Utility bills

March 19, 2015
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Utility bills

Because I'm involved in many collaborative projects, some of which luckily involving LaTeX, and because I'm trying (sort-of succeeding) to spend as much time as possible outside the office (mostly failing) to work on the books, in the pa...

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A surprisingly tricky issue when using genomic signatures for personalized medicine

March 19, 2015
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A surprisingly tricky issue when using genomic signatures for personalized medicine

My student Prasad Patil has a really nice paper that just came out in Bioinformatics (preprint in case paywalled). The paper is about a surprisingly tricky normalization issue with genomic signatures. Genomic signatures are basically statistical/machine learning functions applied to the measurements for a set of genes to predict how long patients will survive, or how they

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Karl Marx vs. Friedrich Nietzsche (4); Austen advances

March 19, 2015
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For yesterday, I was strongly rooting for Popper. I read several of his books about thirty years ago and they had a huge effect on me (and on a lot of social scientists, I think). But the best comment was about Austen. Here’s Dalton with the comment: “A woman, especially if she has the misfortune […] The post Karl Marx vs. Friedrich Nietzsche (4); Austen advances appeared first on Statistical…

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Next Step after OGD: Government’s Big Data Scientist

March 19, 2015
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Next Step after OGD: Government’s Big Data Scientist

Open Government Data (OGD) Initiatives have been important steps helping to give broader access to administrative data. But there was …Continue reading →

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March Madness!

March 19, 2015
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March Madness!

Ummm . . . this one’s gonna really irritate all the subscription-cancelers . . . Paul Davidson updated the brackets (as of a couple days ago): And here’s a version showing the survivors among each of the eight categories. The artists are all gone, and only one religious leader is left, but the other categories […] The post March Madness! appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

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Reading some wild traffic statistics from New Zealand

March 19, 2015
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Only 6% of crashes in New Zealand involve foreign drivers, according to the latest figures provided by the Ministry of Transport. But in some remote regions of the South Island particularly popular with tourists for their scenery... foreign drivers are involved in about a quarter of all crashes. These sentences come from a CNN article about a vigilante movement in those regions popular with tourists. The vigilantes snatch car keys…

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Lying with statistics, CAM version

March 19, 2015
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Lying with statistics, CAM version

Full disclosure here: at one time I wanted to be a complementary and alternative (CAM) researcher. Or integrative, or whatever the cool kids call it these days. I thought that CAM research would yield positive fruit if they could just tighten up their ...

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A simple (and fair) way all statistics journals could drive up their impact factor.

March 18, 2015
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Hypothesis: If every method in every stats journal was implemented in a corresponding R package (easy), was required to have a  companion document that was a tutorial on how to use the software (easy), included a reference to how to cite the paper if you used the software (easy) and the paper/tutorial was posted to

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What do CERN, the ISS, and Stephen Fry have in Common?

March 18, 2015
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What do CERN, the ISS, and Stephen Fry have in Common?

You’ll have to read the New Yorker article on Richard M. Stallman and the The GNU Manifesto by Maria Bustillos to find out! And what’s up with Tim O’Reilly’s comments about the Old Testment vs. New Testament?   That’s an ad hominem attack of the highest order, guaranteed to get the Judeo-Christians even more riled […] The post What do CERN, the ISS, and Stephen Fry have in Common? appeared…

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Jane Austen vs. Karl Popper; Lee advances

March 18, 2015
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For yesterday’s contest I’ll have to go with this comment by Nuthin: This series of posts is so tedious that I’m considering removing this blog from my RSS feed altogether. Stewart Lee is a master of hecklers. In a lot of his work he pretty much invites people to heckle, he antagonizes his audience, etc. […] The post Jane Austen vs. Karl Popper; Lee advances appeared first on Statistical Modeling,…

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Link: CG&A Article on Tapestry

March 18, 2015
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I’ve written a short piece about the Tapestry conference for the Graphically Speaking column in Computer Graphics and Applications. The article talks about the reasoning behind Tapestry, how it’s different from academic conferences, and gives a few examples of talks. It even includes anecdotal evidence to show that the conference has enabled actual knowledge transfer. If you prefer a PDF … Continue reading Link: CG&A Article on Tapestry

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New time unit needed!

March 18, 2015
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We need a time unit that’s bigger than a minute but smaller than an hour. I thought of it when writing this comment in which I referred to “2100 valuable minutes of classroom time” during the semester (that’s 75 minutes per class, twice a week, for 14 weeks). A minute of class time is pretty […] The post New time unit needed! appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and…

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the vim cheat sheet

March 18, 2015
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the vim cheat sheet

Filed under: Kids, Linux, R, University life, Wines Tagged: An Evil Guest, editor, unix, vim

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Finding observations that match a target value

March 18, 2015
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Finding observations that match a target value

Imagine that you have one million rows of numerical data and you want to determine if a particular "target" value occurs. How might you find where the value occurs? For univariate data, this is an easy problem. In the SAS DATA step you can use a WHERE clause or a […]

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Dark themes for writing

March 18, 2015
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Dark themes for writing

I spend much of my day sitting in front of a screen, coding or writing. To limit the strain on my eyes, I use a dark theme as much as possible. That is, I write with light colored text on a dark background. I don’t know why this is not the default in more software […]

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A subtle way to over-fit

March 17, 2015
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If you train a model on a set of data, it should fit that data well. The hope, however, is that it will fit a new set of data well. So in machine learning and statistics, people split their data into two parts. They train the model on one half, and see how well it […]

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Bayesian classics

March 17, 2015
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Bayesian classics

This week I’ll start my Bayesian Statistics master’s course at the Collegio Carlo Alberto. I realized that some of last year students got PhD positions in prestigious US universities. So I thought that letting this year’s students have a first grasp of some great Bayesian papers wouldn’t do harm. The idea is that in addition to the course, […]

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Bayesian classics

March 17, 2015
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Bayesian classics

This week I’ll start my Bayesian Statistics master’s course at the Collegio Carlo Alberto. I realized that some of last year students got PhD positions in prestigious US universities. So I thought that letting this year’s students have a first grasp of some great Bayesian papers wouldn’t do harm. The idea is that in addition to the course, […]

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Sigmund Freud vs. Stewart Lee; Dick advances

March 17, 2015
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Yesterday‘s thread was won by Slugger, who wrote: I accidentally swallowed a stelazine capsule and have seen that Grandma Moses is in fact a reptilian lifeform without the ability to vocalize. My vote goes to PKD. Where did that light switch come from, anyway? I could’ve sworn it was a pull cord. . . . […] The post Sigmund Freud vs. Stewart Lee; Dick advances appeared first on Statistical Modeling,…

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Data science done well looks easy – and that is a big problem for data scientists

March 17, 2015
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Data science has a ton of different definitions. For the purposes of this post I'm going to use the definition of data science we used when creating our Data Science program online. Data science is: Data science is the process of formulating a quantitative question that can be answered with data, collecting and cleaning the

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The 1980 Math Olympiad Program: Where are they now?

March 17, 2015
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Brian Hunt: He was the #1 math team kid in our team (Montgomery County, Maryland). I think he came in first place in the international olympiad the next year (yup, here’s the announcement). We carpooled once or twice to county math team practices, and I remember that his mom would floor it rather than slow […] The post The 1980 Math Olympiad Program: Where are they now? appeared first on…

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R in Insurance: Abstract submission closes end of March

March 17, 2015
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R in Insurance: Abstract submission closes end of March

Hurry! The abstract submission deadline for the 3rd R in Insurance conference in Amsterdam, 29 June 2015 is approaching soon. You have until the 28th of March to submit a one-page abstract for consideration. Both academic and practitioner proposals rel...

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