Posts

December 18, 2014

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10:25 PM | Effective Sample Size
Yet another place where the concept of magnitude turns up: the statistical notion of effective sample size.
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6:33 PM | CFR: SoTFoM, SYMPOSIUM II `COMPETING FOUNDATIONS?'; INSTITUTE OF PHILOSOPHY, LONDON, 12-13 January 2015.
The organisers are delighted to announce a provisional programme and call for registration for the upcoming Symposium in the Foundations of Mathematics, to be held at the Institute of Philosophy in London on 12-13th January 2015. There will be an additional (free) affiliated talk by Benedict Eastaugh at the Institute on the 14th January.Sponsors: The Institute of Philosophy, Mind Association, British Logic Colloquium, Aristotelian Society, British Society for the Philosophy of Science, and […]
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4:00 PM | Welcome, Qiaochu!
Qiaochu Yuan joins us as a host of the Café.
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3:28 PM | Someone is Wrong on the Internet.
Many of the readers of this blog will probably recognise the title of this post, as the punch line to one of the best ever xkcd cartoons. Regular readers will also know that the Renaissance Mathematicus cannot resist stamping on … Continue reading →
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2:06 PM | Message to Booleans: It’s an additive world, we just live in it
Boolean models (“it’s either A or (B and C)”) seem to be the natural way that we think, but additive models (“10 points if you have A, 3 points if you have B, 2 points if you have C”) seem to describe reality better—at least, the aspects of reality that I study in my research. […] The post Message to Booleans: It’s an additive world, we just live in it appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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11:58 AM | A Call For Justice #OccupyCitibank
In the beautiful words of Cleveland Browns wide receiver Andrew Hawkins: I was taught that justice is a right that every American should have. Also justice should be the goal of every American. I think that’s what makes this country. To me, justice means the innocent should be found innocent. It means that those who […]
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1:53 AM | Wassily Kandinsky
These days, more exactly on 15th December, I saw the new doodle at Google and I thought that it is incredibly wonderful. It just showed me a lot of geometric constructions in just a small image and I thought that … Continue reading →

December 17, 2014

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11:20 PM | Hey, I just wrote my April Fool’s post!
(scheduled to appear in a few months, of course). I think you’ll like it. Or hate it. Depending on who you are. The post Hey, I just wrote my April Fool’s post! appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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11:14 PM | full Bayesian significance test
Among the many comments (thanks!) I received when posting our Testing via mixture estimation paper came the suggestion to relate this approach to the notion of full Bayesian significance test (FBST) developed by (Julio, not Hal) Stern and Pereira, from São Paulo, Brazil. I thus had a look at this alternative and read the Bayesian […]
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10:29 PM | Wegman Frey Hauser Weick Fischer Dr. Anil Potti Stapel comes clean
Thomas Leeper points me to Diederik Stapel’s memoir, “Faking Science: A True Story of Academic Fraud,” translated by Nick Brown and available online for free download. The post Wegman Frey Hauser Weick Fischer Dr. Anil Potti Stapel comes clean appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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3:13 PM | Thou, thee, you, and ye
Ever wonder what the rules were for when to use thou, thee, ye, or you in Shakespeare or the King James Bible? For example, the inscription on front of the Main Building at The University of Texas says Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. Why ye at the beginning […]
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2:03 PM | I’d like to see a preregistered replication on this one
Under the heading, “Results too good to be true,” Lee Sechrest points me to this discussion by “Neuroskeptic” of a discussion by psychology researcher Greg Francis of a published (and publicized) claim by biologists Brian Dias and Kerry Ressler that “Parental olfactory experience [in mice] influences behavior and neural structure in subsequent generations.” That’s a […] The post I’d like to see a preregistered replication on this one […]
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1:28 PM | What would a data-driven Congress look like?
Recently I’ve seen two very different versions of what a more data-driven Congress would look like, both emerging from the recent cruddy Cromnibus bill mess. First, there’s this Bloomberg article, written by the editors, about using data to produce evidence on whether a given policy is working or not. Given what I know about how […]
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12:00 PM | Notes on HTML, XML, TeX, and Unicode
This week’s resource post: some notes on typesetting, Unicode, etc. Common Math Symbols in HTML, XML, TeX, and Unicode Accented letters in HTML, TeX, and Microsoft Word Greek letters in HTML, XML, TeX, and Unicode Unicode resources See also blog posts tagged LaTeX, HTML, and Unicode and the Twitter account TeXtip. Last week: C++ resources […]
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8:17 AM | Linked polytopes and toric grid tessellations
In my recent posting on four-dimensional polytopes containing linked or knotted cycles of edges, I showed pictures of linked cycles in three examples, the (3,3)-duopyramid, hypercube, and (in the comments) truncated 5-cell. All three of these have some much more special properties: the two linked cycles are induced cycles (there are no edges between two non-consecutive vertices in the same cycle), they include all the vertices in the graph, and their intersection with any two- or […]
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4:46 AM | Survey on k-best enumeration algorithms
When I was asked earlier this year to write a short survey on k-best enumeration algorithms for the Springer Encyclopedia of Algorithms, I wrote a first draft before checking the formatting requirements. It ended up being approximately five pages of text and seven more pages of references, and I knew I would have to cut some of that. But then I did check the format, and saw that it needed to be much shorter, approximately two pages of text and a dozen references. I don't regret doing it this […]
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4:28 AM | Long gaps between primes
Kevin Ford, Ben Green, Sergei Konyagin, James Maynard, and I have just uploaded to the arXiv our paper “Long gaps between primes“. This is a followup work to our two previous papers (discussed in this previous post), in which we had simultaneously shown that the maximal gap between primes up to exhibited a lower bound […]

December 16, 2014

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11:14 PM | Topological sensitivity analysis for systems biology
Michael Stumpf sent me Topological sensitivity analysis for systems biology, written by Ann Babtie and Paul Kirk,  en avant-première before it came out in PNAS and I read it during the trip to NIPS in Montréal. (The paper is published in open access, so everyone can read it now!) The topic is quite central to a […]
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9:47 PM | Christmas Decorations
So we entered the week before Christmas. So we have less then 10 days, which is extremely exciting for me because Christmas is my favorite event from the year. And as promised in the post New Things there will be a … Continue reading →
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6:02 PM | Turing's Legacy
The legacy of Alan Turing's work at Bletchley Park (later GCHQ).
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5:37 PM | How many points does a random curve over F_q have?
So asks a charming preprint by Achter, Erman, Kedlaya, Wood, and Zureick-Brown.  (2/5 Wisconsin, 1/5 ex-Wisconsin!)  The paper, I’m happy to say, is a result of discussions at an AIM workshop on arithmetic statistics I organized with Alina Bucur and Chantal David earlier this year. Here’s how they think of this.  By a random curve we […]
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4:20 PM | La triste storia di Ignaz Semmelweis
Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis, nato l'1 luglio del 1818, è stato un medico ungherese che ha portato a termine il primo studio epidemico della storia della medicina. Il suo problema fu l'ostracismo della comunità medica dell'epoca, che, ufficialmente, non gradì i suoi metodi poco rispettosi dell'autorità costituita. Semmelweis venne nominato assistente del professor Johann Klein nella Prima Clinica Ostetrica dell'Ospedale Generale di Vienna il 1° luglio, 1846. I suoi […]
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2:33 PM | Fairness, accountability, and transparency in big data models
As I wrote about already, last Friday I attended a one day workshop in Montreal called FATML: Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency in Machine Learning. It was part of the NIPS conference for computer science, and there were tons of nerds there, and I mean tons. I wanted to give a report on the day, as […]
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2:18 PM | Expectation propagation as a way of life
Aki Vehtari, Pasi Jylänki, Christian Robert, Nicolas Chopin, John Cunningham, and I write: We revisit expectation propagation (EP) as a prototype for scalable algorithms that partition big datasets into many parts and analyze each part in parallel to perform inference of shared parameters. The algorithm should be particularly efficient for hierarchical models, for which the […] The post Expectation propagation as a way of life appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal […]
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1:18 PM | Montréal snapshot
Filed under: pictures, Travel Tagged: Canada, Montréal, NIPS, Québec, snow, street view
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6:25 AM | Linkage for mid-December
The number theory behind why you can't have both perfect fifths and perfect octaves on a piano keyboard (with bonus lattice quotient music theory link; G+)Sad news of Rudolf Halin's death (G+)Frankenstein vs The Glider Gun video (G+)Günter Ziegler on Dürer's solid (WP; MF; G+)Nature will make its articles back to 1869 free to share online, for certain values of "free" that you might or might not agree with (G+)Albert Carpenter's polyhedron models (G+)The only complete proof from […]
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2:24 AM | Damn, I was off by a factor of 2!
I hate when that happens. Demography is tricky. Oh well, as they say in astronomy, who cares, it was less than an order of magnitude! The post Damn, I was off by a factor of 2! appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

December 15, 2014

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11:14 PM | an extension of nested sampling
I was reading [in the Paris métro] Hastings-Metropolis algorithm on Markov chains for small-probability estimation, arXived a few weeks ago by François Bachoc, Lionel Lenôtre, and Achref Bachouch, when I came upon their first algorithm that reminded me much of nested sampling: the following was proposed by Guyader et al. in 2011, To approximate a […]
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7:48 PM | 254A, Supplement 3: The Gamma function and the functional equation (optional)
In Notes 2, the Riemann zeta function (and more generally, the Dirichlet -functions ) were extended meromorphically into the region in and to the right of the critical strip. This is a sufficient amount of meromorphic continuation for many applications in analytic number theory, such as establishing the prime number theorem and its variants. The […]
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3:44 PM | “Now the company appears to have screwed up badly, and they’ve done it in pretty much exactly the way you would expect a company to screw up when it doesn’t drill down into the data.”
Palko tells a good story: One of the accepted truths of the Netflix narrative is that CEO Reed Hastings is obsessed with data and everything the company does is data driven . . . Of course, all 21st century corporations are relatively data-driven. The fact that Netflix has large data sets on customer behavior does […] The post “Now the company appears to have screwed up badly, and they’ve done it in pretty much exactly the way you would expect a company to screw up when it […]
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