UCLA Statistics 2015 Commencement Address

August 12, 2015
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I was asked to speak at the UCLA Department of Statistics Commencement Ceremony this past June. As one of the first graduates of that department back in 2003, I was tremendously honored to be invited to speak to the graduates. When I arrived I was just shocked at how much the department had grown. When

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Correlation is not a measure of reproducibility

August 12, 2015
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Correlation is not a measure of reproducibility

Biologists make wide use of correlation as a measure of reproducibility. Specifically, they quantify reproducibility with the correlation between measurements obtained from replicated experiments. For example, the ENCODE data standards document states A typical R2 (Pearson) correlation of gene expression (RPKM) between two biological replicates, for RNAs that are detected in both samples using RPKM or read counts, should

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Reprint of “Observational Studies” by William Cochran followed by comments by current researchers in observational studies

August 12, 2015
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Dylan Small organized this discussion in the new journal, Observational Studies. Cochran’s 1972 article is followed by comments from: Norman Breslow Thomas Cook David Cox & Nanny Wermuth Stephen Fienberg Joseph Gastwirth & Barry Graubard Andrew Gelman Ben Hansen & Adam Sales Miguel Hernan Jennifer Hill Judea Pearl Paul Rosenbaum Donald Rubin Herbert Smith Mark […] The post Reprint of “Observational Studies” by William Cochran followed by comments by current…

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The drunkard’s walk in 2-D

August 12, 2015
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The drunkard’s walk in 2-D

Last month I wrote about how to simulate a drunkard's walk in SAS for a drunkard who can move only left or right in one direction. A reader asked whether the problem could be generalized to two dimensions. Yes! This article shows how to simulate a 2-D drunkard's walk. In […] The post The drunkard's walk in 2-D appeared first on The DO Loop.

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Symmetry and Skewness

August 12, 2015
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Symmetry and Skewness

After taking your first introductory course in statistics you probably agreed wholeheartedly with the following statement:"A statistical distribution is symmetric if and only if it is not skewed."After all, isn't that how we define "skewness"?In fact, ...

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Wasting time reading old comment threads

August 12, 2015
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Wasting time reading old comment threads

I was linking to something and came across this hilarious thread, which culminated in this revelation by commenter Jrc: True story: after reading this post, http://andrewgelman.com/2011/01/12/picking_pennies/, I started going to the Jamaican store aro...

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It’s hard to replicate (that is, duplicate) analyses in sociology

August 12, 2015
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Cristobal Young points us to this post on replication packages; he writes, “we found that only 28% of sociologists would/could provide a replication package.” I read the comments. The topic arouses a lot of passion. Some of the commenters are pretty rude! And, yes, I’m glad to see this post, given my own frustrating experience […] The post It’s hard to replicate (that is, duplicate) analyses in sociology appeared first…

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A. Spanos: Egon Pearson’s Neglected Contributions to Statistics

August 11, 2015
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A. Spanos: Egon Pearson’s Neglected Contributions to Statistics

Today is Egon Pearson’s birthday. I reblog a post by my colleague Aris Spanos from (8/18/12): “Egon Pearson’s Neglected Contributions to Statistics.”  Happy Birthday Egon Pearson!     Egon Pearson (11 August 1895 – 12 June 1980), is widely known today for his contribution in recasting of Fisher’s significance testing into the Neyman-Pearson (1933) theory of hypothesis testing. Occasionally, he […]

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Neither time nor stomach

August 11, 2015
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Neither time nor stomach

Mark Palko writes: Thought you might be interested in an EngageNY lesson plan for statistics. So far no (-2)x(-2) = -4 (based on a quick read), but still kind of weak. It bothers me that they keep talking about randomization but only for order of test; they assigned treatment A to the first ten of […] The post Neither time nor stomach appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and…

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Fitting a multilevel model

August 11, 2015
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Cui Yang writes: I have a question about the use of BRT (Boosting regression tree). I am planning to write an article about the effects of soil fauna and understory fine roots on forest soil organic carbon. The experiment was conducted in a subtropical forest area in China. There were 16 blocks each with 5 […] The post Fitting a multilevel model appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and…

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JSM 2015 [day #2]

August 11, 2015
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JSM 2015 [day #2]

Today, at JSM 2015, in Seattle, I attended several Bayesian sessions, having sadly missed the Dennis Lindley memorial session yesterday, as it clashed with my own session. In the morning sessions on Bayesian model choice, David Rossell (Warwick) defended non-local priors à la Johnson (& Rossell) as having better frequentist properties. Although I appreciate the concept […]

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JSM 2015 [day #2]

August 11, 2015
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JSM 2015 [day #2]

Today, at JSM 2015, in Seattle, I attended several Bayesian sessions, having sadly missed the Dennis Lindley memorial session yesterday, as it clashed with my own session. In the morning sessions on Bayesian model choice, David Rossell (Warwick) defended non-local priors à la Johnson (& Rossell) as having better frequentist properties. Although I appreciate the concept […]

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On radical manuscript openness

August 10, 2015
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On radical manuscript openness

One of my papers that has attracted a lot of attention lately is "The Fallacy of Placing Confidence in Confidence Intervals," in which we describe some of the fallacies held by the proponents and users of confidence intervals. This paper has been discu...

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How Do You Know if Your Data Has Signal?

August 10, 2015
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How Do You Know if Your Data Has Signal?

Image by Liz Sullivan, Creative Commons. Source: Wikimedia An all too common approach to modeling in data science is to throw all possible variables at a modeling procedure and “let the algorithm sort it out.” This is tempting when you are not sure what are the true causes or predictors of the phenomenon you are … Continue reading How Do You Know if Your Data Has Signal?

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Reporting on Ferguson

August 10, 2015
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In today's Daily Beast column, Andrew and I looked at the reporting of Ferguson and the attempts to place the event in the context of larger crime waves. We discuss issues of the narrative fallacy, cherry-picking of data, and publication bias. The link is: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/08/10/the-truth-about-post-ferguson-gun-deaths.html

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rafalib package now on CRAN

August 10, 2015
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rafalib package now on CRAN

For the last several years I have been collecting functions I routinely use during exploratory data analysis in a private R package. Mike Love and I used some of these in our HarvardX course and now, due to popular demand, I have created man pages and added the rafalib package to CRAN. Mike has made several

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Dan Kahan doesn’t trust the Turk

August 10, 2015
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Dan Kahan writes: I [Kahan] think serious journals should adopt policies announcing that they won’t accept studies that use M Turk samples for types of studies they are not suited for. . . . Here is my proposal: Pending a journal’s adoption of a uniform policy on M Turk samples, the journal should should oblige […] The post Dan Kahan doesn’t trust the Turk appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal…

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On deck this week

August 10, 2015
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Mon: Dan Kahan doesn’t trust the Turk Tues: Neither time nor stomach Wed: Reprint of “Observational Studies” by William Cochran followed by comments by current researchers in observational studies Thurs: Hey—Don’t trust anything coming from the Tri-Valley Center for Human Potential! Fri: Harry S. Truman, Jesus H. Christ, Roy G. Biv Sat: Why couldn’t Breaking […] The post On deck this week appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and…

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2015 CIRANO Real‐Time Workshop

August 10, 2015
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The 2015 CIRANO Real‐Time Workshop will be in Montreal, October 9-10, 2015. As usual, the program is looking great, thanks to the Program Committee of Dean Croushore (University of Richmond),  Domenico Giannone (FRB New York), Shaun Vahey (...

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Those tricky PERCENT formats

August 10, 2015
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Those tricky PERCENT formats

When using SAS to format a number as a percentage, there is a little trick that you need to remember: the width of the formatted value must include room for the decimal point, the percent sign, and the possibility of two parentheses that indicate negative values. The field width must […] The post Those tricky PERCENT formats appeared first on The DO Loop.

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JSM 2015 [day #1]

August 10, 2015
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JSM 2015 [day #1]

This afternoon, at JSM 2015, in Seattle, we had the Bayesian Computation I and II sessions that Omiros Papaspiliopoulos and myself put together (sponsored by IMS and ISBA). Despite this being Sunday and hence having some of the participants still arriving, the sessions went on well in terms of audience. Thanks to Mark Girolami’s strict […]

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JSM 2015 [day #1]

August 10, 2015
By
JSM 2015 [day #1]

This afternoon, at JSM 2015, in Seattle, we had the Bayesian Computation I and II sessions that Omiros Papaspiliopoulos and myself put together (sponsored by IMS and ISBA). Despite this being Sunday and hence having some of the participants still arriving, the sessions went on well in terms of audience. Thanks to Mark Girolami’s strict […]

Read more »

Interested in analyzing images of brains? Get started with open access data.

August 10, 2015
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Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Ani Eloyan. She is an Assistant Professor of Biostatistics at Brown University. Dr. Eloyan’s work focuses on semi-parametric likelihood based methods for matrix decompositions, statistical analyses of brain images, and the integration of various types of complex data structures for analyzing health care data. She received her

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