Linear Regression and Matrix Operations in Excel

October 12, 2014
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Linear regression is a very frequently required method and is implemented in many software packages. Excel performs regression either directly through worksheet functions or on scatter plots, but it doesn’t allow the user to see the inner working...

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Tuning LaplacesDemon

October 12, 2014
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Tuning LaplacesDemon

I was continuing with my Bayesian algorithms in R exercise. For these exercises I port SAS PROC MCMC examples to the various R solutions. However, the next example was logit model and that's just too simple, especially after last week's Jacobian for th...

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“Illinois chancellor who fired Salaita accused of serial self-plagiarism.”

October 12, 2014
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I came across a couple of stories today that made me wonder how much we can learn from a scholar’s professional misconduct. The first was a review by Kimberle Crenshaw of a book by Joan Biskupic about Supreme Court judge Sonia Sotomayor. Crenshaw makes the interesting point that Sotomayor, like many political appointees of the […]

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Illustrating Asymptotic Behaviour – Part I

October 11, 2014
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Illustrating Asymptotic Behaviour – Part I

Learning the basics about the (large sample) asymptotic behaviour of estimators and test statistics is always a challenge. Teaching this material can be challenging too!So, in this post and in two more to follow, I'm going to talk about a small Monte C...

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Science tells us that fast food lovers are more likely to marry other fast food lovers

October 11, 2014
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Science tells us that fast food lovers are more likely to marry other fast food lovers

Emma Pierson writes: I’m a statistician working at the genetics company 23andMe before pursuing a master’s in statistics at Oxford on a Rhodes scholarship. I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog, and we’ve been doing some social science research at 23andMe which I thought might be of interest. We have about half a million customers answering […]

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My visits and RDataMining talks in North America

October 11, 2014
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My visits and RDataMining talks in North America

  I visited Mexico recently and is now travelling in US. In the 1st week of October, I delivered a keynote talk at the CONAIS 2014 conference in Mexico, as well as a one-day workshop on data mining with R … Continue reading →

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BREAKING THE (Royall) LAW! (of likelihood) (C)

October 10, 2014
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BREAKING THE (Royall) LAW! (of likelihood) (C)

With this post, I finally get back to the promised sequel to “Breaking the Law! (of likelihood) (A) and (B)” from a few weeks ago. You might wish to read that one first.* A relevant paper by Royall is here. Richard Royall is a statistician1 who has had a deep impact on recent philosophy of […]

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When am I a conservative and when am I a liberal (when it comes to statistics, that is)?

October 10, 2014
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When am I a conservative and when am I a liberal (when it comes to statistics, that is)?

Here I am one day: Let me conclude with a statistical point. Sometimes researchers want to play it safe by using traditional methods — most notoriously, in that recent note by Michael Link, president of the American Association of Public Opinion Research, arguing against non-probability sampling on the (unsupported) grounds that such methods have “little […]

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The frequency of double-letters in Cryptoquotes

October 10, 2014
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The frequency of double-letters in Cryptoquotes

It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.        --Mark Twain In the popular Cryptoquote puzzle, you are presented with an enciphered version of a quote by a famous person. One of the appeals of the puzzle for me is reading the deciphered quote, such […]

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Explaining the ABS unemployment fluctuations

October 10, 2014
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Explaining the ABS unemployment fluctuations

Although the Guardian claimed yesterday that I had explained “what went wrong” in the July and August unemployment figures, I made no attempt to do so as I had no information about the problems. Instead, I just explained a little about the purpose of seasonal adjustment. However, today I learned a little more about the ABS unemployment […]

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Waterfall and 3D plotting exploration

October 9, 2014
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Waterfall and 3D plotting exploration

Taking the very cool 'waterfall graph' code posted by Robert Grant I have added some features (resistance to distributions with sparse data at some areas) as well as the ability to heat map the bivariate distribution based on a third variable z. Find t...

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Varieties of description in political science

October 9, 2014
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Markus Kreuzer writes: I am organizing a panel at next year’s American Political Science Association meeting tentatively entitled “Varieties of Description.” The idea is to compare and contrast the ways in which different disciplines approach descriptive inferences, that how they go about collective data, how they validate descriptive inferences and what ontological assumptions they make. […]

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Data science can’t be point and click

October 9, 2014
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Data science can’t be point and click

As data becomes cheaper and cheaper there are more people that want to be able to analyze and interpret that data.  I see more and more that people are creating tools to accommodate folks who aren't trained but who still want to look at data right now. While I admire the principle of this approach - we

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Pondering OCCAM data in medicine

October 9, 2014
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Pondering OCCAM data in medicine

The New York Times Magazine has a pretty good piece about the use of OCCAM data to solve medical questions, like diagnosis and drug selection. I'm happy that it paints a balanced picture of both the promise and the pitfalls. Here are some thoughts in my head as I read this piece: Small samples coupled with small effects pose a design problem in traditional clinical trials. The subjects of the…

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“Science does not advance by guessing”

October 9, 2014
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I agree with Deborah Mayo who agrees with Carlo Rovelli that “Science does not advance by guessing. It advances by new data or by a deep investigation of the content and the apparent contradictions of previous empirically successful theories.” And, speaking as a statistician and statistical educator, I think there’s a big problem with the […]

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"Statistically Insignificant" or "Non-Statistically Significant"

October 9, 2014
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I use the phrases "statistical insignificance" and "statistically insignificant" often, but I was recently informed that these terms are not correct. Instead, I was told to say something like "non-statistically significant." In light of this, I'm careful to say "not statistically significance" or "a lack of statistical significance" in my forthcoming AJPS article. Since then, though, […]

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An infographic showing up here for the right reason

October 9, 2014
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An infographic showing up here for the right reason

Infographics do not have to be "data ornaments" (link). Once in a blue moon, someone finds the right balance of pictures and data. Here is a nice example from the Wall Street Journal, via ThumbsUpViz. Link to the image What...

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Seasonal adjustment in the news

October 9, 2014
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Seasonal adjustment in the news

It’s not every day that seasonal adjustment makes the front page of the newspapers, but it has today with the ABS saying that the recent seasonally adjusted unemployment data would be revised. I was interviewed about the underlying concepts for the Guardian in this piece. Further comment from me about users paying for the ABS data […]

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The Leek group guide to genomics papers

October 8, 2014
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Leek group guide to genomics papers When I was a student, my advisor, John Storey, made a list of papers for me to read on nights and weekends. That list was incredibly helpful for a couple of reasons. It got me caught up on the field of computational genomics It was expertly curated, so it filtered

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2nd Edition of Doing Bayesian Data Analysis available November 2014

October 8, 2014
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2nd Edition of Doing Bayesian Data Analysis available November 2014

The 2nd Edition of Doing Bayesian Data Analysis will be available in early or mid November, 2014. The book is completely re-written from cover to cover, with loads of new material, and all new programs. For complete information, please see the book's n...

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When there’s a lot of variation, it can be a mistake to make statements about “typical” attitudes

October 8, 2014
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When there’s a lot of variation, it can be a mistake to make statements about “typical” attitudes

This story has two points: 1. There’s a tendency for scientific results to be framed in absolute terms (in psychology, this corresponds to general claims about the population) but that can be a mistake in that sometimes the most important part of the story is variation; and 2. Before getting to the comparisons, it can […]

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Julia style string literal interpolation in R

October 8, 2014
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Julia style string literal interpolation in R

I feel like a sculptor who has been using the same metal tools for the last four years and happened to have looked at my comrades and found them sporting new, sleek electric tools. Suddenly all of the hard work put into maintaining and adapting my meta...

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The name of a parameter in the parent environment

October 8, 2014
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The name of a parameter in the parent environment

SAS/IML 13.1 includes a handy function for programmers who write a lot of modules. The PARENTNAME function obtains the name of the symbol that was passed in as a parameter to a user-defined module. How is this useful? Well, suppose that you want to create a SAS/IML module that prints […]

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