Choosing reference levels

April 28, 2012
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Choosing reference levels

Reader Jordan G. submitted this infographics (via Business Insider) to Junk Charts, my other blog about graphical presentation of data. Graphically, the chart has nothing to commend itself but the most annoying failure is the awful choice of statistics. Stating the Trivial Regarding Pandora, the chart tells us 18.7 million hours of streamed music per day (across many millions of computers) is equal to one computer streaming music for more…

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Positive comments on peer review

April 27, 2012
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Positive comments on peer review

We all complain about peer review, particularly when our best work is rejected by every journal from Nature Genetics down to that journal that will publish anything, so that it finally appears in a volume to honor some guy that only he will read. However, sometimes an anonymous reviewer will identify an important flaw in [...]

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R Workshop: Reproducible Research using Sweave for Beginers

April 27, 2012
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R Workshop: Reproducible Research using Sweave for Beginers

Monday, April 30, 2012  14h-16h. Stewart Biology Rm w6/12 (Montreal) guRu: Denis Haine (Université de Montréal) Topics Reproducible research was first coined by Pr. Jon Claerbout, professor of geophysics at Stanford University, to describe that the results from researches can be replicated by other scientists by making available data, procedures, materials and the computational environment

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People in positions of power that don’t understand statistics are a big problem for genomics

April 27, 2012
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People in positions of power that don’t understand statistics are a big problem for genomics

I finally got around to reading the IOM report on translational omics and it is very good. The report lays out problems with current practices and how these led to undesired results such as the now infamous Duke trials and the growth in retraction...

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Confusing Statistical Term #6: Factor

April 27, 2012
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Confusing Statistical Term #6: Factor

Factor is tricky much in the same way as hierarchical and beta, because it too has different meanings in different contexts. Factor might be a little worse, though, because its meanings are related. In both meanings, a factor is a variable. But a factor has a completely different meaning and implications for use in two different contexts. Factor analysis In factor analysis, a factor is an unmeasured, latent variable, that…

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How variable are percentiles?

April 27, 2012
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How variable are percentiles?

Suppose you’re trying to study the distribution of something by simulation. The average of your simulation values gives you an estimate of the mean value of the thing you’re simulating. Next you want to have an idea how much the thing you’re simulating varies. You estimate the percentiles of your distribution by the percentiles of your [...]

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Numbers behind “Why China Loves ‘Titanic’ So Much: A Theory”

April 27, 2012
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Numbers behind “Why China Loves ‘Titanic’ So Much: A Theory”

The Wall Street Journal weighs in on this question:”why does the film ‘Titanic’ have such a crushing vice grip on the hearts of Chinese moviegoers?” The article cites numbers: In its opening weekend in China, the film’s box office sales hit $67 million, marketing the largest opening in history, according to 20th Century Fox. In the U.S., [...]

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Flooding the Himalayas

April 27, 2012
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Flooding the Himalayas

Just a quick post today as I've been traveling. Reader Chris P. sent in this map showing tsunami risk around the world: I don't have a larger version but here is Chris's comment: Not that residents of Lake Tahoe should...

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【Bio-Glossary】Microbiome

April 26, 2012
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【Bio-Glossary】Microbiome

I just came back from the talk, “Statistical Methods for Analysis of Gut Microbiome Data” , given by Professor Hongzhe Lee from University of Pennysylvania. I learned this new biological name: Microbiome—-as extended human genomes. A microbiome is the totality of microbes, their genetic elements (genomes), and environmental interactions in a particular environment. The term [...]

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Gaussian Free Field

April 26, 2012
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Gaussian Free Field

Today, there will be a talk,  Imaginary Geometry and the Gaussian Free Field, given by Jason Miller from Microsoft Research. I just googled it and found the following interesting materials: Gaussian free fields for mathematicians Gaussian free field and conformal field theory: In these expository lectures, it gives an elementary introduction to conformal field theory [...]

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Nature is hiring a data editor…how will they make sense of the data?

April 26, 2012
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It looks like the journal Nature is hiring a Chief Data Editor (link via Hilary M.). It looks like the primary purpose of this editor is to develop tools for collecting, curating, and distributing data with the goal of improving reproducible research....

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R Tips: lots of tips for R programming

April 26, 2012
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R Tips: lots of tips for R programming

by Yanchang Zhao, RDataMining.com There are more than 100 R tips at http://pj.freefaculty.org/R/Rtips.html, which provide quick examples to small challenges in everyday R programming, especially for users switching from other languages to R. There is also a .PDF version for … Continue reading →

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Installing R packages without admin rights on MS Windows

April 26, 2012
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Installing R packages without admin rights on MS Windows

Is there a life outside the office?Photo: Markus Gesmann It is not unusual that you will not have admin rights in an IT controlled office environment. But then again the limitations set by the IT department can spark of some creativity. And I have to...

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A EuroVis Survival Guide, Part 1

April 26, 2012
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A EuroVis Survival Guide, Part 1

EuroVis 2012 is only about six weeks away, so if you haven't booked your travel or hotel, now is the time. Here are a few pointers on where to stay, transportation options in Vienna, etc.

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Graphing Predicted Legislative Violence with Zelig & ggplot2

April 26, 2012
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Graphing Predicted Legislative Violence with Zelig & ggplot2

In my previous post I briefly mentioned an early draft of a working paper (HERE) I've written that looks into the possible causes of violence between legislators (like the violence shown in this picture from the Turkish Parliament).  From The Gua...

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Late-April flotsam

April 26, 2012
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Late-April flotsam

It has been month and a half since I compiled a list of statistical/programming internet flotsam and jetsam. Via Lambda The Ultimate: Evaluating the Design of the R Language: Objects and Functions For Data Analysis (PDF). A very detailed evaluation … Continue reading →

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Microarrays suck

April 25, 2012
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Microarrays suck

Maybe it’s just that I’m stupid and haven’t been paying proper attention to Rafa’s work in the past decade, but microarray data have really been kicking my ass the last few weeks. Here are a few of the lessons that I’ve re-learned. Lesson 1: What the hell is that? Many (or all) of my interesting [...]

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Big Data, R and HANA: Analyze 200 Million Data Points and Later Visualize in HTML5 Using D3 – Part II

April 25, 2012
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Big Data, R and HANA: Analyze 200 Million Data Points and Later Visualize in HTML5 Using D3 – Part II

In my last blog, Big Data, R and SAP HANA: Analyze 200 Million Data Points and Later Visualize Using Google Maps, I analyzed historical airlines performance data set using R and SAP HANA and put the aggregated analysis on Google Maps.  Undoub...

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Fog warning system: part three

April 25, 2012
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Fog warning system: part three

Background: I am trying to evaluate the effect on traffic safety of a fog warning system deployed in California in November 1996.  The system was installed by CalTrans on a section of I-5 and SR-120 near Stockton where the accident rate is g...

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Live Longer – Choose Your Country Wisely (if you can)

April 25, 2012
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Live Longer – Choose Your Country Wisely (if you can)

Full democracy countries are the ones in which to live.This week's story could start and end with the above graph with almost no further explanation.But that wouldn't do it justice.So, like so many of the past articles on "Graph of the Week", a bit of ...

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How do I know if my figure is too complicated?

April 25, 2012
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One of the key things every statistician needs to learn is how to create informative figures and graphs. Sometimes, it is easy to use off-the-shelf plots like barplots, histograms, or if one is truly desperate a pie-chart.  But sometimes the informat...

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Trying Out WordPress

April 25, 2012
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Trying Out WordPress

I’ve had my site http://r4stats.com on Google Sites for a few years now and it’s time to try something new. Most of the articles there are not very blog-like. For example, The Popularity of Data Analysis Software is an article … Continue reading →

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One dollar = one dollar?

April 25, 2012
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One dollar = one dollar?

A dollar is a dollar, no more, no less. But why did someone spend  $70,000 in advertisements inside the  D.C. subway station for keeping the dollar bill, instead of going with one dollar coin? One ad says: “Tell Congress to stop wasting time trying to eliminate the dollar bill.” Another asks: “Do you heart the dollar?” Apparently, one [...]

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