One of the advantages of functional languages (such as R) is the ability to create and return functions “on the fly.” We will discuss one good use of this capability and what to look out for when creating functions in R. Why wrap/return fun...

One of the advantages of functional languages (such as R) is the ability to create and return functions “on the fly.” We will discuss one good use of this capability and what to look out for when creating functions in R. Why wrap/return fun...

Yesterday‘s winners were determined by Zbicylist’s comment: Nasty, brutish and short — and not necessarily human. Pretty good, but now that Hobbes has made it into the Final Four, the competition’s stiffer. He’ll need something better than “nasty, brutish, and short” to get past Cervantes and make it into the final. And today we fill […] The post John Updike vs. George Carlin (2); Hobbes and Dick advance appeared first…

Harvey Motulsky writes: Every year at passover, I struggle to peel two dozen hard boiled eggs and search the web to see if there isn’t a trick to do it better. But all the hits say the same thing: put the eggs in cold water, then bring to a boil. But this guy [J. Kenji […] The post A rare topical post appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and…

I was creating an online survey using Surveymonkey earlier this week. They asked me to try their new design, and so I did. There appeared to be a bug in one of the features. It kept preventing me from displaying the questions in a certain way. I tried a bunch of tricks but after ten minutes, decided to switch back to the old design. I clicked on their Feedback link…

The American Statistical Association is continuing its campaign to get you to study statistics, if you haven't already. I have to agree with them that being a statistician is a pretty good job. Their latest video highlights a wide range of statistician...

Attention conservation notice: I have no taste. Jin Feng and Thomas G. Kurtz, Large Deviations for Stochastic Processes \[ \newcommand{\Expect}[1]{\mathbb{E}\left[ #1 \right]} \newcommand{\Prob}[1]{\mathbb{P}\left( #1 \right)} \] Kurtz is best known for work in the 1970s and 1980s on how sequences of Markov processes converge on a limiting Markov process, especially on how they converge on a limiting deterministic dynamical system. This book is an extension of those ideas, and best…

Paul Davidson sends along the updated bracket, along with the comment that the writers seem to be doing very well. True! The 8 remaining contestants include 5 writers (along with one comedian, one philosopher, and one cult figure). Yesterday we had no competition because I was afraid that people would not take it seriously on […] The post Round of 8 bracket; Ed Wood (3) vs. Thomas Hobbes; Philip K.…

We first encountered the famous casino operator in February, 2011, when Michael Schrage was hyping the data-driven philosophy of its CEO, Gary Loveman, in Technology Review. Here’s a typical bit from the article: Schrage: What do you like to tell your academic colleagues about the challenges of real-world experimentation and innovation? Loveman: Honestly, my only […] The post There are 5 ways to get fired from Caesars: (1) theft, (2)…

George Scialabba, What Are Intellectuals Good For? Essays and Reviews and The Modern Predicament When I was trying to teach myself how to be a critic (or at least how to write criticism), one of my models was this "George Scialabba" character, who ke...

Attention conservation notice: I have no taste. Jin Feng and Thomas G. Kurtz, Large Deviations for Stochastic Processes \[ \newcommand{\Expect}[1]{\mathbb{E}\left[ #1 \right]} \newcommand{\Prob}[1]{\mathbb{P}\left( #1 \right)} \] Kurtz is best known for work in the 1970s and 1980s on how sequences of Markov processes converge on a limiting Markov process, especially on how they converge on a limiting deterministic dynamical system. This book is an extension of those ideas, and best…

Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec are collaborating on a clever and beautiful new project they call Dear Data (Twitter account). Every week, they are sending post cards to each other with hand-drawn visualizations of data they have gathered: public transportation, ways they communicate, etc. Giorgia and Stefanie are two of the most interesting people working in data visualization/design/art right … Continue reading Link: Dear Data

Can’t those shameless little bullies just let scientists do their research in peace? If a hypothesis test is statistically significant and a result is published in a real journal, that should be enough for any self-styled skeptic. Can you imagine what might happen if any published result could be questioned—by anybody? You’d have serious psychology […] The post Enough with the replication police appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference,…

Are science journalists required to take one good statistics course? That is the question in my head when I read this Science Times article, titled "One Cup of Coffee Could Offset Three Drinks a Day" (link). We are used to seeing rather tenuous conclusions such as "Four Cups of Coffee Reduces Your Risk of X". This headline takes it up another notch. A result is claimed about the substitution effect…

The Monty Hall Problem is one of the most famous problems in elementary probability. It is famous because the correct solution is counter-intuitive and because it caused an uproar when it appeared in the "Ask Marilyn" column in Parade magazine in 1990. Discussing the problem has been known to create […]

Given recent evidence of the irreproducibility of a surprising number of published scientific findings, the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) sought ideas for “leveraging its role as a significant funder of scientific research to most effectively address the problem”, and announced funding for projects to “reset the self-corrective process of scientific […]

Yahoo Labs has just released an interesting new data set useful for research on detecting anomalies (or outliers) in time series data. There are many contexts in which anomaly detection is important. For Yahoo, the main use case is in detecting unusual traffic on Yahoo servers. The data set comprises real traffic to Yahoo services, along […]

A recursive programming Le Monde mathematical puzzle: Given n tokens with 10≤n≤25, Alice and Bob play the following game: the first player draws an integer1≤m≤6 at random. This player can then take 1≤r≤min(2m,n) tokens. The next player is then free to take 1≤s≤min(2r,n-r) tokens. The player taking the last tokens is the winner. There is […]