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Posts

April 02, 2014

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10:14 PM | [more] parallel MCMC
Scott Schmidler and his Ph.D. student Douglas VanDerwerken have arXived a paper on parallel MCMC the very day I left for Chamonix, prior to MCMSki IV, so it is no wonder I missed it at the time. This work is somewhat in the spirit of the parallel papers Scott et al.’s consensus Bayes,  Neiswanger et […]
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2:18 PM | Poverty and Disease Explored in Essay
Former postdoctoral fellow Calistus Ngonghala’s essay examining poverty and disease is featured this week in PLOS Biology. Ngonghala and his co-authors explore how coupled models of ecology and economic growth can provide key insights into factors driving the formation and persistence … Continue reading →
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1:14 PM | Am I too negative?
For background, you can start by reading my recent article, Is It Possible to Be an Ethicist Without Being Mean to People? and then a blog post, Quality over Quantity, by John Cook, who writes: At one point [Ed] Tufte spoke more generally and more personally about pursuing quality over quantity. He said most papers […]The post Am I too negative? appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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11:05 AM | What Monsanto and college funds have in common
College I recently read this letter to the editor written by Catharine Hill, the President of Vassar College, explaining why reducing family contributions in college tuition and fees isn’t a good idea. It was in response to this Op-Ed by Steve Cohen about the onerous “E.F.C.” system. Let me dumb down the debate a bit for […]
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3:45 AM | Misunderstanding falsifiability as a power philosophy of Scientism
I think that trying to find one slogan that captures all of science and nothing else is a fool’s errand. However, it is an appealing errand given our propensity to want to classify and delimit the things we care about. It is also an errand that often takes a central role in the philosophy of […]

April 01, 2014

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10:14 PM | firefly Monte Carlo
And here is yet another arXived paper using a decomposition of the posterior distirbution as a product of terms to run faster, better and higher MCMC algorithms! This one is by Douglas Maclaurin and Ryan Adams: “Firefly Monte Carlo: Exact MCMC with Subsets of Data“. (While a swarm of fireflies make sense to explain the […]
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8:36 PM | Fast inference about noisy biology
Biology is a random and noisy world -- as we've written about several times before! (e.g. here and here) This often means that when we try to measure something in biology -- for example, the number of a particular type of proteins in a cell, or the size of a cell -- we'll get rather different results in each cell we look at, because random differences between cells mean that the exact numbers are different in each case. How can we find a "true" picture? This is rather like working out if a coin […]
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6:34 PM | Toward a common definition of “flipped learning”
A recent document from the Flipped Learning Network attempts to lay down a common definition of "flipped learning", as distinguished from the "flipped classroom." How well does it work?
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1:38 PM | Big Data Power
Guest post by Nils Carqueville and Daniel Murfet: the big data generated by whole-population surveillance.
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1:00 PM | Association for Psychological Science announces a new journal
The Association for Psychological Science, the leading organization of research psychologists, announced a long-awaited new journal, Speculations on Psychological Science. From the official APS press release: Speculations on Psychological Science, the flagship journal of the Association for Psychological Science, will publish cutting-edge research articles, short reports, and research reports spanning the entire spectrum of the […]The post Association for Psychological Science announces […]
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12:15 PM | Graham’s Number Is Too Big for Me to Tell You How Big It Is
I was going to write an April Fool’s Day post with the title “Mathematicians Declare Graham’s Number Equal to Infinity.” Graham’s number is really big, but of course,... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
Editor's Pick
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11:29 AM | Navigating sexism does not mean accepting sexism
Not enough time for a full post this morning, but I’d like people to read a New York Times article ironically entitled Moving Past Gender Barriers to Negotiate a Raise (hat tip Laura Strausfeld). It has amazing and awful tidbits like the following: “It’s totally unfair because we don’t require the same thing of men. But if […]
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7:46 AM | Il pesce d'aprile di Fifì
continua

March 31, 2014

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10:14 PM | penalising model component complexity
“Prior selection is the fundamental issue in Bayesian statistics. Priors are the Bayesian’s greatest tool, but they are also the greatest point for criticism: the arbitrariness of prior selection procedures and the lack of realistic sensitivity analysis (…) are a serious argument against current Bayesian practice.” (p.23) A paper that I first read and annotated […]
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9:10 PM | La patente?
da Topolino e l'uomo di Altacraz
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2:55 PM | The most fearless and the most fearful people
While I was in Europe, someone commented to me that Americans are the most fearless and the most fearful people on Earth. We put men on the moon, and we walk around with hand sanitizer. We start bold business ventures…Read more ›
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2:54 PM | The most-cited statistics papers ever
Robert Grant has a list. I’ll just give the ones with more than 10,000 Google Scholar cites: Cox (1972) Regression and life tables: 35,512 citations. Dempster, Laird, Rubin (1977) Maximum likelihood from incomplete data via the EM algorithm: 34,988 Bland & Altman (1986) Statistical methods for assessing agreement between two methods of clinical measurement: 27,181 […]The post The most-cited statistics papers ever appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and […]
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2:36 PM | my talk at the University of Michigan IOE department
On Friday I gave a seminar at the University of Michigan’s Industrial and Operations Engineering Department. I was invited by the INFORMS student chapter and the Michigan IOE Diversity Initiative headed by Mariel Lavieri. I owe a special thank you to the INFORMS Speakers Program that subsidized the cost of my trip. Women, minority, and international students attended the lunch. […]
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1:00 PM | On deck this week
Mon: The most-cited statistics papers ever Tues: American Psychological Society announces a new journal Wed: Am I too negative? Thurs: As the boldest experiment in journalism history, you admit you made a mistake Fri: The Notorious N.H.S.T. presents: Mo P-values Mo Problems Sat: Bizarre academic spam Sun: An old discussion of food desertsThe post On deck this week appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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10:54 AM | Lobbyists have another reason to dominate public commenting #OWS
Before I begin this morning’s rant, I need to mention that, as I’ve taken on a new job recently and I’m still trying to write a book, I’m expecting to not be able to blog as regularly as I have been. It pains me to say it but my posts will become more intermittent until […]
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10:42 AM | Did Edmond tells Robert to, “sling his hooke!”?
The circumstances surrounding the genesis and publication of Newton’s magnum opus, Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, and the priority dispute concerning the origins of the concept of universal gravity are amongst the best documented in the history of science. Two of … Continue reading →
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10:19 AM | Just gave a talk
I just gave a talk in Milan. Actually I was sitting at my desk, it was a g+ hangout which was a bit more convenient for me. The audience was a bunch of astronomers so I figured they could handle a satellite link. . . . Anyway, the talk didn’t go so well. Two reasons: […]The post Just gave a talk appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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9:02 AM | Operads and Trees
It would be nice if someone had already proved these conjectured results relating trees and operads.
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2:27 AM | RSA Encryption – Keeping the Internet Secure
  We use the Internet for many things, from reading news articles, to keeping in touch with friends on social media, to shopping from the comfort of our own homes. Many of these tasks involve sending sensitive personal information (such … Continue reading →
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12:36 AM | Amazing approximation to e
Here’s an approximation to e by Richard Sabey that uses the digits 1 through 9 and is accurate to over a septillion digits. (A septillion is 1024.) MathWorld says that this approximation is accurate to 18457734525360901453873570 decimal digits. How could…Read more ›

March 30, 2014

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10:14 PM | Bayesian Data Analysis [BDA3 - part #2]
Here is the second part of my review of Gelman et al.’ Bayesian Data Analysis (third edition): “When an iterative simulation algorithm is “tuned” (…) the iterations will not in general converge to the target distribution.” (p.297) Part III covers advanced computation, obviously including MCMC but also model approximations like variational Bayes and expectation propagation […]
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10:07 PM | 2048
Ricordate 10? Il gameplay del gioco, opportunamente modificato e adattato, è stato successivamente applicato ad altri giochi numerici come Threes di Asher Vollmer o 1024 dei Veewo Studio. In entrambi i casi si gioca con le potenze, del 3 e del 2 rispettivamente. In particolare il secondo si vince raggiungendo $1024$, che è $2^{10}$.Nel mondo dei videogiochi, però, i cloni vincono sempre ed ecco che 1024 genera un po' di suoi cloni tutti con il titolo di 2048, che poi […]
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1:41 PM | Adjudicating between alternative interpretations of a statistical interaction?
Jacob Felson writes: Say we have a statistically significant interaction in non-experimental data between two continuous predictors, X and Z and it is unclear which variable is primarily a cause and which variable is primarily a moderator. One person might find it more plausible to think of X as a cause and Z as a […]The post Adjudicating between alternative interpretations of a statistical interaction? appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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1:32 PM | Fourier Series and Flipped Classrooms
Moving beyond traditional lecturing.
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10:14 AM | When gaming is NP-hard
by @ulaulaman about #candycrush #bejeweled #shariki #nphard #computerscience Shariki is a puzzle game developed by the russian programmer Eugene Alemzhin in 1994. The rules are simple: (...) matching three or more balls of the same color in line (vertical or horizontal). These balls then explode and a new ones appear in their place.The first Shariki's clone is Tetris Attack, a fusion between Shariki and the most famous Tetris, also this developed in Soviet Union by Alexey Pajitnov. But the […]
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