My first Bioconductor conference (2013)

July 21, 2013
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My first Bioconductor conference (2013)

The BioC 2013 conference was held from July 17 to 19. I attended this conference for my first time, mainly because I'm working at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center this summer, and the conference venue was just downstairs! No flights, no hotel...

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Guest Post: Larry Laudan. Why Presuming Innocence is Not a Bayesian Prior

July 21, 2013
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Guest Post: Larry Laudan. Why Presuming Innocence is Not a Bayesian Prior

“Why presuming innocence has nothing to do with assigning low prior probabilities to the proposition that defendant didn’t commit the crime” by Professor Larry Laudan Philosopher of Science* Several of the comments to the July 17 post about the presumption of innocence suppose that jurors are asked to believe, at the outset of a trial, […]

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Le Monde puzzle [#825]

July 20, 2013
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Le Monde puzzle [#825]

The current puzzle is the last one before the summer break and not exciting enough to take along: Take the first ten digits, create five pairs out of those, and for each pair (x,y) derive the quantity (min(x,y)+1.5max(x,y)). What is the collection of pairs that maximises the product of those quantities? I wrote the following […]

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BCEs0

July 20, 2013
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BCEs0 is the new R package I've written $-$ well, nearly finished to, anyway; it should be ready in version 1.0 in the next few days. The acronym stands for Bayesian models for Cost-Effectiveness with structural 0s, and it basically implements the mode...

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Decisions from posterior distributions: Tail probability or highest density interval?

July 20, 2013
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Decisions from posterior distributions: Tail probability or highest density interval?

How should we decide whether a parameter's posterior distribution "rejects" a particular value such as zero? Should we consider the percentage of the distribution above/below the value? Should we consider the relation of the highest density interval (H...

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We are what we are studying

July 20, 2013
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Anthropologist Marshall Sahlins writes: When native Australians or New Guineans say that their totemic animals and plants are their kinsmen – that these species are persons like themselves, and that in offering them to others they are giving away part of their own substance – we have to take them seriously, which is to say […]The post We are what we are studying appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference,…

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An excellent introduction to MapReduce and Hadoop

July 20, 2013
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An excellent introduction to MapReduce and Hadoop

by Yanchang Zhao, RDataMining.com The lectures in week 3 of a free online course Introduction to Data Science give an excellent introduction to MapReduce and Hadoop, and demonstrate with examples how to use MapReduce to do various tasks, such as, … Continue reading →

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The "failure" of MOOCs and the ecological fallacy

July 19, 2013
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At first blush the news out of San Jose State that the partnership with Udacity is being temporarily suspended is bad news for MOOCs. It is particularly bad news since the main reason for the suspension is poor student performance … Continue reading →

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Prior distributions on derived quantities rather than on parameters themselves

July 19, 2013
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Following up on our discussion of the other day, Nick Firoozye writes: One thing I meant by my initial query (but really didn’t manage to get across) was this: I have no idea what my prior would be on many many models, but just like Utility Theory expects ALL consumers to attach a utility to […]The post Prior distributions on derived quantities rather than on parameters themselves appeared first on…

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Just one change evokes an entirely new world

July 19, 2013
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Just one change evokes an entirely new world

Before I get to normal programming, please note that today (Friday) is the last day to enter the contest to win my new book. Only three easy questions, and you may get a nice summer read, with my autograph. Enter...

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Defending clinical trials

July 19, 2013
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The New York Times has published some letters to the Editor in response to the piece by Clifton Leaf on clinical trials. You can also see our response here.

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Final day of Book Quiz

July 19, 2013
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Final day of Book Quiz

You still have until midnight Pacific Standard Time to enter the book quiz (link). The prize is a signed copy of Numbersense: How to use Big Data to Your Advantage. The sample pages (from Chapter 1) have been placed on Slideshare in case you don't like or can't read PDFs. *** Steroids are in the news again, with Tyson Gay, Asafa Powell, etc. testing positive recently. These are top names…

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I don’t always do regression, but when I do, I do it in SAS 9.4

July 19, 2013
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I don’t always do regression, but when I do, I do it in SAS 9.4

There are several exciting add-ins from SAS Analytics products running on v9.4, especially the SAS/STAT high performance procedures, where "high performance" refers to either in single-machine multi-threading mode or full distributed mode. HPGENSE...

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Using the power of sound to figure out which Simpsons character is speaking

July 19, 2013
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Using the power of sound to figure out which Simpsons character is speaking

Update: you can find the next post in this series here. In a previous post, I looked at transcripts of Simpsons episodes and tried to figure out which character was speaking which line. This worked decently, but it wasn’t great. It gave us memorable scenes like this one: 1 2 3 4 5 6 Homer : D'oh! A deer! A female deer. Marge : Son, you're okay! Bart : Dad,…

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Stochastic Oscillator

July 19, 2013
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Stochastic Oscillator

I came across the link to the John Ehlers paper: Predictive Indicators for Effective Trading Strategies, while reading the Dekalog Blog. John Ehlers offers a different way to smooth prices and incorporate the new filter into the oscillator construction. Fortunately, the EasyLanguage code was also provided and i was able to translate it into R. […]

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Using the power of sound to figure out which Simpsons character is speaking

July 18, 2013
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Using the power of sound to figure out which Simpsons character is speaking

Update: you can find the next post in this series here. In a previous post, I looked at transcripts of Simpsons episodes and tried to figure out which character was speaking which line. This worked decently, but it wasn't great. It gave us memorable scenes like this one: Homer : D'oh! A deer! A female deer. Marge : Son, you're okay! Bart : Dad, I can't let you sell him.…

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“How big is your chance of dying in an ordinary play?”

July 18, 2013
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At first glance, that’s what I thought Tyler Cowen was asking. I assumed he was asking about the characters, not the audience, as watching a play seems like a pretty safe activity (A. Lincoln excepted). Characters in plays die all the time. I wonder what the chance is? Something between 5% and 10%, I’d guess. […]The post “How big is your chance of dying in an ordinary play?” appeared first…

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You’ll get a high Type S error rate if you use classical statistical methods to analyze data from underpowered studies

July 18, 2013
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Brendan Nyhan sends me this article from the research-methods all-star team of Katherine Button, John Ioannidis, Claire Mokrysz, Brian Nosek, Jonathan Flint, Emma Robinson, and Marcus Munafo: A study with low statistical power has a reduced chance of detecting a true effect, but it is less well appreciated that low power also reduces the likelihood […]The post You’ll get a high Type S error rate if you use classical statistical…

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Data to use for in-class sampling exercises?

July 18, 2013
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Mark Street writes: I teach a high school (grade 11) statistics class outside the USA and I am always looking for hands-on demonstrations. In fact, last week (the start of our school year here), I did the in-class exercise about “guessing ages of ten pictures” (p. 11-13) from your book “Teaching Statistics – A Bag […]The post Data to use for in-class sampling exercises? appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal…

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Visualizing alternative outcomes in fantasy football

July 18, 2013
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Visualizing alternative outcomes in fantasy football

I generated a big data set when writing Chapter 8 of Numbersense. This chapter discusses the question of how to measure your skills in managing/coaching a fantasy sports team. The general statistical question is how to separately measure two factors...

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It’s Just Too Easy

July 18, 2013
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Once you’ve seen one visualization book, you’ve seen them all. They tend to all look similar, use the same examples, and don’t provide much depth. Is it too easy to write a book when you can use such compelling images? I’m reading a visualization book right now, and I’m disappointed. I don’t even blame this particular book, they all kind of look the same: lots of images, many of them…

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Lilac Bloomsday Run in Graphs

July 18, 2013
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Lilac Bloomsday Run in Graphs

UPDATE: THE BLOG/SITE HAS MOVED TO GITHUB. THE NEW LINK FOR THE BLOG/SITE IS patilv.github.io and THE LINK TO THIS POST IS: http://bit.ly/1obWRer. PLEASE UPDATE ANY BOOKMARKS YOU MAY HAVE. The Lilac Bloomsday Run is a 7.46 miles (12 kms) rac...

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Phil/Stat/Law: What Bayesian prior should a jury have? (Schachtman)

July 18, 2013
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Phil/Stat/Law: What Bayesian prior should a jury have? (Schachtman)

Nathan Schachtman, Esq., PC* emailed me the following interesting query a while ago: When I was working through some of the Bayesian in the law issues with my class, I raised the problem of priors of 0 and 1 being off “out of bounds” for a Bayesian analyst.  I didn’t realize then that the problem […]

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