July 06, 2014

6:06 AM | Black Phoebe
For the past month or so, until this weekend when they moved out, we've had some squatters on our front porch: a family of Black Phoebes. They conveniently set up their nest in clear sight of a window over the front door, through which I could aim the camera.

July 05, 2014

10:14 PM | how to translate evidence into French?
I got this email from Gauvain who writes a PhD in philosophy of sciences a few minutes ago: L’auteur du texte que j’ai à traduire désigne les facteurs de Bayes comme une “Bayesian measure of evidence”, et les tests de p-value comme une “frequentist measure of evidence”. Je me demandais s’il existait une traduction française […]
3:24 PM | Published on…
Today I have been mildly irritated by numerous tweets announcing the 5th July 1687, as the day on which Isaac Newton’s Principia was published, why? Partially because the claim is not strictly true and partially because it evokes a false … Continue reading →
2:36 PM | Il pittore che visse due volte
La struttura è abbastanza tipica (forse addirittura abusata, almeno secondo alcuni commenti letti in giro sul web), però Chris Paling riesce comunque a utilizzarla bene: ovvero raccontare la vicenda in parallelo tra passato, inizio XX secolo, e presente, inizio XXI secolo.Nel passato seguiamo le vicende di T.F. Reilly, giovane e talentuoso pittore londinese, probabilmente dallo stile impressionista, almeno se teniamo fede alle descrizioni dei quadri che ne fa Paling, in […]
1:31 PM | Visualizing sampling error and dynamic graphics
Robert Grant writes: What do you think of this visualisation from the NYT [in an article by Neil Irwin and Kevin Quealy but I'm not sure if they're the designers of the visualization]? I’m pretty impressed as a method of showing sampling error to a general audience! I agree. P.S. In related news, Antony Unwin […] The post Visualizing sampling error and dynamic graphics appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
1:00 PM | Grand Opening: The Stan Shop
I finally put together a shop so everyone can order Stan t-shirts and mugs: The Stan Shop The art’s by Michael Malecki. The t-shirts and mugs are printed on demand by Spreadshirt. I tried out a sample and the results are great and have held up to machine washing and drying. There’s a markup of […] The post Grand Opening: The Stan Shop appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

July 04, 2014

10:14 PM | voices – strange shores [book reviews]
Following my recent trip to Iceland, I read two more books by Arnaldur Indriðason, Voices (Röddin, 2003) and Strange Shores (Furðustrandir, 2010). As usual, Indriðason’s books are more about the past (of characters as well as of the whole country) than about current times. Voices does not switch from this pattern, the more because it […]
1:56 PM | Dimensionless analysis as applied to swimming!
We have no fireworks-related posts for July 4th but at least we have an item that’s appropriate for the summer weather. It comes from Daniel Lakeland, who writes: Recently in one of your blog posts (“priors I don’t believe”) there was a discussion in which I was advocating the use of dimensional analysis and dimensionless […] The post Dimensionless analysis as applied to swimming! appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
12:18 PM | sunrise over Warwickshire (#2)
Filed under: pictures, Running, Travel, University life Tagged: England, pond, summer, sunrise, University of Warwick, Warw
7:00 AM | British Objects of Constant Width
As I wrap up a trip to the UK, I reflect on the many objects of constant width I encountered here. I’ll let Numberphile tell you a little more about objects of constant width. Almost... -- Read more on
2:39 AM | Pi and The Raven
Michael Keith rewrote Edgar Allen Poe’s poem The Raven to turn it into a mnemonic for pi. Keith’s version follows the original quite well considering his severe constraints. The full poem has 18 stanzas. Here I include only the first and last. The full version can be found here. *** Poe, E. Near a Raven […]

July 03, 2014

10:14 PM | vector quantile regression
My Paris-Dauphine colleague Guillaume Carlier recently arXived a statistics paper entitled Vector quantile regression, co-written with Chernozhukov and Galichon. I was most curious to read the paper as Guillaume is primarily a mathematical analyst working on optimisation problems like optimal transport. And also because I find quantile regression difficult to fathom as a statistical problem. […]
9:58 PM | Diagonali prime
L'illustrazione della copertina [di Letture da Le Scienze: Verità e dimostrazione. Questioni di matematica], tratta dalla copertina del numero di marzo del 1964 di Scientific American disegnata da Joan Starwood, rappresenta un curioso comportamento dei numeri primi, cioé dei numeri interi che sono divisibili solo per se stessi e per l'unità, messo in luce per la prima volta da Stanislaw M. Ulam dei Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory. Ulam ha scoperto che se si scrivono i […]
5:15 PM | Planetary Tables and Heliocentricity: A Rough Guide
Since it emerged sometime in the middle of the first millennium BCE the principal function of mathematical astronomy was to provide the most accurate possible predictions of the future positions of the main celestial bodies. This information was contained in … Continue reading →
2:04 PM | land O links
Here are a few links for your holiday weekend reading: How to make mass transit sustainable once and for all by @trnsprttnst Why commute times don’t change much even as a city grows by @e_jaffe Blogging: is it good or bad for journal readership? The Incidental Economist weighs in. Harvard Business Review: Instinct can beat analytical thinking […]
1:43 PM | “The great advantage of the model-based over the ad hoc approach, it seems to me, is that at any given time we know what we are doing.”
The quote is from George Box, 1979. And this: Please can Data Analysts get themselves together again and become whole Statisticians before it is too late? Before they, their employers, and their clients forget the other equally important parts of the job statisticians should be doing, such as designing investigations and building models? I actually […] The post “The great advantage of the model-based over the ad hoc approach, it seems to me, is that at any given time we know what […]
12:18 PM | sunset over Warwickshire
Filed under: pictures, Running, Travel, University life Tagged: countryside, England, road running, sunset, trees, Warwickshire

July 02, 2014

10:14 PM | straightforward statistics [book review]
“I took two different statistics courses as an undergraduate psychology major [and] four different advanced statistics classes as a PhD student.” G. Geher Straightforward Statistics: Understanding the Tools of Research by Glenn Geher and Sara Hall is an introductory textbook for psychology and other social science students. (That Oxford University Press sent me for review. […]
4:38 PM | Seth Teller
Via MIT's news office I learn that Seth Teller has died, at the young age of 50. Seth primarily worked in robotics and vision, but was also a regular participant at the Symposium on Computational Geometry. For more about his many accomplishments, read the MIT story.
3:31 PM | Pasta e geometria
Il ristorante Bocca di Lupo, del cuoco Jacob Kennedy, ha portato a Londra la cucina italiana. Il giovane cuoco britannico, però, non si accontenta di trafficare tra i fornelli e, come moltissimi cuochi di questo secondo decennio del terzo millennio, ha scritto un libro, dedicato a uno degli alimenti più diffusi del mondo, sinonimo di italianità: la pasta. Coautrice del libro è la designer Caz Hildebrand, creando così un mix tra la forma perfetta e la salsa […]

Legendre, G. (2011). IJP Explained: Parametric Mathematics in Practice, Architectural Design, 81 (4) 44-53. DOI: 10.1002/ad.1267

Legendre, G. (2011). Pasta by Design, Architectural Design, 81 (4) 100-101. DOI: 10.1002/ad.1274

1:30 PM | “Being an informed Bayesian: Assessing prior informativeness and prior–likelihood conflict”
Xiao-Li Meng sends along this paper (coauthored with Matthew Reimherr and Dan Nicolae), which begins: Dramatically expanded routine adoption of the Bayesian approach has substantially increased the need to assess both the confirmatory and contradictory information in our prior distribution with regard to the information provided by our likelihood function. We propose a diagnostic approach […] The post “Being an informed Bayesian: Assessing prior informativeness and […]
12:18 PM | back in Warwick
Filed under: pictures, Running, Travel, University life Tagged: England, summer, University of Warwick, Zeeman building

July 01, 2014

10:14 PM | recycling accept-reject rejections (#2)
Following yesterday’s post on Rao’s, Liu’s, and Dunson’s paper on a new approach to intractable normalising constants, and taking advantage of being in Warwick, I tested the method on a toy model, namely the posterior associated with n Student’s t observations with unknown location parameter μ and a flat prior, which is “naturally” bounded by […]
4:07 PM | The Geometry of Pasta
I came across this book on the internet: ‘The Geometry of Pasta’ a book by  Jacob Kenedy & Caz Hildebrand (the London chef extraordinaire Jacob Kenedy and the British graphic designer Caz Hildebrand). I thought that this is such a nice idea, I love pastas … Continue reading →
3:38 PM | Una (più o meno facile) dimostrazione del teorema di Pitagora
\[\alpha + \beta = \frac{\pi}{2}\] \[\sin (\alpha + \beta) = \sin \frac{\pi}{2}\] \[\sin \alpha \cdot \cos \beta + \sin \beta \cdot \cos \alpha = 1\] \[\frac{a}{c} \cdot \frac{a}{c} + \frac{b}{c} \cdot \frac{b}{c} = 1\] \[\frac{a^2}{c^2} + \frac{b^2}{c^2} = 1\] \[a^2 + b^2 = c^2\]Che poi è una di quelle cose che quando scopri dici: ma perché non c'ho pensato prima? - via @MathUpdate
1:20 PM | “Who’s bigger”—the new book that ranks every human on Wikipedia—is more like Bill Simmons than Bill James
I received a copy of “Who’s Bigger?: Where Historical Figures Really Rank,” by Steven Skiena, a computer scientist at Stony Brook University, and Charles Ward, and engineer at Google. Here’s the blurb I gave the publisher: Skiena and Ward provide a numerical ranking for the every Wikipedia resident who’s ever lived. What a great idea! […] The post “Who’s bigger”—the new book that ranks every human on Wikipedia—is more like Bill […]
11:24 AM | Classical programming
The classical education model is based on the trivium of grammar, logic, and rhetoric. See, for example, Dorothy Sayers’ essay The Lost Tools of Learning. The grammar stage of the trivium could be literal language grammar, but it also applies more generally to absorbing the basics of any subject and often involves rote learning. The […]
10:42 AM | Critical Questions for Big Data by danah boyd & Kate Crawford
I’m teaching a class this summer in the Lede Program, starting in mid-July, which is called The Platform. Here’s the course description: This course begins with the idea that computing tools are the products of human ingenuity and effort. They are never neutral and carry with them the biases of their designers and their design […]
4:35 AM | The Linearity of Traces
A success story for applied category theory: formal results about bicategorical trace imply the linearity of traces under absolute colimits.

June 30, 2014

10:14 PM | recycling accept-reject rejections
Vinayak Rao, Lizhen Lin and David Dunson just arXived a paper which proposes anew technique to handle intractable normalising constants. And which exact title is Data augmentation for models based on rejection sampling. (Paper that I read in the morning plane to B’ham, since this is one of my weeks in Warwick.) The central idea […]
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