Theranos runs head first into the realities of diagnostic testing

October 16, 2015
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The Wall Street Journal has published a lengthy investigation into the diagnostic testing company Theranos. The company offers more than 240 tests, ranging from cholesterol to cancer. It claims its technology can work with just a finger prick. Investors have poured more than $400 million into Theranos, valuing it at $9 billion and her majority stake at

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Bewildering baseball math

October 16, 2015
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Bewildering baseball math

Over Twitter, someone asked me about this chart: It's called the MLB pipeline. The text at the top helpfully tells us what the chart is about: how the playoff teams in baseball are built. That's the good part. It then...

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VIS Running Club 2015

October 16, 2015
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VIS Running Club 2015

I will organize runs again at IEEE VIS in Chicago two weeks from now. As with previous years, organization will be minimal: just show up ready to run. I will prepare routes in the 3-6mi (5-10km) range. If you want to know what being organized looks like, check out the Velo Club de VIS: they have a website, a … Continue reading VIS Running Club 2015

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You’ll never guess what’s happening in the Columbia sociology department! Tune in at 2pm to find out.

October 15, 2015
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I’ll be speaking 2pm, Thurs 15 Oct, at 509 Knox Hall (606 W 122 St) in the sociology department seminar. The political impact of social penumbras Andrew Gelman, Department of Statistics and Department of Political Science The penumbra of a group is the set of people who know at least one person in that group. […] The post You’ll never guess what’s happening in the Columbia sociology department! Tune in…

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You’ll never guess what’s been happening with PyStan and PyMC—Click here to find out.

October 15, 2015
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PLEASE NOTE: This is a guest post by Llewelyn Richards-Ward. When there are two packages appearing to do the same thing, lets return to the Zen of Python which suggests that: There should be one—and preferably only one—obvious way to do it. Why is this particular mantra important? I think because the majority of users […] The post You’ll never guess what’s been happening with PyStan and PyMC—Click here to…

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The thirty-day trial

October 15, 2015
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The thirty-day trial

Steve Pavlina wrote about a self-help technique called the thirty-day trial. To perform the technique, you commit 30 days of some new habit, such as quitting smoking or writing in a journal. The idea is that it’s psychologically easier to commit to s...

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“Frequentist Accuracy of Bayesian Estimates” (Efron Webinar announcement)

October 15, 2015
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“Frequentist Accuracy of Bayesian Estimates” (Efron Webinar announcement)

The Royal Statistical Society sent me a letter announcing their latest Journal webinar next Wednesday 21 October: …RSS Journal webinar on 21st October featuring Bradley Efron, Andrew Gelman and Peter Diggle. They will be in discussion about Bradley Efron’s recently published paper titled ‘Frequentist accuracy of Bayesian estimates’. The paper was published in June in the […]

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Here’s a theoretical research project for you

October 14, 2015
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We were having a listserv discussion on the replication project in psychology and someone asked about the rate of replication failures of stunning claims at top journals, compared to run-of-the-mill claims at lower-impact journals. E. J. wrote: Boring research is more likely to replicate. I have no data to back this up, so let’s just […] The post Here’s a theoretical research project for you appeared first on Statistical Modeling,…

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A rose by any other name: Data science etc.

October 14, 2015
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I help people make decisions in the face of uncertainty. Sounds interesting. I’m a data scientist. Not sure what that means, but it sounds cool. I study machine learning. Hmm. Maybe interesting, maybe a little ominous. I’m into big data. Exciting or passé, depending on how many times you’ve heard the term. Even though each […]

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Minimal R Package Check List

October 14, 2015
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A little while back I had the pleasure of flying in a small Cessna with a friend and for the first time I got to see what happens in the cockpit with a real pilot. One thing I noticed was that basically you don't lift a finger without going through some sort of check list.

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Models and simulation for 2×2 contingency tables

October 14, 2015
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Models and simulation for 2×2 contingency tables

When modeling and simulating data, it is important to be able to articulate the real-life statistical process that generates the data. Suppose a friend says to you, "I want to simulate two random correlated variables, X and Y." Usually this means that he wants data generated from a multivariate distribution, […] The post Models and simulation for 2x2 contingency tables appeared first on The DO Loop.

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Link: PolicyViz Blog and Podcast

October 14, 2015
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Link: PolicyViz Blog and Podcast

Jon Schwabish is running a blog and podcast called PolicyViz. In both, he talks about communicating data and how to deal with numbers for the general public. He recently had two interesting guests back-to-back on his podcast: Nigel Holmes and Edward T...

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A simple differentially private-ish procedure

October 13, 2015
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A simple differentially private-ish procedure

Authors: John Mount and Nina Zumel Nina and I were noodling with some variations of differentially private machine learning, and think we have found a variation of a standard practice that is actually fairly efficient in establishing differential privacy a privacy condition (but, as commenters pointed out- not differential privacy). Read on for the idea … Continue reading A simple differentially private-ish procedure

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Angus Deaton, Consumer Demand, & the Nobel Prize

October 13, 2015
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Angus Deaton, Consumer Demand, & the Nobel Prize

I was delighted by yesterday's announcement that Angus Deaton has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Science this year. His contributions have have been many, fundamental, and varied, and I certainly won't attempt to summarize them here. Suffice ...

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The Network Underlying Consumer Perceptions of the European Car Market

October 13, 2015
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The Network Underlying Consumer Perceptions of the European Car Market

The nodes have been assigned a color by the author so that the underlying distinctions are more pronounced. Cars that are perceived as Economical (in aquamarine) are not seen as Sporty or Powerful (in cyan). The red edges connecting these attributes in...

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Baking priors

October 13, 2015
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Baking priors

There remains a bit of a two-way snobbery that Frequentist statistics is what we teach (as so-called objective statistics remain the same no matter who works with them) and Bayesian statistics is what we do (as it tends to directly estimate posterior probabilities we are actually interested in). Nina Zumel hit the nail on the … Continue reading Baking priors

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What do you learn from p=.05? This example from Carl Morris will blow your mind.

October 13, 2015
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What do you learn from p=.05?  This example from Carl Morris will blow your mind.

I keep pointing people to this article by Carl Morris so I thought I’d post it. The article is really hard to find because it has no title: it appeared in the Journal of the American Statistical Association as a discussion of a couple of other papers. All 3 scenarios have the same p-value. And, […] The post What do you learn from p=.05? This example from Carl Morris will…

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Rexer Analytics Survey Results

October 13, 2015
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Rexer Analytics Survey Results

Rexer Analytics has released preliminary results showing the usage of various data science tools. I’ve added the results to my continuously-updated article, The Popularity of Data Analysis Software. For your convenience, the new section is repeated below. Surveys of Use One … Continue reading →

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Understanding Margin of Error for Small Populations

October 13, 2015
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Understanding Margin of Error for Small Populations

I got an email today inquiring if the margin of error reported in the newest poll by Datafolha would possibly be misleading. The polling firm often report surveys with regular sizes (1000/2400), so the margin of error calculated is in the range of +/-2...

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Understanding Margin of Error for Small Populations

October 13, 2015
By
Understanding Margin of Error for Small Populations

I got an email today inquiring if the margin of error reported in the newest poll by Datafolha would possibly be misleading. The polling firm often report surveys with regular sizes (1000/2400), so the margin of error calculated is in the range of +/-2...

Read more »

Stan intro in Amherst, Mass.

October 13, 2015
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Stan intro in Amherst, Mass.

Krzysztof Sakrejda writes: I’m doing a brief intro to Stan Thursday 4:30pm in Amherst at the University of Massachusetts. As the meetup blurb indicates I’m not going to attempt a full tour but I will try to touch on all the pieces required to make it easier to build on models from the manual and […] The post Stan intro in Amherst, Mass. appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference,…

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Understanding Margin of Error for Small Populations

October 13, 2015
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Understanding Margin of Error for Small Populations

A comment on why does a pollster reported a narrow margin of error despite the small sample. I got an email today inquiring if the margin of sampling error reported in the newest poll by Datafolha would possibly be misleading. The polling firm often...

Read more »

Understanding Margin of Error for Small Populations

October 13, 2015
By
Understanding Margin of Error for Small Populations

A comment on why does a pollster reported a narrow margin of error despite the small sample. I got an email today inquiring if the margin of sampling error reported in the newest poll by Datafolha would possibly be misleading. The polling firm often...

Read more »


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