Designing a quantile bin plot

September 24, 2014
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Designing a quantile bin plot

While at JSM 2014 in Boston, a statistician asked me whether it was possible to create a "customized bin plot" in SAS. When I asked for more information, she told me that she has a large data set. She wants to visualize the data, but a scatter plot is not […]

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a weird beamer feature…

September 23, 2014
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a weird beamer feature…

As I was preparing my slides for my third year undergraduate stat course, I got a weird error that got a search on the Web to unravel: which was related with a fragile environment but not directly the verbatim part: the reason for the bug was that the \end{frame} command did not have a line […]

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Factors are not first-class citizens in R

September 23, 2014
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Factors are not first-class citizens in R

The primary user-facing data types in the R statistical computing environment behave as vectors. That is: one dimensional arrays of scalar values that have a nice operational algebra. There are additional types (lists, data frames, matrices, environments, and so-on) but the most common data types are vectors. In fact vectors are so common in R … Continue reading Factors are not first-class citizens in R → Related posts: R has…

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Thematic Maps Revisited

September 23, 2014
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Thematic Maps Revisited

A month ago ONS did an excellent job in hosting The Graphical Web 2014 conference in Winchester/UK under the theme …Continue reading →

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Why I’m still not persuaded by the claim that subliminal smiley-faces can have big effects on political attitudes

September 23, 2014
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Why I’m still not persuaded by the claim that subliminal smiley-faces can have big effects on political attitudes

We had a discussion last month on the sister blog regarding the effects of subliminal messages on political attitudes.  It started with a Larry Bartels post entitled “Here’s how a cartoon smiley face punched a big hole in democratic theory,” with the subtitle, “Fleeting exposure to ‘irrelevant stimuli’ powerfully shapes our assessments of policy arguments,” discussing the […]

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Managing R package dependencies

September 23, 2014
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Managing R package dependencies

One of my take aways from last week's EARL conference was that R is more and more growing out of its academic roots into the enterprise. And with that come some challenges, e.g. how do I ensure consistent and systematic access to a set of R packages in...

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G.A. Barnard: The Bayesian “catch-all” factor: probability vs likelihood

September 23, 2014
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G.A. Barnard: The Bayesian “catch-all” factor: probability vs likelihood

Today is George Barnard’s birthday. In honor of this, I have typed in an exchange between Barnard, Savage (and others) on an important issue that we’d never gotten around to discussing explicitly (on likelihood vs probability). Please share your thoughts. The exchange is from pp 79-84 (of what I call) “The Savage Forum” (Savage, 1962)[i]  ♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠ BARNARD:…Professor Savage, as […]

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“How to disrupt the multi-billion dollar survey research industry”

September 22, 2014
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David Rothschild (coauthor of the Xbox study, the Mythical Swing Voter paper, and of course the notorious Aapor note) will be speaking Friday 10 Oct in the Economics and Big Data meetup in NYC. His title: “How to disrupt the multi-billion dollar survey research industry: information aggregation using non-representative polling data.” Should be fun! P.P.S. […]

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What is Cluster Analysis? A Projective Test

September 22, 2014
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What is Cluster Analysis? A Projective Test

Supposedly, projective tests (e.g., the inkblots of psychoanalysis) contain sufficient ambiguity that "what you see" reveals some aspect of your thinking that has escaped your awareness. Although the following will provide no insight into your neurotic...

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Unbundling the educational package

September 22, 2014
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I just got back from the World Economic Forum's summer meeting in Tianjin, China and there was much talk of disruption and innovation there. Basically, if you weren't disrupting, you were furniture. Perhaps not surprisingly, one topic area that was … Continue reading →

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Some will spam you with a six-gun and some with a fountain pen

September 22, 2014
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Some will spam you with a six-gun and some with a fountain pen

A few weeks ago the following came in the email: Dear Professor Gelman, I am writing you because I am a prospective doctoral student with considerable interest in your research. My name is Xian Zhao, but you can call me by my English name Alex, a student from China. My plan is to apply to […]

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On deck this week

September 22, 2014
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Mon: Some will spam you with a six-gun and some with a fountain pen Tues: Why I’m still not persuaded by the claim that subliminal smiley-faces can have big effects on political attitudes Wed: Study published in 2011, followed by successful replication in 2003 [sic] Thurs: Waic for time series Fri: MA206 Program Director’s Memorandum Sat: “An […]

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Prelude to a Mind-Blowing Result

September 22, 2014
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A mind-blowing optimal prediction result will come next week. This post sets the stage.My earlier post, "Musings on Prediction Under Asymmetric Loss," got me thinking and re-thinking about the predictive conditions under which the conditional mean is o...

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Skew this

September 22, 2014
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Skew this

The skewness of a distribution indicates whether a distribution is symmetric or not. A distribution that is symmetric about its mean has zero skewness. In contrast, if the right tail of a unimodal distribution has more mass than the left tail, then the distribution is said to be "right skewed" […]

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Installing R/RStudio on Ubuntu 14.04

September 22, 2014
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My last experience with Linux was back in 2002/2003. At that time pretty much everything on Linux was done in the console. I remmember struggling for days with a simple Wifi connection because drivers were not readily available. Things have changed dramatically since then. Last week I installed Linux (Ubuntu 14.04)  on an old Windows laptop. […]

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new kids on the block

September 21, 2014
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new kids on the block

This summer, for the first time, I took three Dauphine undergraduate students into research projects thinking they had had enough R training (with me!) and several stats classes to undertake such projects. In all cases, the concept was pre-defined and “all they had to do” was running a massive flow of simulations in R (or […]

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Effective risk management with R

September 21, 2014
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Effective risk management with R

Conference The first EARL Conference (Effective Applications of the R Language) was held 2014 September 15-17 in London. Talk My talk was “Effective risk management with R” (annotated slides). Instability hypothesis When I was preparing for the talk, one of my ideas was to show the Google trend for searches for Minsky’s instability hypothesis.  I … Continue reading →

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Listicles: Where Stats are Popular

September 21, 2014
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Listicles: Where Stats are Popular

  There are many forms statistical information can be published. In most cases Official Statistics use press releases or reports …Continue reading →

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I can’t think of a good title for this one.

September 21, 2014
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I can’t think of a good title for this one.

Andrew Lee writes: I recently read in the MIT Technology Review about some researchers claiming to remove “bias” from the wisdom of crowds by focusing on those more “confident” in their views. I [Lee] was puzzled by this result/claim because I always thought that people who (1) are more willing to reassess their priors and […]

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Trying dplyr on triathon data

September 21, 2014
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Trying dplyr on triathon data

There was a triathlon in Almere last week, like every year since 1983. I pulled the data of all years to get some idea how things have changed in that sport. To get a visual I decided to plot the best 10% athletes. Then later I decided this was an idea...

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Statistical Theater of the Absurd: “Stat on a Hot Tin Roof”

September 21, 2014
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Statistical Theater of the Absurd: “Stat on a Hot Tin Roof”

Memory lane: Did you ever consider how some of the colorful exchanges among better-known names in statistical foundations could be the basis for high literary drama in the form of one-act plays (even if appreciated by only 3-7 people in the world)? (Think of the expressionist exchange between Bohr and Heisenberg in Michael Frayn’s play […]

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Probability Theory Problems

September 21, 2014
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Probability Theory Problems

Let's have fun on probability theory, here is my first problem set in the said subject.ProblemsIt was noted that statisticians who follow the deFinetti school do not accept the Axiom of Countable Additivity, instead adhering to the Axiom of Finite Addi...

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FPP now available as a downloadable e-book

September 21, 2014
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FPP now available as a downloadable e-book

My forecasting textbook with George Athanasopoulos is already available online (for free), and in print via Amazon (for under $40). Now we have made it available as a downloadable e-book via Google Books (for $15.55). The Google Books version is identical to the print version on Amazon (apart from a few typos that have been fixed). To use […]

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