Posts Tagged ‘ Travel ’

Astrostatistics school

October 17, 2017
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Astrostatistics school

What a wonderful week at the Astrostat [Indian] summer school in Autrans! The setting was superb, on the high Vercors plateau overlooking both Grenoble [north] and Valence [west], with the colours of the Fall at their brightest on the foliage of the forests rising on both sides of the valley and a perfect green on […]

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[summer Astrostat school] room with a view [jatp]

October 9, 2017
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[summer Astrostat school] room with a view [jatp]

I just arrived in Autrans, on the Plateau du Vercors overlooking Grenoble and the view is fabulistic! Trees have started to turn red and yellow, the weather is very mild, and my duties are restricted to teaching ABC to a group of enthusiastic astronomers and cosmologists..! Second advanced course on ABC in the mountains this […]

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RNG impact on MCMC [or lack thereof]

July 12, 2017
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RNG impact on MCMC [or lack thereof]

Following the talk at MCM 2017 about the strange impact of the random generator on the outcome of an MCMC generator, I tried in Montréal airport the following code on the banana target of Haario et al. (1999), copied from Soetaert and Laine and using the MCMC function of the FME package: library(FME) Banana <- […]

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Why Tesla owners pay more for insurance

June 6, 2017
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A nice article in Zerohedge about the recent rate hike for Tesla owners (link). Of course, Tesla is crying foul. The gist of the story is that Tesla owners tend to get into more crashes and the repair cost is higher than for other brands. The former is a matter of statistics - but also self-selection: in my limited encounters, the first things Tesla owners tell me about their cars…

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Ramp metering magic

May 1, 2017
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Here is a recent article giving some history on the invention of ramp meters, used on highways to mitigate congestion. I discuss this subject in Numbers Rule Your World (link). There is an interesting stochastic phenomenon underlying highway congestion. Ramp meters help by regulating the inflow of vehicles onto the highway, and prolonging the period of time by which the highway runs at full capacity. The key insight is that…

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Data sleaze: Uber and beyond

April 26, 2017
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There has been a barrage of negative publicity related to Uber recently. The latest salvo is a long article in the New York Times (link). This piece focuses on Uber's CEO, who was trained as a computer engineer, but my interest lies primarily in several revelations about how Uber collects and uses customer data. The key episode picked up by various outlets (e.g. TechCrunch, Wired) involves Uber "secretly identifying and…

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Sorting out what’s meaningful and what’s not

April 24, 2017
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Sorting out what’s meaningful and what’s not

A few weeks ago, the New York Times Upshot team published a set of charts exploring the relationship between school quality, home prices and commute times in different regions of the country. The following is the chart for the New...

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Context, color and animation: a nice effort

April 18, 2017
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Context, color and animation: a nice effort

What made this infographic from South Carolina Ports is the choice of contextual comparisons. The simple animation also helps. (Original here if the animated gif isn't working.) The random colors mean nothing but they did make me look at the...

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

April 12, 2017
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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…

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Statlearn17, Lyon

April 6, 2017
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Statlearn17, Lyon

Today and tomorrow, I am attending the Statlearn17 conference in Lyon, France. Which is a workshop with one-hour talks on statistics and machine learning. And which makes for the second workshop on machine learning in two weeks! Yesterday there were two tutorials in R, but I only took the train to Lyon this morning: it […]

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