Posts

March 02, 2015

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8:00 PM | Rembrandt van Rijn (2) vs. Bertrand Russell
For yesterday, the most perceptive comment came from Slugger: Rabbit Angstrom is a perfect example of the life that the Buddha warns against. He is a creature of animal passions who never gains any enlightenment. In any case, I think we can all agree that Buddha is a far more interesting person than Updike. But, […] The post Rembrandt van Rijn (2) vs. Bertrand Russell appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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3:00 PM | What hypothesis testing is all about. (Hint: It’s not what you think.)
I’ve said it before but it’s worth saying again. The conventional view: Hyp testing is all about rejection. The idea is that if you reject the null hyp at the 5% level, you have a win, you have learned that a certain null model is false and science has progressed, either in the glamorous “scientific […] The post What hypothesis testing is all about. (Hint: It’s not what you think.) appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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2:00 PM | On deck this week
Mon: What hypothesis testing is all about. (Hint: It’s not what you think.) Rembrandt van Rijn (2) vs. Betrand Russell Tues: One simple trick to make Stan run faster George Carlin (2) vs. Barbara Kruger Wed: I actually think this infographic is ok Bernard-Henry Levy (3) vs. Jacques Derrida Thurs: Defaults, once set, are hard […] The post On deck this week appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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1:18 PM | market static
[Heard in the local market, while queuing for cheese:] – You took too much! – Maybe, but remember your sister is staying for two days. – My sister…, as usual, she will take a big serving and leave half of it! – Yes, but she will make sure to finish the bottle of wine!Filed under: […]
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12:17 PM | Two articles on understanding statistical error
Today I want to share two articles today which call on the public to try to understand scientific error at a deeper level than we do now. First, an academic journal called Basic and Applied Social Psychology (BASP) has decided to ban articles using p-values. This was written up in Nature news (hat tip Nikki Leger) […]
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9:17 AM | catch my post at the Wiley Exchanges blog
It’s been quiet around here — too much work behind the scenes — BUT you can still read some of my usual incessant babbling over at the Wiley Exchanges Blog where I write about MathML and its role in Making …
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4:57 AM | Michael Harris on Elster on Montaigne on Diagoras on Abraham Wald
Michael Harris — who is now blogging! — points out that Montaigne very crisply got to the point I make in How Not To Be Wrong about survivorship bias, Abraham Wald, and the missing bullet holes: Here, for example, is how Montaigne explains the errors in reasoning that lead people to believe in the accuracy of divinations: […]
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3:16 AM | Graphemes
Here’s something amusing I ran across in the glossary of Programming Perl: grapheme A graphene is an allotrope of carbon arranged in a hexagonal crystal lattice one atom thick. Grapheme, or more fully, a grapheme cluster string is a single user-visible character, which in turn may be several characters (codepoints) long. For example … a “ȫ” […]

March 01, 2015

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11:15 PM | trans-dimensional nested sampling and a few planets
This morning, in the train to Dauphine (train that was even more delayed than usual!), I read a recent arXival of Brendon Brewer and Courtney Donovan. Entitled Fast Bayesian inference for exoplanet discovery in radial velocity data, the paper suggests to associate Matthew Stephens’ (2000)  birth-and-death MCMC approach with nested sampling to infer about the […]
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9:13 PM | 254A, Supplement 7: Normalised limit profiles of the log-magnitude of the Riemann zeta function (optional)
A major topic of interest of analytic number theory is the asymptotic behaviour of the Riemann zeta function in the critical strip in the limit . For the purposes of this set of notes, it is a little simpler technically to work with the log-magnitude of the zeta function. (In principle, one can reconstruct a […]
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5:00 PM | Buddha (3) vs. John Updike
Yesterday‘s winner is Friedrich Nietzsche. I don’t really have much to say here: there was lots of enthusiasm about the philosopher and none at all for the cozy comedian. Maybe Jonathan Miller would’ve been a better choice. Now for today’s battle. Buddha is seeded #3 among founders of religions. Updike is the unseeded author of […] The post Buddha (3) vs. John Updike appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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2:20 PM | “Precise Answers to the Wrong Questions”
Our friend K? (not to be confused with X) seeks pre-feedback on this talk: Can we get a mathematical framework for applying statistics that better facilitates communication with non-statisticians as well as helps statisticians avoid getting “precise answers to the wrong questions*”? Applying statistics involves communicating with non-statisticians so that we grasp their applied problems […] The post “Precise Answers to the Wrong Questions” appeared first on […]
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2:59 AM | Idle question: are Kakeya sets winning?
Jayadev Athreya was here last week and reminded me about this notion of “winning sets,” which I learned about from Howie Masur — originally, one of the many contributions of Wolfgang Schmidt. Here’s a paper by Curt McMullen introducing a somewhat stronger notion, “absolute winning.” Anyway:  a winning set (or an absolute winning set) in […]
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2:09 AM | Linkage for the end of a short month
The Harriss spiral (G+)Wind-carved towers of sand and ice (G+)Beachbot, a giant etch-a-sketch for your local beach (G+)Linkages that can draw any algebraic curve (G+)Precursors to the Penrose tiling in the works of Kepler and the Islamic architects (G+)Women in mathematics (G+)Big Bang Theory Eye of the Tiger Scene (G+)Why using git is good scientific practice (G+)Klam values and other colorful neologisms from the parameterized complexity crowd (G+)Timsort is broken (and has been for the past […]
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1:00 AM | Uber, but for Topological Spaces
So it’s cold and rainy, and you’re up a little too late trying to figure out why that one pesky assumption is necessary in a theorem. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just order up a space that was... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

February 28, 2015

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11:54 PM | February Favorites
OMG!!! I cannot believe that in February I have posted just 4 times :( I am so sorry everyone for this inconvenience, but this month was terrible for me. I had extra work to do for university, I have finished my dissertation project, I participated at Tomorrow’s Mathematicians Today Conference, and my time-table is horror. But, […]
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11:15 PM | ice-climbing Niagara Falls
I had missed these news that a frozen portion of the Niagara Falls had been ice-climbed. By Will Gadd on Jan. 27. This is obviously quite impressive given the weird and dangerous nature of the ice there, which is mostly frozen foam from the nearby waterfall. (I once climbed an easy route on such ice […]
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5:10 PM | Aunt Pythia’s advice
People! Do you really hate my advice? Do you disagree with everything I ever say, and wish you had an outlet for your frustration? If so, good news for you today. I have officially found the place in the world where you can get advice which is the exact opposite of mine, namely by watching […]
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5:00 PM | Friedrich Nietzsche (4) vs. Alan Bennett
William Shakespeare had the most support yesterday; for example, from David: “I vote for Shakespeare just to see who actually shows up.” The best argument of the serious variety came from Babar, who wrote, “I would vote for WS. Very little is known about the man. I care very little about Marx’s mannerisms but I’d […] The post Friedrich Nietzsche (4) vs. Alan Bennett appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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2:33 PM | A Swiss Clockmaker
We all have clichéd images in our heads when we hear the names of countries other than our own. For many people the name Switzerland evokes a muddled collection of snow-covered mountains, delicious superior chocolates and high precision clocks and … Continue reading →
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2:15 PM | Five motivations for theoretical computer science
There are some situations, perhaps lucky ones, where it is felt that an activity needs no external motivation or justification.  For the rest, it can be helpful to think of what the task at hand can be useful for. This of course doesn’t answer the larger question of what is worth doing, since it just distributes […]

Barton, N.H., Novak, S. & Paixão, T. (2014). Diverse forms of selection in evolution and computer science., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111 (29) 10398-9. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25009183

Citation
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2:05 PM | Bertrand Russell goes to the IRB
Jonathan Falk points me to this genius idea from Eric Crampton: Here’s a fun one for those of you still based at a university. All of you put together a Human Ethics Review proposal for a field experiment on Human Ethics Review proposals. Here is the proposal within my proposal. Each of you would propose […] The post Bertrand Russell goes to the IRB appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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1:11 PM | Rock, paper, scissors, lizard, Spock
http://t.co/a0l4FP6ftF Goodbye #LeonardNimoy, #Spock from #StarTrek by SciFiCatOne popular five-weapon expansion is "rock-paper-scissors-lizard-Spock", invented by Sam Kass and Karen Bryla, which adds "Spock" and "lizard" to the standard three choices. "Spock" is signified with the Star Trek Vulcan salute, while "lizard" is shown by forming the hand into a sock-puppet-like mouth. Spock smashes scissors and vaporizes rock; he is poisoned by lizard and disproven by paper. Lizard poisons Spock […]
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12:45 PM | Lunga vita e prosperità
La conferenza che segue è stata successivamente proposta da Fabio Peri un paio di mesi fa al Planetario "Hoepli" di Milano:
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9:29 AM | Each pair of smartphones has exactly one Dobble app in common
Card game fans might be familiar with the game of Dobble, in which a set of cards featuring symbols is laid out on the table, and family members tear each other’s hands off/eyes out in order to find the one symbol a given pair of cards has in common. Well, it’s now also available virtually! As discussed at the... Read more »

February 27, 2015

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11:15 PM | Ubuntu issues
It may be that weekends are the wrong time to tamper with computer OS… Last Sunday, I noticed my Bluetooth icon had a “turn off” option and since I only use Bluetooth for my remote keyboard and mouse when in Warwick, I turned it off, thinking I would turn it on again next week. This […]
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10:48 PM | Calcoli cinesi
Mentre alla lavagna un loro compagno sta svolgendo un'espressione polinomiale, quei tre, seduti uno accanto all'altro, sono tutti presi a vedere il cellulare, discutendo tra loro fitti e attenti a quello che c'è sullo schermo. Il professore, quatto quatto, si avvicina, aspettandosi di vedere l'ennesimo mmorg, e invece ecco che i tre stanno lì, incantati, a guardare un video di matematica!
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6:35 PM | land O links
Here are a few links for your weekend reading: I’ve used the Monty Hall Problem in class. I didn’t realize agreeing on the correct solution was so controversial. Leonard Nimoy’s portrayal of Spock “in many ways co-created, helped define geek/nerd personality and interests for millions of future geeks” So true. Sports analytics is great and all that, but […]
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5:00 PM | William Shakespeare (1) vs. Karl Marx
For yesterday‘s winner, I’ll follow the reasoning of Manuel in comments: Popper. We would learn more from falsifying the hypothesis that Popper’s talk is boring than what we would learn from falsifying the hypothesis that Richard Pryor’s talk is uninteresting. And today we have the consensus choice for greatest writer vs. the notorious political philosopher. […] The post William Shakespeare (1) vs. Karl Marx appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal […]
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5:00 PM | Erotische Flugblaetter
I was working in Memorial Library yesterday. Whenever I’m over there, I like to pull a book off the shelf and look at it.  (E.G.) I feel I have some kind of duty to the books — there are so many which will never be taken off the shelf again! Anyway, there has never been […]
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