Posts Tagged ‘ Probability and Statistics ’

Timid medical research

April 15, 2014
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Cancer research is sometimes criticized for being timid. Drug companies run enormous trials looking for small improvements. Critics say they should run smaller trials and more of them. Which side is correct depends on what’s out there waiting to be…Read more ›

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The mean of the mean is the mean

April 9, 2014
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The mean of the mean is the mean

There’s a theorem in statistics that says You could read this aloud as “the mean of the mean is the mean.” More explicitly, it says that the expected value of the average of some number of samples from some distribution…Read more ›

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On replacing calculus with statistics

March 7, 2014
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Russ Roberts had this to say about the proposal to replacing the calculus requirement with statistics for students. Statistics is in many ways much more useful for most students than calculus. The problem is, to teach it well is extraordinarily…Read more ›

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Nomenclatural abomination

March 4, 2014
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David Hogg calls conventional statistical notation a “nomenclatural abomination”: The terminology used throughout this document enormously overloads the symbol p(). That is, we are using, in each line of this discussion, the function p() to mean something different; its meaning…Read more ›

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Some fields produce more false results than others

December 19, 2013
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John Ioannidis stirred up a healthy debate when he published Why Most Published Research Findings Are False. Unfortunately, most of the discussion has been over whether the word “most” is correct, i.e. whether the proportion of false results is more…Read more ›

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Elusive statistics

November 12, 2013
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From Controversies in the Foundations of Statistics by Bradley Efron: Statistics seems to be a difficult subject for mathematicians, perhaps because its elusive and wide-ranging character mitigates against the traditional theorem-proof method of presentation. It may come as some comfort…Read more ›

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Deriving distributions vs fitting distributions

October 21, 2013
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Sometimes you can derive a probability distributions from a list of properties it must have. For example, there are several properties that lead inevitably to the normal distribution or the Poisson distribution. Although such derivations are attractive, they don’t apply…Read more ›

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Bayes : Python :: Frequentist : Perl

July 13, 2013
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Bayesian statistics is to Python as frequentist statistics is to Perl. Perl has the slogan “There’s more than one way to do it,” abbreviated TMTOWTDI and pronouced “tim toady.” Perl prides itself on variety. Python takes the opposite approach. The…Read more ›

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Disappointing title

July 3, 2013
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I caught a glimpse of a book in a library this morning and thought the title was “Statistics for People Who Think.” Sounds like a great book! But the title was actually “Statistics for People Who (Think They) Hate Statistics”…Read more ›

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Antihubrisines

July 3, 2013
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From John Tukey’s Sunset Salvo: Our suffering sinuses are now frequently relieved by antihistamines. Our suffering philosophy — whether implicit or explicit — of data analysis, or of statistics, or of science and technology needs to be far more frequently…Read more ›

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