Moving to Paris!

December 12, 2009
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I'm extremely glad that finally I am moving to Paris to work as part of the INRIA crew. I'll be working with Gael Varoquaux and his team in an extremely cool Python related project (more to come on this in the following weeks). Granada has been a great...

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A statistical puzzle about averages I

December 9, 2009
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A statistical puzzle about averages I

I wrote this a few years ago for a departmental newsletter. For some reason the second part (with the answer) never got published. I stumbled across it almost by accident the other day and thought I'd share it. I'll publish the canonical answer in due ...

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Replications and reproducible research

December 2, 2009
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Replications and reproducible research

Reproducible research One of the best ways to get started with research in a new area is to try to replicate some existing research. In doing so, you will usually gain a much better understanding of the topic, and you will often discover some problems ...

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Replications and reproducible research

December 2, 2009
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Replications and reproducible research

Reproducible research One of the best ways to get started with research in a new area is to try to replicate some existing research. In doing so, you will usually gain a much better understanding of the topic, and you will often discover some problems ...

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Learning by video

November 24, 2009
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Learning by video

There are some nice online videos available on various aspects of statistics and mathematics that might be helpful to students trying to learn about new areas. A search on YouTube will lead to a few fairly basic videos. Statistics playlists Mathematic...

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Type II Error

November 23, 2009
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Type II Error

In hypothesis testing, a type II error is due to a failure of rejecting an invalid null hypothesis. The probability of avoiding a type II error is called the power of the hypothesis test, and is denoted by the quantity 1 - β . read more

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R functions for Dienes (2008) Understanding Psychology as a Science

November 17, 2009
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R functions for Dienes (2008) Understanding Psychology as a Science

I recently wrote a review of Understanding psychology as a science: an introduction to scientific and statistical inference by Zoltan Dienes (2008). Dienes' book covers Neyman-Pearson null hypothesis significance testing, Bayesian inference and the lik...

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R in Action – early thoughts

November 16, 2009
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R in Action – early thoughts

I was invited to review the book R in Action written by Rob Kabacoff. Since I consider the Quick-R website, created by the same smart guy, one of the most valuable resources about R, It is both an honor and a pleasure to have the opportunity to take an...

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Controlling figure and table placement in LaTeX

November 11, 2009
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Controlling figure and table placement in LaTeX

It can be frustrating trying to get your figures and tables to appear where you want them in a LaTeX document. Sometimes, they just seem to float off onto another page of their own accord. Here is a collection of tools and ideas that help you get contr...

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More on the evils of statistical tests

November 9, 2009
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More on the evils of statistical tests

Check out the two posts by Galit Shmueli over at Bzst on hypothesis tests: one on the value of p-values and another on one-sided tests. She says “Shockingly enough, people seem to really want to use p-values, even if they don’t understand t...

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Bioconductor 2.5 is out

October 29, 2009
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Bioconductor 2.5 is out

For all bioinformaticians and R users out there: the Bioconductor project  for the analysis and comprehension of genomic data is out! A lot of interesting new stuff! See the full announcement here.

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R 2.10.0 is Out!

October 26, 2009
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R 2.10.0 is Out!

The new R 2.10.0 is out! Get it from here. If you like take a look at these posts for some miscellaneous advices to make the upgrade easier. Feel free to contribute with suggestions about how to upgrade your R installation.

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Chi-square test of independence and the odds ratio

October 20, 2009
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Chi-square test of independence and the odds ratio

Every time I teach an introductory statistics course I'm struck by how difficult it is to run a simple 2 by 2 chi-square test of independence. SPSS is one of the worst culprits (but even in R it almost seems more trouble than it is worth to use a compu...

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Software for Surviving Graduate School Part 1

October 16, 2009
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Software for Surviving Graduate School Part 1

After introducing a colleague to the wonders of Dropbox today (more on that later) I realized that it might be useful to put out a list of software that is of use to graduate students. I often find that many of the software products I find indispensabl...

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"Elements of Statistical Learning" now online

October 15, 2009
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"Elements of Statistical Learning" now online

In the past couple of days, the authors of several blogs have noted that the wonderful book The Elements of Statistical Learning: Data Mining, Inference, and Prediction by Hastie, Tibshirani and Friedman (2nd ed., 2009) is now available for free downlo...

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Using personal pronouns in research writing

October 15, 2009
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Using personal pronouns in research writing

Should you use “I” or “we” or neither in your thesis or paper? Thoughts on this have changed over the years. Traditionally, using personal pronouns like “I” and “we” was frowned on. Instead of saying &ldq...

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The Elements of Statistical Learning

October 14, 2009
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The Elements of Statistical Learning

The Elements of Statistical Learning written by Trevor Hastie, Robert Tibshirani and Jerome Friedman is A-MUST-TO-READ for everyone involved in the data mining field! Now you can legally download a copy of the book in pdf format from the authors websit...

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Attending research seminars

October 14, 2009
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Attending research seminars

Most research students don’t seem to attend seminars. When asked, they usually say the seminars are not on their topic, or they don’t understand them, or they find them boring, or some other similar reason. I think this is because students ...

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Squeezing space with LaTeX

October 14, 2009
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Squeezing space with LaTeX

I’ve been writing a grant application with a 10-page limit, and as usual it is difficult to squeeze everything in. No, I can’t just change the font as it has to be 12 point with at least 2 cm margins on an A4 page. Fortunately, LaTeX is pac...

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Converting eps to pdf

October 1, 2009
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Converting eps to pdf

Simply include the package epstopdf. Then when you use pdflatex, the eps files will be automatically converted to pdf at compile time. (The conversion only happens the first time you process the file, and is skipped if there is already a pdf file with ...

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The 7 secrets of highly successful PhD students

September 28, 2009
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The 7 secrets of highly successful PhD students

It seems everyone has 7 secrets to success, and now someone has hopped on the 7-secrets bandwagon with something for PhD students. Thinkwell is an Australian company offering a seminar and associated work book on “The 7 secrets of highly successf...

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Writing an abstract

September 27, 2009
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Writing an abstract

The abstract is probably the most important part of a paper. Many readers will not read anything else, so you need to grab their attention and get your main message across as clearly and succinctly as possible. It is not meant to be an introduction to ...

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Workflow in R

September 18, 2009
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Workflow in R

This came up recently on StackOverflow. One of the answers was particularly helpful and I thought it might be worth mentioning here. The idea presented there is to break the code into four files, all stored in your project directory. These four files a...

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