“Ronald Reagan is a Statistician and Other Examples of Learning From Diverse Sources of Information”

March 19, 2013
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That’s the title of my talk at Montana State University this Thursday (21 Mar). For those of you who happen to be in the area, it’s 3:30-5:00pm in the Procrastinator Theater. I’m also speaking in the statistics seminar from 11-12:15 in the Byker Auditorium in the Chemistry building. Topic: Causality and Statistical Learning. P.S. My [...]

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Data structures are important

March 19, 2013
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Data structures are important

I’ve created another D3 example, of QTL analysis for a phenotype measured over time. (Click on the image for the interactive version.) The code is on github. It took me about a day. The hardest part was figuring out the right data structures. A pixel here is linked to curves over there and over there […]

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Call for papers for a special issue of Statistical Analysis and Data Mining

March 19, 2013
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David Madigan sends the following. It looks like a really interesting place to submit papers for both statisticians and data scientists, so submit away! Statistical Analysis and Data Mining, An American Statistical Association Journal Call for Papers Special Issue on … Continue reading →

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ENAR highs and lows

March 19, 2013
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ENAR highs and lows

I attended the ENAR meeting in Orlando, Florida, last week. (ENAR = “Eastern North American Region” of the International Biometric Society.) I had a great time, but I did come to the strong realization that what I view as important is distinctly different from what the typical ENAR attendee views as important. (Rafa said, incredulously, […]

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Retraction watch

March 19, 2013
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Here (from the Annals of Applied Statistics). “Thus, arguably, all of Section 3 is wrong until proven otherwise.” As with retractions in general, it makes me wonder about the rest of this guy’s work. Dr. Anil Potti would be pooping i...

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Software Carpentry Bootcamp at University of Virginia

March 19, 2013
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Software Carpentry Bootcamp at University of Virginia

A couple of weeks ago I, with the help of others here at UVA, organized a Software Carpentry bootcamp, instructed by Steve Crouch, Carlos Anderson, and Ben Morris. The day before the course started, Charlottesville was racked by nearly a foot of s...

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In search of the honest credit repair shop

March 19, 2013
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In search of the honest credit repair shop

FTC made the headlines recently complaining about inaccurate consumer credit reports. The Wall Street Journal (link) has a typical report on this research. Here's their summary: In the FTC study, 262 of the 1,001 people who reviewed their credit reports spotted at least one potential "material" mistake, such as a credit-card account that wasn't theirs or a late payment that they didn't believe was late. That sounds like a worrisome…

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How not to reveal your MySQL DB login/password when sharing code on GitHub or BitBucket?

March 19, 2013
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Solution: use your ~/.my/cnfInside your ~/.my.cnf file define the connection parameters to your databases. For example, here I define two groups called local and toto:[local]user = rootpassword = ultra_secrethost = localhost[toto]user = capitaine_flamp...

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googleVis 0.4.2 with support for shiny released on CRAN

March 19, 2013
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googleVis 0.4.2 with support for shiny released on CRAN

The new version of googleVis 0.4.2 is now available via CRAN. Many thanks to all who provided feedback on version 0.4.0 and particularly to Sebastian Campbell, John Maindonald and Aonan Zhang. As usual, if you find any issues or bugs, please send us an...

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R: Create Watermark for SAS ODS Reports

March 19, 2013
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R: Create Watermark for SAS ODS Reports

Now to see if we can add some watermarks in SAS ODS - I've seen pages on how to create watermarked reports using background images. The first part is creating the background image: we can steal some code from the earlier post on watermarks in R, and ad...

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R: Reproducible Research – Watermarks in Plots

March 19, 2013
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R: Reproducible Research – Watermarks in Plots

Research is an iterative process: data is constantly being acquired, cleaned, and finalized while the analysis is being conducted. Since we work in a constantly evolving data and program landscape, version control is extremely important when programmin...

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Mertz’s reply to Unz’s response to Mertz’s comments on Unz’s article

March 18, 2013
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Here. And here’s the story so far: Ron Unz posted a long article on college admissions of Asians and Jews with some numbers and comparisons that made their way into some blogs (including here) and also a David Brooks NYT column which was read by many people, including Janet Mertz, who’d done previous research on [...]

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Talking Pictures

March 18, 2013
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Talking Pictures

A picture talks. ‘If a picture can say a thousand words, the combination of information and imagery could be wort …Continue reading »

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An open letter to Senators Cruz and Cornyn, re: cutting the NSF’s Political Science program

March 18, 2013
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An open letter to Senators Cruz and Cornyn, re: cutting the NSF’s Political Science program

Dear Senators Cruz and Cornyn, I’m an assistant professor of Political Science at Rice University, and I hope that you’ll oppose Senator Coburn’s amendment to de-fund the Political Science program at the National Science Foundation (the Coburn amendment to HR 933 currently before the Senate). Political Science has evolved into a data-intensive, methodologically sophisticated STEM […]

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Tibshirani announces new research result: A significance test for the lasso

March 18, 2013
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Tibshirani announces new research result:  A significance test for the lasso

Lasso and me For a long time I was wrong about lasso. Lasso (“least absolute shrinkage and selection operator”) is a regularization procedure that shrinks regression coefficients toward zero, and in its basic form is equivalent to maximum penalized likelihood estimation with a penalty function that is proportional to the sum of the absolute values [...]

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Tibshirani announces new research result: A significance test for the lasso

March 18, 2013
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Tibshirani announces new research result:  A significance test for the lasso

Lasso and me For a long time I was wrong about lasso. Lasso (“least absolute shrinkage and selection operator”) is a regularization procedure that shrinks regression coefficients toward zero, and in its basic form is equivalent to maximum penalized likelihood estimation with a penalty function that is proportional to the sum of the absolute values [...]

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Italy burning, by poor timing

March 18, 2013
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Italy burning, by poor timing

Here's a chart from one of the Italian dailies I picked up in Rome last August . It apparently plots the number of hectares of farmland that was burnt during various fires over time. While the chart is clean and...

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The Art of R Programming review – part 3

March 18, 2013
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Continuing this series, I'm going to list out a number of other interesting functions and features that I've been (re)learning while reading the Art of R Programming. cut(x,b,labels=F) - creates a factor out of a vector x, by placing each element of x ...

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Jerome Cornfield: The statistician who established risk factors for lung cancer and heart disease

March 18, 2013
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Jerome Cornfield: The statistician who established risk factors for lung cancer and heart disease

One purpose of this International Year of Statistics is to spread the word that the field of statistics benefits society. As part of the International Year, many organizations, including SAS and the American Statistical Association (ASA), are turning to history to illustrate how statistics is vital to the health and [...]

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Which political science journals will have a data policy?

March 18, 2013
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Which political science journals will have a data policy?

Making available replication materials for the research you do is A Good Thing. It’s also work, and it’s quite easy to never get around to. Certainly I claim no special virtue in this department so I am always happy when there’s an institutional stick to prod my better nature in the right direction. One such institutional […]

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Which political science journals will have a data policy?

March 18, 2013
By
Which political science journals will have a data policy?

Making available replication materials for the research you do is A Good Thing. It’s also work, and it’s quite easy to never get around to. Certainly I claim no special virtue in this department so I am always happy when there’s an institutional stick to prod my better nature in the right direction. One such institutional [...]

Read more »

Lecture: Additive Models (Advanced Data Analysis from an Elementary Point of View)

March 18, 2013
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The "curse of dimensionality" limits the usefulness of fully non-parametric regression in problems with many variables: bias remains under control, but variance grows rapidly with dimension. Parametric models do not have this problem, but have bias a...

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Testing Regression Specifications (Advanced Data Analysis from an Elementary Point of View)

March 18, 2013
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Non-parametric smoothers can be used to test parametric models. Forms of tests: differences in in-sample performance; differences in generalization performance; whether the parametric model's residuals have expectation zero everywhere. Constructing ...

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