A Statement from the Editorial Board of the Journal of Evidence-Based Haruspicy

March 29, 2015
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Attention conservation notice: Leaden academic sarcasm about methodology. The following statement was adopted unanimously by the editorial board of the journal, and reproduced here in full: We wish to endorse, in its entirety and without reservation...

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Books to Read While the Algae Grow in Your Fur, September 2014

March 29, 2015
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Attention conservation notice: I have no taste. Lauren Beukes, Broken Monsters In which Detroit, which evidently hasn't suffered enough, must deal with an outbreak from the dungeon dimensions, cleverly disguised as a mere psycho killer loose in i...

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Books to Read While the Algae Grow in Your Fur, October 2010

March 29, 2015
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Attention conservation notice: I have no taste. Victor LaValle, The Devil in Silver Mind candy: literary fiction about life in a mental hospital. Enjoyable and humane; I'll look out for more by LaValle. Nick Harkaway, Angelmaker Mind candy, at t...

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Books to Read While the Algae Grow in Your Fur, December 2014

March 29, 2015
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Attention conservation notice: I have no taste. Mike Carey et al., Unwritten, 1: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity Comic book mind candy, in which the wonderful power of story-telling is wielded with irresponsibly. Matt Fraction and Gabriel B&ag...

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Introduction to Statistical Computing

March 29, 2015
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At an intersection of Enigmas of Chance and Corrupting the Young. Class homepage Fall 2014 Class announcement Lectures: Introduction to the Course; Basic Data Types Bigger Data Structures Dataframes and Control Introduction to Strings Regular...

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Space Launch Sites over Time

March 29, 2015
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Space Launch Sites over Time

Continuing from last weeks post, I am now looking at space launch sites.DataData are from the main table. In addition, this sites table was manually browsed for interpretation of abbreviations.List of most important sitesJust by running counts the most...

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Your (very own) personalized genomic prediction varies depending on who else was around?

March 29, 2015
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Your (very own) personalized genomic prediction varies depending on who else was around?

As if I wasn’t skeptical enough about personalized predictions based on genomic signatures, Jeff Leek recently had a surprising post about a “A surprisingly tricky issue when using genomic signatures for personalized medicine“.  Leek (on his blog Simply Statistics) writes: My student Prasad Patil has a really nice paper that just came out in Bioinformatics (preprint in case paywalled). […]

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Stewart Lee vs. Jane Austen; Dick advances

March 28, 2015
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Yesterday‘s deciding arguments came from Horselover himself. As quoted by Dalton: Any given man sees only a tiny portion of the total truth, and very often, in fact almost . . . perpetually, he deliberately deceives himself about that precious little fragment as well. And: We ourselves are information-rich; information enters us, is processed and […] The post Stewart Lee vs. Jane Austen; Dick advances appeared first on Statistical Modeling,…

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R style default plot for Pandas DataFrame

March 28, 2015
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R style default plot for Pandas DataFrame

The default plot method for dataframes in R is to show each numeric variable in a pair-wise scatter plot. I find this to be a really useful first look at a dataset, both to see correlations and joint distributions between variables, but also to quickly diagnose potential strangeness like bands of repeating values or outliers. […]

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The publication of one of my pet ideas: Simulation-efficient shortest probability intervals

March 28, 2015
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In a paper to appear in Statistics and Computing, Ying Liu, Tian Zheng, and I write: Bayesian highest posterior density (HPD) intervals can be estimated directly from simulations via empirical shortest intervals. Unfortunately, these can be noisy (that is, have a high Monte Carlo error). We derive an optimal weighting strategy using bootstrap and quadratic […] The post The publication of one of my pet ideas: Simulation-efficient shortest probability intervals…

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Two things to stop saying about null hypotheses

March 28, 2015
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Two things to stop saying about null hypotheses

There is a currently fashionable way of describing Bayes factors that resonates with experimental psychologists. I hear it often, particularly as a way to describe a particular use of Bayes factors. For example, one might say, “I needed to prove the null, so I used a Bayes factor,” or “Bayes factors are great because with them, you can prove the null.” I understand the motivation behind this sort of language…

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Mohandas Gandhi (1) vs. Philip K. Dick (2); Hobbes advances

March 27, 2015
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All of yesterday‘s best comments were in favor of the political philosopher. Adam writes: With Hobbes, the seminar would be “nasty, brutish, and short.” And it would degenerate into a “war of all against all.” In other words, the perfect academic seminar. And Jonathan writes: Chris Rock would definitely be more entertaining. But the chance […] The post Mohandas Gandhi (1) vs. Philip K. Dick (2); Hobbes advances appeared first…

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Imagining p

March 27, 2015
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We’ve all had that experience of going purposefully from one hypothesis to another, only to get there and forget why we made the journey. Four years ago, researcher Daryl Bem and his colleagues stripped this effect down, showing that the simple act of obtaining a statistically significant comparison induces publication in a top journal. Now […] The post Imagining p<.05 triggers increased publication appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference,…

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Google Scholar Finds Far More SPSS Articles; Analytics Forecast Updated

March 26, 2015
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Google Scholar Finds Far More SPSS Articles; Analytics Forecast Updated

Only last August I wrote that among scholars, the use of R had probably exceeded that of SPSS to become their most widely used software for analytics. That forecast was based on Google Scholar searches focused on one year at a … Continue reading →

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Replace data with measurements

March 26, 2015
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To tell whether a statement about data is over-hyped, see whether it retains its meaning if you replace data with measurements. So a request like “Please send me the data from your experiment” becomes “Please send me the measurements from your experiment.” Same thing. But rousing statements about the power of data become banal or even […]

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Chris Rock (3) vs. Thomas Hobbes; Wood advances

March 26, 2015
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In yesterday‘s contest, there’s no doubt in my mind that Levi-Strauss would give a better and more interesting talk than Wood, whose lecture would presumably feature non-sequiturs, solecisms, continuity violations, and the like. But the funniest comment was from Jonathan: Ed Wood on Forecasting: “We are all interested in the future for that is where […] The post Chris Rock (3) vs. Thomas Hobbes; Wood advances appeared first on Statistical…

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Teaser trailer for the Genomic Data Science Specialization on Coursera

March 26, 2015
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  We have been hard at work in the studio putting together our next specialization to launch on Coursera. It will be called the "Genomic Data Science Specialization" and includes a spectacular line up of instructors: Steven Salzberg, Ela Pertea, James Taylor, Liliana Florea, Kasper Hansen, and me. The specialization will cover command line tools, statistics,

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Another disgraced primatologist . . . this time featuring “sympathetic dentists”

March 26, 2015
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Another disgraced primatologist . . . this time featuring “sympathetic dentists”

Shravan Vasishth points us to this news item from Luke Harding, “History of modern man unravels as German scholar is exposed as fraud”: Other details of the professor’s life also appeared to crumble under scrutiny. Before he disappeared from the university’s campus last year, Prof Protsch told his students he had examined Hitler’s and Eva […] The post Another disgraced primatologist . . . this time featuring “sympathetic dentists” appeared…

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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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