3 YEARS AGO: MONTHLY (Dec.) MEMORY LANE

December 27, 2014
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3 YEARS AGO: MONTHLY (Dec.) MEMORY LANE

MONTHLY MEMORY LANE: 3 years ago: December 2011. I mark in red 3 posts that seem most apt for general background on key issues in this blog.* (12/2) Getting Credit (or blame) for Something You Don’t Deserve (and first honorable mention [to C. Robert]) (12/6) Putting the Brakes on the Breakthrough Part 1* (12/7) Part II: Breaking Through the Breakthrough* (12/11) Irony and Bad Faith: Deconstructing Bayesians […]

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I’m sure that my anti-Polya attitude is completely unfair

December 26, 2014
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Reading this post in which Mark Palko quotes from the classic “How to Solve It” by the legendary mathematician and math educator George Polya, I was reminded of my decades-long aversion to Polya, an attitude that might seem odd given that (a) Polya has an excellent reputation, and (b) I’ve never read more than a […] The post I’m sure that my anti-Polya attitude is completely unfair appeared first on…

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Common sense and statistics

December 25, 2014
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John Cook writes: Some physicists say that you should always have an order-of-magnitude idea of what a result will be before you calculate it. This implies a belief that such estimates are usually possible, and that they provide a sanity check for calculations. And that’s true in physics, at least in mechanics. In probability, however, […] The post Common sense and statistics appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and…

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Sheep tramples sense

December 25, 2014
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Sheep tramples sense

Merry Christmas, readers. *** A Twitter follower pointed me to this visual: I have yet to understand why the vertical axis of the top chart keeps changing scales over time. The white dot labelled "Peak 1982" (70 million) is barely...

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R: Principal Component Analysis on Imaging

December 25, 2014
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R: Principal Component Analysis on Imaging

Ever wonder what's the mathematics behind face recognition on most gadgets like digital camera and smartphones? Well for most part it has something to do with statistics. One statistical tool that is capable of doing such feature is the Principal Compo...

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Proxy unmasking

December 25, 2014
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Consider this paragraph from a FiveThirtyEight article about the small-schools movement (my italics): Hanushek calculated the economic value of good and bad teachers, combining the “quality” of a teacher — based on student achievement on tests — with the lifetime earnings of an average American entering the workforce. He found that a very high-performing teacher with a class of 20 students could raise her pupils’ average lifetime earnings by as…

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Visualizing APA 6 Citations: qdapRegex 0.2.0 & qdapTools 1.1.0

December 24, 2014
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Visualizing APA 6 Citations: qdapRegex 0.2.0 & qdapTools 1.1.0

qdapRegex 0.2.0 & qdapTools 1.1.0 have been released to CRAN.  This post will provide some of the packages’ updates/features and provide an integrate demonstration of extracting and viewing in-text APA 6 style citations from an MS Word (.docx) document. qdapRegex … Continue reading →

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Trajectories of Achievement Within Race/Ethnicity: “Catching Up” in Achievement Across Time

December 24, 2014
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Just in time for Christmas, here’s some good news for kids, from Pamela Davis-Kean and Justin Jager: The achievement gap has long been the focus of educational research, policy, and intervention. The authors took a new approach to examining the achievement gap by examining achievement trajectories within each racial group. To identify these trajectories they […] The post Trajectories of Achievement Within Race/Ethnicity: “Catching Up” in Achievement Across Time appeared…

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Di Cook is moving to Monash

December 24, 2014
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Di Cook is moving to Monash

I’m delighted that Professor Dianne Cook will be joining Monash University in July 2015 as a Professor of Business Analytics. Di is an Australian who has worked in the US for the past 25 years, mostly at Iowa State University. She is moving back to Australia and joining the Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics in the […]

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All I want for Chrismukkah is that critics & “reformers” quit howlers of testing (after 3 yrs of blogging)! So here’s Aris Spanos “Tallking Back!”

December 24, 2014
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All I want for Chrismukkah is that critics & “reformers” quit howlers of testing (after 3 yrs of blogging)! So here’s Aris Spanos “Tallking Back!”

  This was initially posted as slides from our joint Spring 2014 seminar: “Talking Back to the Critics Using Error Statistics”. (You can enlarge them.) Related reading is Mayo and Spanos (2011) Filed under: Error Statistics, fallacy of rejection, Phil6334, reforming the reformers, Statistics

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Using statistics to make the world a better place?

December 23, 2014
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Using statistics to make the world a better place?

In a recent discussion involving our frustration with crap research, Daniel Lakeland wrote: I [Lakeland] really do worry about a world in which social and institutional and similar effects keep us plugging away at a certain kind of cargo-cult science that produces lots of publishable papers and makes it easier to get funding for projects […] The post Using statistics to make the world a better place? appeared first on…

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Review: Wainer, Picturing the Uncertain World

December 23, 2014
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Picturing the Uncertain World by Howard Wainer is a book about statistics and statistical thinking, aided by visual depictions of data. Each article in the collection starts by stating a question or phenomenon, which is then investigated further using some clever statistics. I bought the book after Scott Murray pointed me to it as the source … Continue reading Review: Wainer, Picturing the Uncertain World

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Cloudy and red

December 23, 2014
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Cloudy and red

Note: I'm traveling during the holidays so updates will be infrequent. Reader Daniel L. pointed me to a blog post discussing the following weather map: The author claimed that many readers misinterpreted the red color as meaning high temperatures when...

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What does Flatland have to do with Haskell?

December 23, 2014
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What does Flatland have to do with Haskell?

Edwin Abbott's 1884 novella, Flatland, recounts the misadventures of a square that lives in a two-dimensional world called "Flatland". In this story, the square has a dream where he visits a one-dimensional world (Lineland) and unsuccessfully tries to educate the… Continue reading →

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Contextual Measurement Is a Game Changer

December 22, 2014
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Contextual Measurement Is a Game Changer

Adding a context can change one's frame of reference:Are you courteous? Are you courteous at work? Decontextualized questions tend to activate a self-presentation strategy and retrieve memories of past positioning of oneself (impression manag...

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One-way ANOVA with fixed and random effects from a Bayesian perspective

December 22, 2014
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One-way ANOVA with fixed and random effects from a Bayesian perspective

This blog post is derived from a computer practical session that I ran as part of my new course on Statistics for Big Data, previously discussed. This course covered a lot of material very quickly. In particular, I deferred introducing notions of hierarchical modelling until the Bayesian part of the course, where I feel it … Continue reading One-way ANOVA with fixed and random effects from a Bayesian perspective

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One-way ANOVA with fixed and random effects from a Bayesian perspective

December 22, 2014
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One-way ANOVA with fixed and random effects from a Bayesian perspective

This blog post is derived from a computer practical session that I ran as part of my new course on Statistics for Big Data, previously discussed. This course covered a lot of material very quickly. In particular, I deferred introducing notions of hierarchical modelling until the Bayesian part of the course, where I feel it … Continue reading One-way ANOVA with fixed and random effects from a Bayesian perspective

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Research benefits of feminism

December 22, 2014
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Research benefits of feminism

Unlike that famous bank teller, I’m not “active in the feminist movement,” but I’ve always considered myself a feminist, ever since I heard the term (I don’t know when that was, maybe when I was 10 or so?). It’s no big deal, it probably just comes from having 2 big sisters and growing up during […] The post Research benefits of feminism appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and…

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On how meetings and conference calls are disruptive to a data scientist

December 22, 2014
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Editor's note: The week of Xmas eve is usually my most productive of the year. This is because there is reduced emails and 0 meetings (I do take a break, but after this great week for work). Here is a repost of one of our first entries explaining how meetings and conference calls are particularly disruptive in

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On deck this week

December 22, 2014
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Mon: Research benefits of feminism Tues: Using statistics to make the world a better place? Wed: Trajectories of Achievement Within Race/Ethnicity: “Catching Up” in Achievement Across Time Thurs: Common sense and statistics Fri: I’m sure tha...

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Holiday Haze

December 22, 2014
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Holiday Haze

Your dedicated blogger is about to vanish in the holiday haze, presumably returning early in the new year. I hope to see you at the Boston ASSA Penn party. (I promise to show up this time. Seriously.) Meanwhile, all best wishes for the holidays.[Photo ...

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Sunday data/statistics link roundup (12/21/14)

December 22, 2014
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James Stewart, author of the most popular Calculus textbook in the world, passed away. In case you wonder if there is any money in textbooks, he had a $32 million house in Toronto. Maybe I should get out of MOOCs and into textbooks. This post on medium about a new test for causality is making the

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Is there a Kindle edition of Practical Data Science with R?

December 21, 2014
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Is there a Kindle edition of Practical Data Science with R?

We have often been asked “why is there no Kindle edition of Practical Data Science with R on Amazon.com?” The short answer is: there is an edition you can read on your Kindle: but it is from the publisher Manning (not Amazon.com). The long answer is: when Amazon.com supplies a Kindle edition readers have to … Continue reading Is there a Kindle edition of Practical Data Science with R? →…

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