Racism!

March 28, 2013
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Racism!

I was reading a book of Alfred Kazin’s letters—I don’t know if they’d be so interesting to someone who hadn’t already read a bunch of his stuff, but I found them pretty interesting—and came across this amazing bit, dated August 11, 1957: No, really, Al. Tell us what you really feel. This was in his [...]

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The state of charting software

March 28, 2013
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The state of charting software

Andrew Wheeler took the time to write code (in SPSS) to create the "Scariest Chart ever" (link). I previously wrote about my own attempt to remake the famous chart in grayscale. I complained that this is a chart that is...

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Amanda Knox and Statistical Nullification

March 27, 2013
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Amanda Knox and Statistical Nullification

In today’s New York Times, Leila Schneps and Coralie Colmez correctly warn that … math can become a weapon that impedes justice and destroys innocent lives. They discuss Lucia de Berk, and Sally Clark, two unfortunate people who were convicted of crimes based on bogus statistical arguments. Statistician Richard Gill helped get de Berk’s conviction […]

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Metropolitain: Exploring the Paris Metro in 3D

March 27, 2013
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Metropolitain: Exploring the Paris Metro in 3D

Metropolitain [metropolitain.io], developed by French data visualization studio Dataveyes, provides a dynamic 2D and 3D view on the hectic and feverish metro of the city of Paris. Based on data on crowd turnouts retrieved from RATP (Autonomous Opera...

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Last session of Caltech’s Learning from Data course starts April 2

March 27, 2013
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Last session of Caltech’s Learning from Data course starts April 2

I just received this email:Caltech's Machine Learning MOOC is coming to an end this spring, with the final session starting on April 2. There will be no future sessions. The course has attracted more than 200,000 participants since its launch last year...

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Higgs analysis and statistical flukes (part 2)

March 27, 2013
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Higgs analysis and statistical flukes (part 2)

Everyone was excited when the Higgs boson results were reported on July 4, 2012 indicating evidence for a Higgs-like particle based on a “5 sigma observed effect”. The observed effect refers to the number of excess events of a given type that are “observed” in comparison to the number (or proportion) that would be expected from background […]

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Evolutionary Computation and Data Mining in Biology

March 27, 2013
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Evolutionary Computation and Data Mining in Biology

For over 15 years, members of the computer science, machine learning, and data mining communities have gathered in a beautiful European location each spring to share ideas about biologically-inspired computation.  Stemming from the work of John Ho...

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“Two Dogmas of Strong Objective Bayesianism”

March 27, 2013
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Prasanta Bandyopadhyay and Gordon Brittan write: We introduce a distinction, unnoticed in the literature, between four varieties of objective Bayesianism. What we call ‘strong objective Bayesianism’ is characterized by two claims, that all scientific inference is ‘logical’ and that, given the same background information two agents will ascribe a unique probability to their priors. We [...]

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What’s Congress saying?

March 27, 2013
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Thanks to Codeacademy's API primer, I'm able to access a bunch of cool information related to what the U.S. Congress is up to. For example, some of the more interesting of the top 20 most popular phrases said by members of New York's Congress are (rank...

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Big Data and official statistics

March 27, 2013
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Big Data and official statistics

From: http://www.bruegel.org/nc/blog/detail/article/1059-blogs-review-big-data-aggregates-and-individuals/#.UVL84BxhWCkBig Data is relevant to the production, relevance and reliability of key official statistics such as GDP and inflation.Michael Horrig...

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My talk at the University of Michigan today 4pm

March 27, 2013
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Causality and Statistical Learning Andrew Gelman, Statistics and Political Science, Columbia University Wed 27 Mar, 4pm, Betty Ford Auditorium, Ford School of Public Policy Causal inference is central to the social and biomedical sciences. There are unresolved debates about the meaning of causality and the methods that should be used to measure it. As a [...]

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Mix percent metaphors, add average confusion, and serve

March 27, 2013
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Mix percent metaphors, add average confusion, and serve

Sometimes, a chart just strains your mind. Such is the case with the following, a tip from Augustine F. (@acfou) There are just so many percentages on the chart it's really hard to figure out which is which. Under the...

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How to compute the distance between observations in SAS

March 27, 2013
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How to compute the distance between observations in SAS

In statistics, distances between observations are used to form clusters, to identify outliers, and to estimate distributions. Distances are used in spatial statistics and in other application areas. There are many ways to define the distance between observations. I have previously written an article that explains Mahalanobis distance, which is [...]

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Got Data from People? Take Dan Ariely’s Coursera course.

March 26, 2013
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Got Data from People? Take Dan Ariely’s Coursera course.

A Beginner's Guide to Irrational Behavior started yesterday.  One might not immediately think that such a course would be relevant for statistical modeling.  Well, it is if your statistical modeling uses people as informants.  If the dat...

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An instructor’s thoughts on peer-review for data analysis in Coursera

March 26, 2013
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I used peer-review for the data analysis course I just finished. As I mentioned in the post-mortem podcast I knew in advance that it was likely to be the most controversial component of the class. So it wasn’t surprising that based … Continue reading →

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Non Linear Curve Fitting in Excel

March 26, 2013
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Hidden in the many functions of Excel is the rather useful Solver Add-in that can be used to solve many types of problems, including fitting non linear curves to data. To get access to it you need to go to the ‘Manage Add-ins’ section of th...

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Data Science for Social Good summer fellowship program

March 26, 2013
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Juan-Pablo Velez writes: I’m helping with a Data Science for Social Good summer fellowship program at the University of Chicago. The goal is to train data scientists that can tackle problems in education, healthcare, energy, transportation, and more. Working with full-time mentors from academia, industry, and the Obama campaign, fellows will build high-impact analytics projects using statistics, machine learning, data [...]

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Bayes 250

March 26, 2013
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Bayes 250

Of course, a Bayes 500 would be even better and more powerful (although more fuel-consuming...). But: the best we can afford (strictly for time constraints $-$ time since publication, that is) is a Bayes 250.This is what promises to be a very, ver...

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Getting inside my head

March 26, 2013
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Some interviews with me or snippets of such have surfaced recently. Here is a list: Kate Meersschaert interviewed me for New Learning Times (link; registration required). I talked about my teaching philosophy, and why I write books. Jay Ulfelder, a political scientist who keeps an interesting blog, recommends Numbers Rule Your World, and a few other books for political scientists (link). If you haven't heard already, 2013 is the International…

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Getting inside my head

March 26, 2013
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[This is a cross-post from the sister blog, Numbers Rule Your World] Some interviews with me or snippets of such have surfaced recently. Here is a list: Kate Meersschaert interviewed me for New Learning Times (link; registration required). I talked...

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Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Every Known Drone Attack in Pakistan

March 26, 2013
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Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Every Known Drone Attack in Pakistan

The narrative infographic "Out of Sight, Out of Mind: A visualization of drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004" [pitchinteractive.com] by Pitch Interactive illustrates the frequency and human impact of the drone attacks in Pakistan. Once a year Pitch...

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Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Every Known Drone Attack in Pakistan

March 26, 2013
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Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Every Known Drone Attack in Pakistan

The narrative infographic "Out of Sight, Out of Mind: A visualization of drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004" [pitchinteractive.com] by Pitch Interactive illustrates the frequency and human impact of the drone attacks in Pakistan. Once a year Pitch...

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ChainLadder 0.1.5-6 released on CRAN

March 26, 2013
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ChainLadder 0.1.5-6 released on CRAN

Last week we released version 0.1.5-6 of the ChainLadder package on CRAN. The ChainLadder package provides statistical models, which are typically used for the estimation of outstanding claims reserves in general insurance. The package vignette gives a...

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