Posts

September 16, 2014

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6:20 AM | Linkage
Unexpected shapes in smoke plumes, as photographed by Thomas Herbrich (G+)ISAAC 2014 and COCOA 2014 accepted paper lists (G+)FOCS 2014 program and best paper winners (G+)Kinetic sculpture made of wooden balls on threads, with some extensive software simulation behind its design (G+)How a 19th century math genius taught us the best way to hold a pizza slice, or, a practical application of the theorem that when a flat surface is embedded in 3d, it remains flat in at least one direction […]

September 15, 2014

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10:14 PM | Statistics first slides
Today I started my new course of Statistics for our third year undergraduates. In English! A point that came as a surprise for the students but I got no complaint (so far) and they started asking questions in English during the class. The slides are “under construction” and this first chapter borrows a fair chunk […]
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8:44 PM | La Sunmobile della General Motors
Su Corrierino e Giornalino, qualche giorno fa, è stata pubblicata la scannerizzazione di una pagina con due trafiletti di Mauro Janni del 17 gennaio 1965 in cui quello superiore è dedicato all'automobile solare della General Motors. In effetti l'automobile solare, la Sunmobile, è un modellino di poco meno di 40 cm costruito da William Cobb e presentato il 31 agosto del 1955 a un motor show a Chicago. Il modello, in legno di balsa, presentava 12 piccoli pannelli solari su […]
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3:22 PM | More bad news for the buggy-whip manufacturers
In a news article regarding difficulties in using panel surveys to measure the unemployment rate, David Leonhardt writes: The main factor is technology. It’s a major cause of today’s response-rate problems – but it’s also the solution. For decades, survey research has revolved around the telephone, and it’s worked very well. But Americans’ relationship with […] The post More bad news for the buggy-whip manufacturers appeared first on Statistical […]
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1:00 PM | On deck this week
Mon: More bad news for the buggy-whip manufacturers Tues: They know my email but they don’t know me Wed: What do you do to visualize uncertainty? Thurs: Sokal: “science is not merely a bag of clever tricks . . . Rather, the natural sciences are nothing more or less than one particular application — albeit […] The post On deck this week appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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2:13 AM | Editorial board of “Journal of K-Theory” on strike, demanding Tony Bak hands over the journal to the K-Theory foundation.
Text of the announcement below: Dear Colleagues, We the undersigned announce that, as of today 15 September 2014, we’re starting an indefinite strike. We will decline all papers submitted to us at the Journal of K-Theory. Our demand is that, as promised in 2007-08, Bak’s family company (ISOPP) hand over the ownership of the journal to the K-Theory Foundation (KTF). The handover must […]

September 14, 2014

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10:14 PM | Series B reaches 5.721 impact factor!
I received this email from Wiley with the great figure that JRSS Series B has now reached a 5.721 impact factor. Which makes it the first journal in Statistics from this perspective. Congrats to editors Gareth Roberts, Piotr Fryzlewicz and Ingrid Van Keilegom for this achievement! An amazing jump from the 2009 figure of 2.84…!Filed […]
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8:21 PM | Appendice: Atom, Topolino, Flash Gordon e il fico strangolatore
Queste poche righe sarebbero dovute comparire nel post dedicato a L'armata Hot Dog, ma la memoria, fino a settimana scorsa, ha difettato. Poi, grazie allo stimolo del volume Le follie di Eta Beta, ecco che la memoria ritorna.Iniziamo con la scena dalla storia lunare in cui Atom si trova invischiato tra i tentacoli guardiani lasciati dal perduto popolo dei lunatici: La drammatica scena ricorda e non poco una analogamente drammatica scena disegnata da Floyd Gottfredson ne La spia poeta in cui […]
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7:50 PM | Experiments with inertia
a coulpe of home experiments about #inertia from Science Comics #2
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2:43 PM | Childhood, war games and becoming a historian.
This week’s A Point of View on BBC Radio 4 The Horror of War by Renaissance historian Lisa Jardine was truly excellent and well worth ten minutes of your time. From the starting point of having visited a war exhibition … Continue reading →
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1:30 PM | Six quotes from Kaiser Fung
You may think you have all of the data. You don’t. One of the biggest myth of Big Data is that data alone produce complete answers. Their “data” have done no arguing; it is the humans who are making this claim. Before getting into the methodological issues, one needs to ask the most basic question. […] The post Six quotes from Kaiser Fung appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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8:39 AM | Have fun playing with curvature
[iframe src="http://gfycat.com/ifr/SpicyPaleAxolotl" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" width="460" height="372" style="-webkit-backface-visibility: hidden;-webkit-transform: scale(1);"] Recently Tim Hutton and Adam Goucher have been playing around with hyperbolic tesselations. That has produced a {4,3,5} honeycomb grid for the reaction-diffusion simulator Ready, which Adam talked about on his blog a couple of days ago. Tim has also made a much simpler toy to play with in […]
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8:25 AM | George Green: Nottingham’s Magnificent Mathematician
We don’t regard him as a miller, I’m afraid, we regard him as a very eminent mathematician whose work today is still being used in major industries and concerns. – George Saunders, descendant of George Green, on being asked a question about bags of flour on the Alan Clifford show on BBC Radio Nottingham of... Read more »
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3:30 AM | Defining empathy, sympathy, and compassion
When discussing the evolution of cooperation, questions about empathy, sympathy, and compassion are often close to mind. In my computational work, I used to operationalize-away these emotive concepts and replace them with a simple number like the proportion of cooperative interactions. This is all well and good if I want to confine myself to a […]
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12:40 AM | Prevent errors or fix errors
The other day I was driving by our veterinarian’s office and saw that the marquee said something like “Prevention is less expensive than treatment.” That’s sometimes true, but certainly not always. This evening I ran across a couple lines from Ed Catmull that are more accurate than the vet’s quote. Do not fall for the […]

September 13, 2014

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10:14 PM | xkcd [interview & book]
Of interest for xkcd fans: What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions is out! Actually, it is currently the #1 bestseller on amazon! (A physics book makes it to the top of the bestseller list, a few weeks after a theoretical economics book got there. Nice! Actually, a statistics book also made it […]
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9:57 PM | Bren Hall, East Stairs
Just some test shots with my new travel lens (Canon's 17-40/F4 L, replacing a mysteriously nonfunctional and optically not as good 17-85IS).
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8:33 PM | Sum of geometric means
Let xn be a sequence of non-negative numbers. Then the sum of their running geometric means is bounded by e times their sum. In symbols The inequality is strict unless all the x‘s are zero, and the constant e on the right side is optimal. Torsten Carleman proved this theorem in 1923.
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5:00 PM | Zaha Hadid’s design for the Science Museum’s new maths hall is certainly something
For a while, the Science Museum has been forming groups and making noises and tickling rich people with the aim of working out how they’re going to update their rather neglected maths hall. Yesterday they made an unexpectedly positive announcement: they’ve been given £5 million by rich people David and Claudia Harding, and Dame Zaha Hadid has drawn up a... Read more »
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4:44 PM | Highlights from the installation speech of UBC’s 13th President, Arvind Gupta
Here are excerpts from the speech of Arvind Gupta at his official installation as UBC’s 13th president. Canada’s post-secondary system should take notice. “We recognize UBC as a Place of Mind, but also as a place of shared cultures, traditions, and … Continue reading →
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4:37 PM | Lo zio Oswald e il Roald Dahl che non ti aspetti
via Cinque cose belleMia sorella mi ha ricordato che oggi è il Roald Dahl Day, così ecco la recensione di un romanzo sorprendente, inedito in Italia.Se siete uno di quegli adulti che amano Roald Dahl per le sue storie per bambini, se siete uno di quegli adulti che ritiene Il GGG il più bel libro mai scritto in assoluto, allora state lontani da Lo zio Oswald: potrebbe non piacervi.Il romanzo di Dahl, fino a qualche tempo fa ancora inedito in Italia, aggiunge un nuovo […]
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2:25 PM | The naming of America – Redux
This is a brief addenda to my previous naming of America post, as my copy of Peter Macdonald’s Cabot & The Naming of America: Dawn of Arrival, Newfoundland, June 1497 has finally arrived; remaindered, it cost all of £0.01! (p&p … Continue reading →
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1:08 PM | Aunt Pythia’s advice
Do you know what Aunt Pythia has been occupied with recently? Yes, you guessed it, she has a fantabulous new knitting pattern and she just can’t get enough of it. Here’s a recent work-in-progress pic: I hope you know how much Aunt Pythia must love you considering how hard it was to tear herself away […]
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1:04 PM | He just ordered a translation from Diederik Stapel
Fernando Martel Garcia writes: So I am applying for a DC driver’s license and needed a translation of my Spanish license to show to the DMV. I go to http://www.onehourtranslation.com/ and as I prepare to pay I see a familiar face in the bottom banner: It appears Stapel is one of their “over 15,000 dedicated […] The post He just ordered a translation from Diederik Stapel appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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8:53 AM | GeoGebra in 3D: ThreeoGebra!
GeoGebra, the Aperiodical’s official Favourite Thing for Messing About With Geometry, has just bumped up to version 5. With that bigger number comes another dimension – GeoGebra now supports three-dimensional geometry! This stuff has been in the works for a long time – since 2008, apparently – and it looks like GeoGebra 5 hasn’t quite reached... Read more »

September 12, 2014

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10:14 PM | available dark [book review]
“Paved roads had long ago surrended to gravel tracks that disappeared into a desert of snow covered lava. Black spires like a forest of charred trees blotted out the stars near the horizon.” This is the last book I read from my Amazon package: Available Dark by Elizabeth Hand. I cannot remember how I came […]
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7:36 PM | Leggere Lolita a Teheran
Un po' di anni fa mi parlarono molto bene di questo libro ma non lo presi subito, e me ne dimenticai. L'anno scorso mi ritornò in mente e lo misi nella mia lista dei desideri: desiderio realizzato!Il libro inizia con un incontro segreto, un seminario letterario al quale partecipano 7 donne. Viene organizzato dalla protagonista (e scrittrice) del libro a casa sua, dove possono sentirsi libere di non coprirsi con il velo e sfoggiare colori e accessori, sentirsi libere di essere sé […]
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2:35 PM | Another one bites the dust
This is a sort of footnote to my last post in which I criticised science writer Tim Radford for propagating myths about the reception of heliocentricity in the sixteenth-century. Now a second truly legendary astronomer and science writer, John Gribbin, … Continue reading →
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2:23 PM | What is the purpose of a poem?
OK, let’s take a break from blogging about economics. OK, I haven’t actually been blogging so much about econ lately, but it just happens that I’m writing this on 19 July, a day after poking a stick into the hornet’s nest by posting “Differences between econometrics and statistics: From varying treatment effects to utilities, economists […] The post What is the purpose of a poem? appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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12:18 PM | 3,000 posts and 1,000,000 views so far…
As the ‘Og went over its [first] million views and 3,000 posts since its first post in October 2008, the most popular entries (lots of book reviews, too many obituaries, and several guest posts): In{s}a(ne)!! 9,330 “simply start over and build something better” 8,514 George Casella 6,712 About 4,853 Bayesian p-values 4,468 Sudoku via simulated […]
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