Books to Read While the Algae Grow in Your Fur, February 2013

April 9, 2013
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My reading this month was either student papers, university busy-work, or else unsatisfying, with two exceptions. Catherine Jinks, The Reformed Vampire Support Group Mind candy. A lot has been written about vampires as somehow-metaphorical expres...

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Relative Distributions and Smooth Tests (Advanced Data Analysis from an Elementary Point of View)

April 9, 2013
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Applying the correct CDF to a continuous random variable makes it uniformly distributed. How do we test whether some variable is uniform? The smooth test idea, based on series expansions for the log density. Asymptotic theory of the smooth test. C...

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"Prediction in Complex Networks" (Next Week at the Statistics Seminar)

April 9, 2013
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All of the statistics department's seminars are, of course, fascinating presentations of important work, but next week's could hardly be more relevant to my interests if I had arranged it myself. Jennifer Neville, "Prediction in complex networks: T...

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Knoxville R Users Group Formed, Free Training Offered

April 8, 2013
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Knoxville R Users Group Formed, Free Training Offered

R is popular free and open-source software for graphics and data analytics. The Knoxville R Users Group is being formed to help people learn R and improve their skills with it. Three departments of The University of Tennessee are working together … Continue reading →

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painful truncnorm

April 8, 2013
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painful truncnorm

As I wanted to simulate truncated normals in a hurry, I coded the inverse cdf approach: instead of using my own accept-reject algorithm. Poor shortcut as the method fails when a and b are too far from μ So I introduced a control (and ended up wasting more time than if I had used my […]

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Checking claims in published statistics papers

April 8, 2013
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Checking claims in published statistics papers

When finishing Worry about correctness and repeatability, not p-values I got to thinking a bit more about what can you actually check when reading a paper, especially when you don’t have access to the raw data. Some of the fellow scientists I admire most have a knack for back of the envelope calculations and dimensional […] Related posts: Worry about correctness and repeatability, not p-values Statistics to English Translation, Part…

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NIH is looking for an Associate Director for Data Science: Statisticians should consider applying

April 8, 2013
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NIH understands the importance of data and several months ago they announced this new position. Here is an excerpt from the add: The ADDS will focus on the urgent need and increased opportunities for capitalizing on the expanding collections of … Continue reading →

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The Art of R Programming review – part 7

April 8, 2013
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The Art of R Programming review – part 7

An we're back! Today I'm going to briefly cover Graphics in R to the extent that it's mentioned in the book. Graphics are discussed in Chapter 12 of the book. The author rightly points out that R has several libraries with robust graphics mechanisms ab...

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Halo Effects vs. Intention-Laden Ratings: Separating Baby and Bathwater

April 8, 2013
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Halo Effects vs. Intention-Laden Ratings: Separating Baby and Bathwater

Are halo effects real or illusory?  Much has been written arguing that rating scales contain extensive amounts of measurement bias.  Some tell us to avoid ratings altogether (What do customers really want?).  Others w...

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Week-long course in doing Bayesian data analysis, July 15-19

April 8, 2013
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Week-long course in doing Bayesian data analysis, July 15-19

There will be a week-long introductory course in doing Bayesian data analysis, July 15-29 (2013), at Indiana University. The course is offered through the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR). Complete info is at this l...

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The Supreme Court meets the fallacy of the one-sided bet

April 8, 2013
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The Supreme Court meets the fallacy of the one-sided bet

Doug Hartmann writes (link from Jay Livingston): Justice Antonin Scalia’s comment in the Supreme Court hearings on the U.S. law defining marriage that “there’s considerable disagreement among sociologists as to what the consequences of raising a child in a single-sex family, whether that is harmful to the child or not.” Hartman argues that Scalia is [...]

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Point/Counterpoint: Where should you put ODS SELECT and ODS OUTPUT statements?

April 8, 2013
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Point/Counterpoint: Where should you put ODS SELECT and ODS OUTPUT statements?

ODS statements are global SAS statements. As such, you can put them anywhere in your SAS program. For maximum readability, many SAS programmers agree that most ODS statements should appear outside procedures in "open" SAS code. For example, most programmers agree that the following statements should appear outside of procedures: [...]

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Boomerang

April 8, 2013
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Not sure if I'm giving away some good trick here, but I thought I'd shared my experience with this add on for gmail. Once installed, Boomerang allows you to schedule emails to be sent at a given time and date, using gmail. You compose your email normal...

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Next Kölner R User Meeting: 12 April 2013

April 8, 2013
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Next Kölner R User Meeting: 12 April 2013

Quick reminder: The next Cologne R user group meeting is scheduled for this Friday, 12 April 2013. We will discuss cluster analysis and shiny. Further details and the agenda are available on our KölnRUG Meetup site. Please sign up if you would like to...

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Martingale et journalisme scientifique

April 8, 2013
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Martingale et journalisme scientifique

Être journaliste scientifique ne doit pas être facile. J’imagine qu’il faut être à l’écoute des nouvelles scientifiques, et d’informer, aussi justement que possible. C’est ce que fait avec brio Pierre Barthélémy (aka @PasseurSciences sur Twitter) dans sa chronique hebdomadaire sélection scientifique de la semaine. Il essaye ainsi de parler de sciences dans un journal qui a (trop) souvent confondu science et technologie (technologie étant aussi souvent un mot savant utilisé…

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How to Keep Following eagereyes After the End of Google Reader

April 8, 2013
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With Google Reader shutting down July 1st, now is the time to find alternative ways to follow your favorite blogs. For this one, you can now get new postings on Facebook and through a dedicated Twitter feed, in addition to the RSS feed. See below for some RSS aggregator/reader alternatives to Google Reader. Facebook and Twitter I don’t use Facebook and Twitter to follow feeds, that’s what I have my…

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Which comes first – problem or solution?

April 8, 2013
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Which comes first – problem or solution?

In teaching it can be difficult to know whether to start with a problem or a solution method. It seems more obvious to start with the problem, but sometimes it is better to introduce the possibility of the solution before … Continue reading →

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Dirichlet Process, Infinite Mixture Models, and Clustering

April 7, 2013
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Dirichlet Process, Infinite Mixture Models, and Clustering

The Dirichlet process provides a very interesting approach to understand group assignments and models for clustering effects.   Often time we encounter the k-means approach.  However, it is necessary to have a fixed number of clusters.  Often we encounter situations where we don’t know how many fixed clusters we need.  Suppose we’re trying to identify [...]

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A quick guide to non-transitive Grime Dice

April 7, 2013
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A quick guide to non-transitive Grime Dice

A very special package that I am rather excited about arrived in the mail recently. The package contained a set of 6-sided dice. These dice, however, don’t have the standard numbers one to six on their faces. Instead, they have assorted numbers between zero and nine. Here’s the exact configuration: Aside from maybe making for […]

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Scatterplot charades!

April 7, 2013
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Scatterplot charades!

What are the x and y-axes here? P.S. Popeye nails it (see comments).

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X on JLP

April 7, 2013
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Christian Robert writes on the Jeffreys-Lindley paradox. I have nothing to add to this beyond my recent comments: To me, the Lindley paradox falls apart because of its noninformative prior distribution on the parameter of interest. If you really think there’s a high probability the parameter is nearly exactly zero, I don’t see the point [...]

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Sync

April 7, 2013
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Sync

I am listening to the audiobook Sync: How Order Emerges from Chaos in the Universe, Nature, and Daily Lifeby Steven Strogatz which I got from Audible. Obviously a mathematical book is not ideal to listen to, but lacking illustrations I can ma...

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Travis CI for R?

April 7, 2013
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Travis CI for R?

I'm always worried about CRAN: a system maintained by FTP and emails from real humans (basically one of Uwe, Kurt or Prof Ripley). I'm worried for two reasons: the number of R packages is growing exponentially; time and time again I see frustrations ...

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