Posts

November 04, 2014

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12:18 AM | We always think we’re right, but we don’t think we’re always right.
Jordan Ellenberg on how many states Nate Silver is going to get wrong, according to Nate Silver. (This refers to the elections of US Senators taking place tomorrow.) For each state Silver gives a probability of winning; we can give a probability that Silver will be wrong which is just his own predicted probability that […]

November 03, 2014

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11:14 PM | small-noise analysis and symmetrization of implicit Monte Carlo samplers
I read this arXived paper of Goodman, Lin and Morzfeld on a (long) train trip to the North of Paris, paper that deals with asymptotics of importance sampling, but I still have trouble about its impact on statistical (Bayesian) problems. The paper is indeed mostly about asymptotics of symmetrized versions of importance sampling, but there is a […]
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6:39 PM | Omelas privacy
A recently posted critique of a critique of differential privacy reminded me of this example, which I've named after of Ursula LeGuin's thought experiment The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas. (If you haven't read that, you should. And it probably doesn't help to know that Omelas is "Salem, O." spelled backwards.)Suppose that we have a society that values the privacy of its citizens' medical records, but yet wants to publish data that will enable epidemiologists and other researchers to find out […]
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4:00 PM | Index of ignorance, or just innumeracy?
From Zach Wener-Fligner at Quartz, <a href=”http://qz.com/288707/everything-you-think-you-know-about-the-news-is-probably-wrong/”>Everything you think you know about the news is probably wrong</a>, based on <a href=”https://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive/3466/Perceptions-are-not-reality-10-things-the-world-gets-wrong.aspx”>this Ipsos MORI study</a> of online panels in fourteen countries: Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, […]
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3:38 PM | My talk today at the University of Michigan, 4pm at the Institute for Social Research
Generalizing from sample to population Andrew Gelman, Department of Statistics, Columbia University We’ve been hearing a lot about “data” recently, but data are generally a means to an end, with the goal being to learn about some population of interest. How do we generalize from sample to population? The process seems a bit mysterious, especially […] The post My talk today at the University of Michigan, 4pm at the Institute for Social Research appeared first on […]
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3:00 PM | On deck this week
Mon: My talk today at the University of Michigan, 4pm at the Institute for Social Research Tues: Social research is not the same as health research: Macartan Humphreys gives new guidelines for ethics in social science research Wed: “The Firth bias correction, penalization, and weakly informative priors: A case for log-F priors in logistic and […] The post On deck this week appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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2:47 PM | Storia e gloria di un numero uno
Stupiti che 1 non sia primo? Scopriamo insieme perché è "solo" l'unità!Abbiamo già visto come, partendo dai numeri primi, si possa sviluppare un discorso più o meno approfondito sulle fondamenta matematiche. Altrettanto fondamentale, però, si rivela provare a rispondere alla domanda su quale sia il numero primo più piccolo. E', infatti, abbastanza noto come il numero 1 sia stato ora inserito ora escluso dalla lista dei numeri primi, ottenendo in […]

Agargun A.G. & Fletcher C.R. (1997). The Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic Dissected, The Mathematical Gazette, 81 (490) 53-57. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3618768

Crandall R. & Pomerance C.B. (2005). Primes!, Prime Numbers, Prime numbers: a computational perspective 1-82. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/0-387-28979-8_1

Caldwell C.K. & Xiong Y. (2012). What is the smallest prime?, Journal of Integer Sequences, 15 arXiv: http://arxiv.org/abs/1209.2007v2

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2:00 PM | On deck this month
My talk today at the University of Michigan, 4pm at the Institute for Social Research Social research is not the same as health research: Macartan Humphreys gives new guidelines for ethics in social science research “The Firth bias correction, penalization, and weakly informative priors: A case for log-F priors in logistic and related regressions” I’m […] The post On deck this month appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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12:36 PM | “Hand To Mouth” and the rationality of the poor
Here’s one thing that you do as a mathematician a lot: change the assumptions and see how wildly the conclusions change. You usually start with lots of assumptions, and then see how things change when they are taken away one by one: what if the ring isn’t commutative? What if it doesn’t have a “1”? […]
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9:01 AM | Tiny blogging challenge
This year hasn’t exactly been great in terms of my blogging. Because life. After the Red Workbook concept tapered off I barely managed 1 post per month. Still, I miss writing. So I’m setting myself a tiny blogging challenge for …

November 02, 2014

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11:14 PM | methods for quantifying conflict casualties in Syria
On Monday November 17, 11am, Amphi 10, Université Paris-Dauphine,  Rebecca Steorts from CMU will give a talk at the GT Statistique et imagerie seminar: Information about social entities is often spread across multiple large databases, each degraded by noise, and without unique identifiers shared across databases.Entity resolution—reconstructing the actual entities and their attributes—is essential to […]
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10:17 PM | Links for November 2
John Rauser of Pinterest gave a talk at the Strata Conference / Hadoop World on statistics without the agonizing pain – you replace the pain of statistics with the pain of simulation, which for an audience of programmers is much less painful. Via revolution analytics. Surfacing this week on Hacker News was this article by […]
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9:26 PM | Le strabilianti imprese di Fantomius
Paperinik fa il suo esordio sui numeri 706 e 707 di Topolino del giugno 1969. L'ispirazione per le imprese e il costume arrivano a Paperino dai diari del vecchio possessore di Villa Rosa, una casa abbandonata vinta da Gastone con il solito concorso, ma che con l'inganno Paperino ha dichiarato sua. I diari sono scritti da un ricco gentiluomo che di notte si dedica alla carriera di ladro con il nome di Fantomius insieme con la sua degna compagna Dolly Paprika: dietro la maschera […]
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7:17 PM | Bumgarner 2014, Ortiz 2013, and the World Series OVP
I was wondering about the question of whether Madison Bumgarner was not only the MVP of the 2014 World Series, but the MVP of all recent World Series.  I mean, here’s something startling:  Bumgarner’s ERA for the series was 0.43, over 21 innings.  The rest of the Giants staff recorded a 5.71 ERA in their 40 […]
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2:24 PM | Ray Could Write
Now he is scattered among a hundred cities And wholly given over to unfamiliar affections, To find his happiness in another kind of wood And be punished under a foreign code of conscience. . . . You were silly like us; your gift survived it all: For chess makes nothing happen: it survives In the […] The post Ray Could Write appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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3:55 AM | From realism to interfaces and rationality in evolutionary games
As I was preparing some reading assignments, I realized that I don’t have a single resource available that covers the main ideas of the interface theory of perception, objective versus subjective rationality, and their relationship to evolutionary game theory. I wanted to correct this oversight and use it as opportunity to comment on the philosophy […]

Kaznatcheev, A., Montrey, M. & Shultz, T.R. (2014). Evolving useful delusions: Subjectively rational selfishness leads to objectively irrational cooperation., Proceedings of the 36th annual conference of the cognitive science societ., arXiv: http://arxiv.org/abs/1405.0041v1

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12:57 AM | Celebrate Mathematicians Part 4
I am posting this later than normal, but as you already know there were a lot of mathematicians in the last 10 days and it was a little harder for me to keep up with everything. In my last posts … Continue reading →
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12:07 AM | October Favorites
October has finished, yesterday Halloween went quite chill for me, I did not do something specific for it (dressed a little with a friend and a good anime, and the day finished). Also yesterday was the last day for Celebrate Mathematicians … Continue reading →

November 01, 2014

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11:14 PM | last Indian summer rays…
Filed under: Kids, pictures Tagged: cat, garden, rhubarb, summer light
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5:47 PM | Linkage for (the day after) Halloween
Kinetic origami sculpture by Jo Nakashima (G+)How pineapples help finding Steiner trees (G+)ICALP 2015 conference web site and call for papers (deadline Feb.17; G+)Mass resignation from an open access journal (G+)A hardness result for organizing your Google Scholar profile (G+)Wikipedia, a Professor's Best Friend, and a tangential note about binary logarithms (G+)When women stopped coding, an analysis of why and how long we've been seeing a decline in the number of women in computer science […]
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4:45 PM | Planck results, ATLAS and the dark matter
http://t.co/jJxD8rhCr6 by @ulaulaman about #Planck, #ATLAS, #DarkMatter at #LHC The last issue of Astronomy & Astrophysics (that it's free) is devoted to the Planck 2013 results: This collection of 31 articles presents the initial scientific results extracted from this first Planck dataset, which measures the cosmic microwave background (CMB) with the highest accuracy to date. It provides major new advances in different domains of cosmology and astrophysics.In the first paper there is an […]
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4:28 PM | A place value puzzle
Fawn Nguyen, a middle-school math teacher, has written on finding the greatest product of a three-digit number and a two-digit number made up from some set of five digits. For example: if you’re given the digits 8, 7, 5,4, and 2, you’d have (to pick a product at random) . The question is to write […]
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3:58 PM | This is where they publish the stuff that can’t make it into Psychological Science
N=22 (link from here and here). I was unhappy to see that the two news articles took the study at face value. Photoplethysmograph, indeed. As Daniel Kahneman might say, “You have no choice but to accept that the major conclusions of these studies are true.” Not. The post This is where they publish the stuff that can’t make it into Psychological Science appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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2:29 PM | Tutti mi danno del bastardo
Metti che una mattina esci con tuo fratello per andare a fare la (seconda per me) colazione in un determinato posto. Metti che questo posto è chiuso. Metti che tuo fratello non ha fatto colazione e risulta scomodo ritornare a casa perché dopo si esce per pranzo. Metti che vicino il posto chiuso c'è una libreria aperta con bar. Come si può continuare la storia?Siamo andati a fare la (sempre seconda per me) colazione al bar della libreria! Una libreria aperta da poco, […]
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11:50 AM | Aunt Pythia’s advice
Well, hello and good morning! Glad you all could make it onto Aunt Pythia’s magic bus today! I’ve redecorated to celebrate Daylight Savings Time (or rather, the end of it): Daylight savings time has made Aunt Pythia very happy today, because it means an extra hour for me to focus on you, you and your […]
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11:37 AM | Blog changes coming
I’m in the process of redesigning my blog and web site. Some things will move around, but nothing is going away. In particular, the URL http://johndcook.com/blog may take you to the new home page rather than the latest blog post, at least temporarily. If you subscribe via email or RSS posts will come to you […]
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3:06 AM | A Montana resident just sent me this
He got it in the mail and writes, “I don’t recall receiving the original mailer, but I probably would have just tossed it with the rest of the election mail I was getting.” P.S. Wouldn’t it be funny if this letter was actually sent from someone in the political science department at Montana State University, […] The post A Montana resident just sent me this appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

October 31, 2014

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11:14 PM | latest interviews on the philosophy of religion(s)
“But is the existence of God just a philosophical question, like, say, the definition of knowledge or the existence of Plato’s forms?” Gary Gutting, NYT Although I stopped following The Stone‘s interviews of philosophers about their views on religion, six more took place and Gary Gutting has now closed the series he started a while […]
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8:12 PM | To some a citation is worth $3 per year
Originally posted on Bits of DNA:Earlier this week US News and World Report (USNWR) released, for the first time, a global ranking of universities including rankings by subject area. In mathematics, the top ten universities are: 1. Berkeley 2.…
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6:18 PM | snapshot from Salem
Filed under: Kids, pictures, Travel Tagged: Halloween, Massachusset, Roger Conant, Salem, statue, USA, vacations, witchery
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