featuring a short analysis of weight data coming from a digital scale that, you guessed it, makes users consent to…

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The plural of anecdote is not …

October 12, 2016
By
The plural of anecdote is not …

One of my favorite statistics-related wisecracks is: the plural of anecdote is not data. In today's world, the saying should really say: the plural of anecdote is not BIG DATA. In class this week, we discussed a recent Letter to the Editor of top journal, New England Journal of Medicine, featuring a short analysis of weight data coming from a digital scale that, you guessed it, makes users consent to…

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The empty-space distance plot

October 12, 2016
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The empty-space distance plot

How far away is the nearest hospital? How far is the nearest restaurant? The nearest gas station? These are commonly asked questions whose answers depend on the location of the person asking the question. Recently I showed an algorithm that enables you to find the distance between a set of […] The post The empty-space distance plot appeared first on The DO Loop.

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Come to Melbourne, even if not to Monash

October 12, 2016
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Come to Melbourne, even if not to Monash

The University of Melbourne is advertising for a “Professor in Statistics (Data Science)”. Melbourne (the city) is fast becoming a vibrant centre for data science and applied statistics, with more than 4700 people signed up for the Data Sci...

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Come to Melbourne, even if not to Monash

October 12, 2016
By
Come to Melbourne, even if not to Monash

The University of Melbourne is advertising for a “Professor in Statistics (Data Science)”. Melbourne (the city) is fast becoming a vibrant centre for data science and applied statistics, with more than 4700 people signed up for the Data Science Meetup Group, a thriving start-up scene, the group at Monash Business School (including Di Cook and […]

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The Dangers of Weighting Up a Sample

October 12, 2016
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There’s a great story by Nate Cohn over at the New York Times’ Upshot about the dangers of “weighting up” a sample from a survey. In this case, it is in regards to a U.S.C/LA Times poll asking who people will vote for President: The U.S.C./...

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Gray graphs look pretty

October 11, 2016
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Gray graphs look pretty

Swupnil made this graph for a research meeting we had today: It looks so cool. I think it’s the gray colors. So here’s my advice to you: If you want to make your graphs look cool, use lots of gray. The post Gray graphs look pretty appear...

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Why are GMAT scores going up?

October 11, 2016
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In Chapter 1 of Numbersense (link), I went through an extensive list of shenanigans that can be used to trick the rankings of colleges and graduate schools. One of them is to allow students to submit the maximum of repeated sittings of GREs, LSATs, GMATs, etc. This tactic is unabashedly headlined in a recent Wall Street Journal article, "Test Redos Give GMAT Scores a Lift." (link) In the print edition,…

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Next Kölner R User Meeting: Friday 14 October

October 11, 2016
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Next Kölner R User Meeting: Friday 14 October

The 19th Cologne R user group meeting is scheduled for this Friday, 14 October 2016. We have three talks, followed by networking drinks. Introduction to the tidyverse tools - Jiddu AlexanderPerformance profiling and improvement in R - Nils GlückBatch ...

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My online talk this Friday noon for the Political Methods Colloquium: The Statistical Crisis in Science

October 10, 2016
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Justin Esarey writes: This Friday, October 14th at noon Eastern time, the International Methods Colloquium will inaugurate its Fall 2016 series of talks with a presentation by Andrew Gelman of Columbia University. Professor Gelman’s presentation is titled “The Statistical Crisis in Science.” The presentation will draw on these two papers: “Beyond Power Calculations: Assessing Type […] The post My online talk this Friday noon for the Political Methods Colloquium: The…

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Masters of some

October 10, 2016
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Masters of some

This is really exciting $-$ well, at least for us... Our new Masters in Health Economics and Decision Sciences is up and running and applications are now open for the next academic year!We're updating the promotional material (which will also feature a...

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No, I don’t think the Super Bowl is lowering birth weights

October 10, 2016
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No, I don’t think the Super Bowl is lowering birth weights

In a news article entitled, “Inequality might start before we’re even born,” Carolyn Johnson reports: Another study, forthcoming in the Journal of Human Resources, analyzed birth outcomes in counties where the home team goes to the Super Bowl. . . . The researchers found that women in their first trimester whose home team played in […] The post No, I don’t think the Super Bowl is lowering birth weights appeared…

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Machine Learning vs. Econometrics, II

October 10, 2016
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My last post focused on one key distinction between machine learning (ML) and econometrics (E):   non-causal ML prediction vs. causal E prediction.  I promised later to highlight another, even more important, distinction.  I'll get ...

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WHERE operators in SAS: Multiple comparisons and fuzzy matching

October 10, 2016
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WHERE operators in SAS: Multiple comparisons and fuzzy matching

The WHERE clause in SAS is a powerful mechanism for selecting observations as you read or write a data set. The WHERE clause supports many operators, including the IN operator, which enables you to compactly specify multiple conditions for a categorical variable. A common use of the IN operator is […] The post WHERE operators in SAS: Multiple comparisons and fuzzy matching appeared first on The DO Loop.

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Heimlich

October 9, 2016
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Paul Alper writes: Heimlich who is 96, was in the news lately, saving a woman, 87 years old, using the technique he invented. So, off to Wikipedia: Henry Judah Heimlich (born February 3, 1920) is an American thoracic surgeon widely credited as the inventor of the Heimlich maneuver, a technique of abdominal … where I […] The post Heimlich appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

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Note to journalists: If there’s no report you can read, there’s no study

October 8, 2016
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Blogger Echidne caught a study by the British organization Demos which was reported in Newsweek as “Half of Misogyny on Twitter Comes From Women.” But, as Echidne points out, there’s no study to report: I [Echidne] then e-mailed Demos to ask for the url of the study. The rapid response I received (thanks, Demos!) told […] The post Note to journalists: If there’s no report you can read, there’s no…

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On calculating AUC

October 7, 2016
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On calculating AUC

Recently Microsoft Data Scientist Bob Horton wrote a very nice article on ROC plots. We expand on this a bit and discuss some of the issues in computing “area under the curve” (AUC). R has a number of ROC/AUC packages; for example ROCR, pROC, and plotROC. But it is instructive to see how ROC plots … Continue reading On calculating AUC

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Shiny happy people in the land of the Czar

October 7, 2016
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Shiny happy people in the land of the Czar

During the summer, we've worked silently but relentlessly to set up a departmental server that could run R-Shiny applications. There's a bunch of us in the department doing work on R and producing packages and so we thought it'd be a good idea to ...

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“The Prose Factory: Literary Life in England Since 1918” and “The Windsor Faction”

October 7, 2016
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It’s been D. J. Taylor week here. I expect that something like 0% of you (rounding to the nearest percentage point) have heard of D. J. Taylor, and that’s ok. He’s an English literary critic. Several years ago I picked up a copy of his book, A Vain Conceit: British Fiction in the 1980s, and […] The post “The Prose Factory: Literary Life in England Since 1918” and “The Windsor…

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Two quick hits: how bad data analysis harms our discourse

October 6, 2016
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I am traveling so have to make this brief. I will likely come back to these stories in the future to give a longer version of these comments. I want to react to two news items that came out in the past couple of days. First, Ben Stiller said that prostate cancer screening (the infamous PSA test) "saved his life". (link) So he is out there singing the praises of…

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It’s ok to criticize

October 6, 2016
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It’s ok to criticize

I got a little bit of pushback on my recent post, “The difference between ‘significant’ and ‘not significant’ is not itself statistically significant: Education edition”—some commenters felt I was being too hard on the research paper I was discussing, because the research wasn’t all that bad, and the conclusions weren’t clearly wrong, and the authors […] The post It’s ok to criticize appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and…

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Hadley Wickham Master R Developer course coming to Melbourne

October 5, 2016
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Hadley Wickham Master R Developer course coming to Melbourne

Hadley Wickham’s popular R developer course is coming to Melbourne on 12-13 December 2016. Bookings can be made via Eventbrite.Hadley, of course, is the developer of the wonderful tidyverse set of R packages including ggplot2, dplyr, tidyr, read...

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