Posts Tagged ‘ Behavior ’

Dispute over analysis of school quality and home prices shows social science is hard

April 24, 2017
By
Dispute over analysis of school quality and home prices shows social science is hard

Most of my friends with families fret over school quality when deciding where to buy their homes. It's well known that good school districts are also associated with expensive houses. A feedback cycle is at work here: home prices surge where there are good schools; only richer people can afford to buy such homes; wealth brings other advantages, and so the schools tend to have better students, which leads to…

Read more »

My pre-existing United boycott, and some musing on randomness and fairness

April 12, 2017
By

You probably already saw the video - if not, do yourself a favor, and search for "man forcibly removed from overbooked United flight." Other than the video evidence, which is damning, we don't have many facts, other than assertions made by various parties, repeated endlessly on social media and mainline media. Some facts, such as the United CEO claiming the passenger was "belligerent," is an assault on the meaning of…

Read more »

One statement employing two resistance tactics to fend off the data

March 10, 2017
By

I want to parse this statement by new EPA Chief Scott Pruitt, as quoted in this New York Times article: I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact, so no, I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see. I'm not going to talk about…

Read more »

Reading Everything is Obvious by Duncan Watts

February 15, 2017
By
Reading Everything is Obvious by Duncan Watts

In his book, Everything is Obvious (Once You Know the Answer): Why Common Sense Fails, Duncan Watts, a professor of sociology at Columbia, imparts urgent lessons that are as relevant to his students as to self-proclaimed data scientists. It takes only nominal effort to generate narrative structures that retrace the past, Watts contends, but developing lasting theory that produces valid predictions requires much more effort than common sense. Watts’s is…

Read more »

Pre-processing data is not just about correcting errors

January 30, 2017
By
Pre-processing data is not just about correcting errors

Exploration of IMDB rating data, by Kaiser Fung, founder of Principal Analytics Prep

Read more »

What do these items have in common?

December 19, 2016
By
What do these items have in common?

What do the following items have in common? A. Motion-detection light switch in your office that shuts off while you're typing at your computer B. Automatic flush that turns on while you're seated C. Voice-recognition system that picks up ambient noise and asks you to repeat something you didn't say D. Auto-correct software that flips a correct spelling to the wrong one you didn't anti-auto-correct the last time E. Fuzzy-logic…

Read more »

Why are GMAT scores going up?

October 11, 2016
By

In Chapter 1 of Numbersense (link), I went through an extensive list of shenanigans that can be used to trick the rankings of colleges and graduate schools. One of them is to allow students to submit the maximum of repeated sittings of GREs, LSATs, GMATs, etc. This tactic is unabashedly headlined in a recent Wall Street Journal article, "Test Redos Give GMAT Scores a Lift." (link) In the print edition,…

Read more »

Thank you Buzzfeed for noticing us humans

August 31, 2016
By

My friend John R. sent me this excellent Buzzfeed feature on music playlists. Here are some choice quotes to whet your appetite: In 2014, when Tim Cook explained Apple’s stunning $3 billion purchase of Beats by repeatedly invoking its “very rare and hard to find” team of music experts, he was talking about these guys. And their efforts since, which have pointed toward curated playlists (specifically, an industrial-scale trove of…

Read more »

GMO labeling is good science

August 18, 2016
By

A GMO labeling law has arrived in the US, albeit one that has no teeth (link). For those who don't want to click on the link, the law is passed in haste to pre-empt a more stringent Vermont law. The federal law defines GMO narrowly, businesses do not need to put word labels on packages (they can, for example, provide an 800-number), and violaters will not be punished. One of…

Read more »

Statistical thinking on my subway commute

August 16, 2016
By

So I recently moved and needed to find the optimal subway ride up to Columbia. I have been go back and forth between my two choices to collect some data to help make up my mind. Both routes require two train exchanges but only the first leg differs. In other words: Route 1 : A -> B -> C Route 2 : X -> B -> C Here, the "nodes"…

Read more »


Subscribe

Email:

  Subscribe