Posts Tagged ‘ science ’

Around the blogosphere

July 10, 2014
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A number of folks have reacted to various blogs and talks I have recently given. I'm glad that my writing has inspired others, and I recommend reading these wonderful responses. *** Diane Ravitch, the eminent scholar of New York education and author of several great books, found my 2011 post about Bill Gates's view of education. Here is her reaction: How refreshing to know that statisticians like Kaiser Fung are…

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The Facebook experiment controversy

July 1, 2014
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Facebook data scientists are being blasted for a social psychology experiment they ran in 2012 in which they varied the amount of positive/negative content exposed to users in newsfeeds and measured whether this affected the positive/negative content posted by those users. (link to WSJ report; link to paper) I'm perplexed by the reaction. Boing Boing's Cory Doctorow calls it "likely illegal", who links to James Grimmelmann, a law professor. Slate…

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How to read Big Data studies

June 25, 2014
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This is part 3 of my response to Gelman's post about the DST/heart attacks study. The previous parts are here and here. One of the keys of vetting any Big Data/OCCAM study is taking note of the decisions made by the researchers in conducting the analysis. Most of these decisions involve subjective adjustments or unverifiable assumptions. Not that either of those things are inherently bad - indeed, any analysis one…

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Binge Reading Gelman

June 23, 2014
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Binge Reading Gelman

As others binge watch Netflix TV, I binge read Gelman posts, while riding a train with no wifi and a dying laptop battery. (This entry was written two weeks ago.) Andrew Gelman is statistics’ most prolific blogger. Gelman-binging has become a necessity since I have not managed to keep up with his accelerated posting schedule. Earlier this year, he began publishing previews of future posts, one week in advance, and…

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What the DST researchers actually found

June 16, 2014
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What the DST researchers actually found

To add to my prior post, having now read the published paper on the effect of DST on heart attacks, I can confirm that I disagree with the way the publicist hired by the journal messaged the research conclusion. And some of the fault lies with the researchers themselves who appear to have encouraged the exaggerated claim. Here is the summary of the research as written up by the researchers…

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Another PR effort to scare you into clicking

June 11, 2014
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Another PR effort to scare you into clicking

From Andrew Gelman's blog, I learned about a paper that makes the claim that daylight savings time could kill you. (Andrew links to this abstract, which is from a poster presentation at a meeting of the American College of Cardiology, and later published as a supplement in the ACC Journal; one of his readers found the published paper.) There is also a press release sponsored by the Journal with the…

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Know your data 15: the false promise of data correction

June 5, 2014
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It's a good thing that FTC is making some noise about regulating the snooping done by online services. (link) It's not a good thing that the measures described in the article ("tools to view, suppress and fix the information") do not solve the fundamental problem, and are likely counter-productive. What's the fundamental problem? Imagine a world in which you walk into your supermarket. When you check out, you are required…

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Title IX, causal claims, and plausibility in statistics

May 21, 2014
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Andrew Gelman discusses a paper and blog post by Ian Ayres on the Freakonomics blog. Their main result is summarized as: We find that a ten percentage-point increase in state-level female sports participation generates a five to six percentage-point rise in the rate of female secularism, a five percentage-point increase in the proportion of women who are mothers, and a six percentage-point rise in the proportion of mothers who, at…

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Upcoming Meetings

May 19, 2014
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(This post is cross-posted on my two blogs.) Posting will be light this week, as I prepare for a number of meetings. Please come find me if you are in the neighborhood. On May 20 (this Tuesday), I am the Banquet Speaker at the Midwest Biopharmaceutical Statistics Workshop (MBSW), to be held in Munice, Indiana on the Ball State campus. More information on this event here. I will be talking…

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Several upcoming presentations

May 19, 2014
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For information on upcoming meetings in which I am presenting, see this post on the sister blog.

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