My week at ISBA (2)

June 17, 2016
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I should add to my previous post that while there have been many very good talks, I thought two were incredibly good: David Spiegelhalter's Foundational lecture on Monday and Adrian Raftery's talk in a session on Bayesian Demography that was very inter...

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My week at ISBA

June 17, 2016
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I've spent the last few days in beautiful Sardinia for the ISBA world conference. The place is outstanding, really beautiful, although it's kind of weird that there is no real town along the cost for miles and miles. Leaving Cagliari and driving for ov...

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Comment on network analysis of online ISIS activity

June 16, 2016
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Two different journalists asked me about this paper, “New online ecology of adversarial aggregates: ISIS and beyond,” N. F. Johnson, M. Zheng, Y. Vorobyeva, A. Gabriel, H. Qi, N. Velasquez, P. Manrique, D. Johnson, E. Restrepo, C. Song, S. Wuchty, a paper that begins: Support for an extremist entity such as Islamic State (ISIS) somehow […] The post Comment on network analysis of online ISIS activity appeared first on Statistical…

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What is a distribution?

June 16, 2016
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What is a distribution?

This article uses object-oriented programming to explore of one of the most useful concepts in statistics, distributions.  The code is in a Jupyter notebook.You can read a static version of the notebook on nbviewer.ORYou can run the code in a brow...

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research-lies-allegations-windpipe-surgery

June 16, 2016
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research-lies-allegations-windpipe-surgery

Paul Alper pointed me to this news article with the delightful url, “superstar-doctor-fired-from-swedish-institute-over-research-lies-allegations-windpipe-surgery.” Also here. It reminded me of this discussion from last year. Damn, those...

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What doesn’t help readers (on the chart) and what does help (off the chart)

June 16, 2016
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What doesn’t help readers (on the chart) and what does help (off the chart)

Via Twitter, Bart S (@BartSchuijt) sent me to this TechCrunch article, which contains several uninspiring charts. The most disturbing one is this: There is a classic Tufte class here: only five numbers and yet the chart is so confusing. And...

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You’ll never guess what I’ll say about this paper claiming election fraud! (OK, actually probably you can guess.)

June 16, 2016
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Glenn Chisholm writes: As a frequent visitor of your blog (a bit of a long time listener first time caller comment I know) I saw this particular controversy: Summary: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6mLpCEIGEYGYl9RZWFRcmpsZk0/view?pref=2&pli=1 Very superficial analysis: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1SdmBLFW9gISaqOyyz_fATgaFupI2-n6vWx80XRGUVBo/edit?pref=2&pli=1 and was interested if I could get you to blog on its actual statistic foundations, this particular paper has at least […] The post You’ll never guess what I’ll say about this paper claiming election fraud!…

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Objects of the class “Pauline Kael”

June 15, 2016
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A woman who’s arguably the top person ever in a male-dominated field. Steve Sailer introduced the category and entered Pauline Kael (top film critic) as its inaugural member. I followed up with Alice Waters (top chef/restaurateur), Mata Hari (top spy), Agatha Christie (top mystery writer), and Helen Keller (top person who overcame a disability; sorry, […] The post Objects of the class “Pauline Kael” appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal…

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Overlay plots on a box plot in SAS: Continuous X axis

June 15, 2016
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Overlay plots on a box plot in SAS: Continuous X axis

I have previously shown how to overlay basic plots on box plots when all plots share a common discrete X axis. It is interesting to note that box plots can also be overlaid on a continuous (interval) axis. You often need to bin the data before you create the plot. […] The post Overlay plots on a box plot in SAS: Continuous X axis appeared first on The DO Loop.

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Indicator Saturation Estimation

June 15, 2016
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In an earlier post, "Fixed Effects Without Panel Data",  I argued that you could allow for (and indeed estimate) fixed effects in pure cross sections (i.e., no need for panel data) by using regularization estimators like LASSO. The idea is to fit ...

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Bayesian Statistics for Undergrads

June 14, 2016
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Bayesian Statistics for Undergrads

Yesterday Sanjoy Mahajan and I led a workshop on teaching Bayesian statistics for undergraduates.  The participants were college teachers from around New England, including Norwich University in Vermont and Wesleyan University in Connecticut, as w...

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“Smaller Share of Women Ages 65 and Older Are Living Alone,” before and after age adjusment

June 14, 2016
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“Smaller Share of Women Ages 65 and Older Are Living Alone,” before and after age adjusment

After noticing this from a recent Pew Research report: Ben Hanowell wrote: This made me [Hanowell] think of your critique of Case and Deaton’s finding about non-Hispanic mortality. I wonder how much these results are driven by the fact that the population of adults aged 65 and older has gotten older with increasing lifespans, etc […] The post “Smaller Share of Women Ages 65 and Older Are Living Alone,” before…

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Ultimate AI battle – Apple vs. Google

June 14, 2016
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Ultimate AI battle – Apple vs. Google

Yesterday, Apple launched its Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) and had its public keynote address. While many new things were announced, the one thing that caught my eye was the dramatic expansion of Apple’s use of artificial intelligence (A...

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Le Monde puzzle [#965]

June 13, 2016
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Le Monde puzzle [#965]

A game-related Le Monde mathematical puzzle: Starting with a pile of 10⁴ tokens, Bob plays the following game: at each round, he picks one of the existing piles with at least 3 tokens, takes away one of the tokens in this pile, and separates the remaining ones into two non-empty piles of arbitrary size. Bob […]

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The answer is the Edlin factor

June 13, 2016
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Garnett McMillan writes: You have argued about the pervasive role of the Garden of Forking Paths in published research. Given this influence, do you think that it is sensible to use published research to inform priors in new studies? My reply: Yes, I think you can use published research but in doing so you should […] The post The answer is the Edlin factor appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal…

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They threatened to sue Mike Spagat but that’s not shutting him up

June 13, 2016
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Mike Spagat, famous for blowing the whistle on that Iraq survey (the so-called Lancet study) ten years ago, writes: I’ve just put up the story about how a survey research company threatened to sue me to keep me quiet. I’ve also put up a lot of data that readers can analyse if they want to […] The post They threatened to sue Mike Spagat but that’s not shutting him up…

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On deck this week

June 13, 2016
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Mon: They threatened to sue Mike Spagat but that’s not shutting him up Tues: “Smaller Share of Women Ages 65 and Older Are Living Alone,” before and after age adjusment Wed: Objects of the class “Pauline Kael” Thurs: research-lies-allegations-windpipe-surgery Fri: Hey—here’s a tip from the biology literature: If your correlation is .02, try binning your […] The post On deck this week appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and…

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Overlay plots on a box plot in SAS: Discrete X axis

June 13, 2016
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Overlay plots on a box plot in SAS: Discrete X axis

Box plots summarize the distribution of a continuous variable. You can display multiple box plots in a single graph by specifying a categorical variable. The resulting graph shows the distribution of subpopulations, such as different experimental groups. In the SGPLOT procedure, you can use the CATEGORY= option on the VBOX […] The post Overlay plots on a box plot in SAS: Discrete X axis appeared first on The DO Loop.

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Good list of good books

June 13, 2016
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The MultiThreaded blog over at Stitch Fix (hat tip to Hilary Parker) has posted a really nice list of data science books (disclosure: one of my books is on the list). We’ve queried our data science team for some of their favorite data science boo...

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How to Cut Your Planks with R

June 12, 2016
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How to Cut Your Planks with R

Today I’m extraordinarily pleased because today I solved an actuall real world problem using R. Sure, I’ve solved many esoteric statistical problems with R, but I’m not sure if any of those solutions have escaped the digital world and made some...

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How to design a survey so that Mister P will work well?

June 12, 2016
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How to design a survey so that Mister P will work well?

Barry Quinn writes: I would like some quick advice on survey design literature, specifically any good references you would have when designing a good online survey to allow for some decent hierarchal modeling? My quick response is that during the opening you should already be thinking about the endgame. In this case, the endgame is […] The post How to design a survey so that Mister P will work well?…

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Log Sum of Exponentials for Robust Sums on the Log Scale

June 11, 2016
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This is a public service announcement in the interest of more robust numerical calculations. Like matrix inverse, exponentiation is bad news. It’s prone to overflow or underflow. Just try this in R: > exp(-800) > exp(800) That’s not rounding error you see. The first one evaluates to zero (underflows) and the second to infinity (overflows). […] The post Log Sum of Exponentials for Robust Sums on the Log Scale appeared…

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No, I’m not convinced by this one either.

June 11, 2016
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No, I’m not convinced by this one either.

Alex Gamma sends along a recently published article by Carola Salvi, Irene Cristofori, Jordan Grafman, and Mark Beeman, along with the note: This might be of interest to you, since it’s political science and smells bad. From The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: Two groups of 22 college students each identified as conservatives or liberals […] The post No, I’m not convinced by this one either. appeared first on Statistical…

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