They want me to send them free material and pay for the privilege

July 2, 2013
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Since we’re on the topic of publishers asking me for money . . . The other day I received the following email: Mimi Liljeholm has sent you a message. Please click ‘Reply’ to send a direct response. Dear Prof Gelman, In collaboration with Frontiers in Psychology, we are organizing a Research Topic titled “Causal discovery [...]The post They want me to send them free material and pay for the privilege…

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Customize your .Rprofile and Keep Your Workspace Clean

July 2, 2013
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Customize your .Rprofile and Keep Your Workspace Clean

Like your .bashrc, .vimrc, or many other dotfiles you may have in your home directory, your .Rprofile is sourced every time you start an R session. On Mac and Linux, this file is usually located in ~/.Rprofile. On Windows it's buried somewhere in the R...

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Fundraiser glass half empty or half full

July 2, 2013
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Fundraiser glass half empty or half full

Reader Max sent this photo of a poster in the Shake Shack in Brooklyn, NY: Are they way below their goal? You wouldn't know unless you read all the text and numbers.

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There is definitely R in July

July 2, 2013
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There is definitely R in July

The useR!2013 conference in Albacete, Spain, will commence next Wednesday, 10 July, and on the day before Diego and I will give a googleVis tutorial. The following Monday, 15 July, the first R in Insurance event will take place at Cass Business School ...

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Some Common Approaches for Analyzing Likert Scales and Other Categorical Data

July 2, 2013
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Some Common Approaches for Analyzing Likert Scales and Other Categorical Data

Analyzing Likert scale responses really comes down to what you want to accomplish (e.g. Are you trying to provide a formal report with probabilities or are you trying to simply understand the data better). Sometimes a couple of graphs are sufficient and a formalize statistical test isn’t even necessary. However, with how easy it is […]

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integral priors for binomial regression

July 1, 2013
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integral priors for binomial regression

Diego Salmerón and Juan Antonio Cano from Murcia, Spain (check the movie linked to the above photograph!), kindly included me in their recent integral prior paper, even though I mainly provided (constructive) criticism. The paper has just been arXived. A few years ago (2008 to be precise), we wrote together an integral prior paper, published […]

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Measuring the importance of data privacy: embarrassment and cost

July 1, 2013
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We live in an era when it is inexpensive and easy to collect data about ourselves or about other people. These data can take the form of health information - like medical records, or they could be financial data - … Continue reading →

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Using R to Produce Scalable Vector Graphics for the Web

July 1, 2013
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Using R to Produce Scalable Vector Graphics for the Web

Statistical software is normally used during the analysis stage of a project and a cleaned up static graphic is created for the presentation.  If the presentation is in web format then there are some considerations that are needed. The trick is to find ways to implement those graphs in that web format so the graph […]

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Going meta on Niall Ferguson

July 1, 2013
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Going meta on Niall Ferguson

Ashok Rao shreds the latest book from Niall Ferguson, who we’ve encountered most recently as the source of homophobic slurs but who used to be a serious scholar. Or maybe still is. Remember Linda, that character from the Kahneman and Tversky vignette who was deemed likely to be “a bank teller who is active in [...]The post Going meta on Niall Ferguson appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and…

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Know your data 11: Facebook and you

July 1, 2013
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TechCrunch has a great piece on how Facebook tracks you even if you don't give them data. (link; be careful, opening this link drags my browser to a crawl.) Here's my take on the issue: I have always been disturbed by the complicity of invading other people's privacy, forced upon us when we use a service like Facebook (or Google or you name it). For those of you who allow…

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Duplicate values in random numbers: Tossing dice and sharing birthdays

July 1, 2013
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Duplicate values in random numbers: Tossing dice and sharing birthdays

Tossing dice is a simple and familiar process, yet it can illustrate deep and counterintuitive aspects of random numbers. For example, if you toss four identical six-sided dice, what is the probability that the faces are all distinct, as shown to the left? Many people would guess that the probability [...]

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Exploratory Data Analysis – Kernel Density Estimation and Rug Plots in R on Ozone Data in New York and Ozonopolis

Exploratory Data Analysis – Kernel Density Estimation and Rug Plots in R on Ozone Data in New York and Ozonopolis

Update on July 15, 2013: Thanks to Harlan Nelson for noting on AnalyticBridge that the ozone concentrations for both New York and Ozonopolis are non-negative quantities, so their kernel density plot should have non-negative support sets.  This has been corrected in this post by - defining new variables called max.ozone and max.ozone2 - using the […]

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Intractable likelihoods, unbiased estimators and sign problem

July 1, 2013
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Intractable likelihoods, unbiased estimators and sign problem

Hey all, We’re at the Big Data era blablabla, but the advanced computational methods usually don’t scale well enough to match the increasing sizes of datasets. For instance, even in a simple case of i.i.d. data and an associated likelihood function , the cost of evaluating the likelihood function at any parameter is typically growing […]

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Why learning objectives are so important

June 30, 2013
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Why learning objectives are so important

The most useful thing I learned in my teacher training at Auckland College of Education in 1985 was to write learning objectives. Not many years, and two babies later, I began lecturing at the University of Canterbury in Management Science/Operations … Continue reading →

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Blog Contents: mid-year

June 30, 2013
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Blog Contents: mid-year

Error Statistics Philosophy BLOG: Table of Contents 2013 (January-June)* January 2013 (1/2) Severity as a ‘Metastatistical’ Assessment (1/4) Severity Calculator (1/6) Guest post: Bad Pharma? (S. Senn) (1/9) RCTs, skeptics, and evidence-based policy (1/10) James M. Buchanan (1/11) Aris Spanos: James M. Buchanan: a scholar, teacher and friend (1/12) Error Statistics Blog: Table of Contents (1/15) Ontology & Methodology: Second call for Abstracts, Papers […]

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Faster calculation

June 30, 2013
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Last week I decided to speed up my distribution fitting functions of two weeks ago. These were bold words. My try of Rcpp was a failure. Just plain optimization helped a bit better. Using the compiler package added a bit. (the compiler package does not...

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River Filigree

June 30, 2013
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River Filigree

[Briefly] Take a look at these images created by Nelson Minar and found on Wired - they not only do a great job of representing the rivers (and, by complement, additional features like mountain ranges) but also of what can...

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River Filigree

June 30, 2013
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River Filigree

[Briefly] Take a look at these images created by Nelson Minar and found on Wired - they not only do a great job of representing the rivers (and, by complement, additional features like mountain ranges) but also of what can...

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“Non-statistical” statistics tools

June 30, 2013
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Ulrich Atz writes: I regard myself fairly familiar with modern “big data” tools and models such as random forests, SVM etc. However, HyperCube is something I haven’t come across yet (met the marketing guy last week) and they advertise it as “disruptive”, “unique”, “best performing data analysis tool available”. Have you seen it in action? [...]The post “Non-statistical” statistics tools appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

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LOST CAUSES IN STATISTICS I: Finite Additivity

June 30, 2013
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LOST CAUSES IN STATISTICS I: Finite Additivity

LOST CAUSES IN STATISTICS I: Finite Additivity I decided that I’ll write an occasional post about lost causes in statistics. (The title is motivated by Streater (2007).) Today’s post is about finitely additive probability (FAP). Recall how we usually define probability. We start with a sample space and a -algebra of events . A real-valued … … Continue reading →

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R sucks

June 29, 2013
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I was trying to make some new graphs using 5-year-old R code and I got all these problems because I was reading in files with variable names such as “co.fipsid” and now R is automatically changing them to “co_fipsid”. Or maybe the names had underbars all along, and the old R had changed them into [...]The post R sucks appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

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Going negative

June 29, 2013
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Troels Ring writes: I have measured total phosphorus, TP, on a number of dialysis patients, and also measured conventional phosphate, Pi. Now P is exchanged with the environment as Pi, so in principle a correlation between TP and Pi could perhaps be expected. I’m really most interested in the fraction of TP which is not [...]The post Going negative appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

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End of Google Reader

June 29, 2013
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End of Google Reader

If you are reading this in Google Reader, or you are reading in an RSS reader that uses Google Reader as a back-end, then you probably need this reminder. Everyone else can stop reading now. Google Reader will cease to be available on 1 July and you wi...

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