April 13, 2015

6:06 PM | LOG#170. The shortest papers ever: the list.
Hi, everyone. In this short post I am going to discuss some of the shortest papers ever written all over the world!!!!! This idea came to my mind due to a post by @seanmcarroll on twitter and other social networks… … Continue reading → Tags:  euler's counterexample, LLAP!, meaning of life, moonshine, neutrinos, proton to electron mass ratio, short paper, shortest papers, shortest papers ever, superluminal neutrinos […]
3:55 PM | Quantifying uncertainty
The primary way to quantify uncertainty is to use probability. Subject to certain axioms that aim to capture common-sense rules for quantifying uncertainty, probability theory is essentially the only way. (This is Cox’s theorem.) Other methods, such as fuzzy logic, may be useful, though they must violate common sense (at least as defined by Cox’s theorem) […]
3:24 PM | Why do we communicate probability calculations so poorly, even when we know how to do it better?
Haynes Goddard writes: I thought to do some reading in psychology on why Bayesian probability seems so counterintuitive, and making it difficult for many to learn and apply. Indeed, that is the finding of considerable research in psychology. It turns out that it is counterintuitive because of the way it is presented, following no doubt […] The post Why do we communicate probability calculations so poorly, even when we know how to do it better? appeared first on Statistical Modeling, […]
2:30 PM | Lambert on Love and Hate in Geometry
The history of hyperbolic geometry is filled with hyperbolic quotes, and I came across a beautiful one earlier this semester in my math history class. Johann Heinrich Lambert, a Swiss mathematician... -- Read more on
2:11 PM | There is no such thing as Greek science.
I’m pretty certain that a fair number of people reading the title of this post will be going, ‘what the hell is he talking about? We heard all about Greek science at primary (grade) school, secondary school, high school, college, … Continue reading →
1:00 PM | On deck this week
Mon: Why do we communicate probability calculations so poorly, even when we know how to do it better? Tues: “For better or for worse, academics are fascinated by academic rankings . . .” Wed: A message I just sent to my class Thurs: Perhaps the most contextless email I’ve ever received Fri: Gigerenzer on logical […] The post On deck this week appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
12:18 PM | run in the parc [#1]
Filed under: pictures, Running, Travel Tagged: Air France, English train, France, morning light, morning run, Parc de Sceaux, Paris suburbs, RER B
11:12 AM | Predatory credit score-based insurance fees
I’ve been looking into who uses credit scores – FICO scores or other alternative scores – and I’ve found that the insurance industry is a major user. Homeowners insurance rates, for example, varies wildly by state depending on what kind of credit score you have, often more than doubling for people with poor credit versus […]
10:54 AM | Manoscritto matematico di Alan Turing
Come si sa, Alan Turing nel 1954 prese la sicuramente sofferta decisione di uccidersi. Questo, però, non gli impedì di lasciare delle indicazioni precise, come affidare le sue carte all'amico e collega matematico Robin Gandy. Quest'ultimo depositò nel 1977 gli articoli in suo possesso presso l'archivio del King's College a Cambridge, lasciandoli così a disposizione per la consultazione da parte degli studiosi turingiani. Però tenne per sé un blocco di […]

April 12, 2015

10:15 PM | a vignette on Metropolis
Over the past week, I wrote a short introduction to the Metropolis-Hastings algorithm, mostly in the style of our Introduction to Monte Carlo with R book, that is, with very little theory and worked-out illustrations on simple examples. (And partly over the Atlantic on my flight to New York and Columbia.) This vignette is intended […]
10:07 PM | The Emperor and His Wizards
I recently posted a cute puzzle about the emperor and his wizards from 2015 Moscow Math Olympiad. It is time for the solution and two new variations. But first let me repeat the puzzle. The emperor invited 2015 of his wizards to a carnival. Some of the wizards are good and others are evil. The […]
5:26 PM | Carnival of Mathematics #121
Finally the 121st edition of Carnival of Mathematics, a great idea of The Aperiodical!!  I am extremely exited to host this. In case you don’t know much about this carnival I encourage you to read more The Aperiodical and maybe you could be the next host. So, lets get started! ^_^  Understanding 121: Firstly, 121 is not […]
2:01 PM | The Structure of A
How to define the structure of
1:41 PM | “Another bad chart for you to criticize”
Perhaps in response to my lament, “People used to send me ugly graphs, now I get these things,” Stuart Buck sends me an email with the above comment and a link to this “Graphic of the day” produced by some uncredited designer at Thomson Reuters: From a statistical perspective, this graph is a disaster in […] The post “Another bad chart for you to criticize” appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
9:49 AM | Talking, really, about work
Yesterday I was driving up to Northeim to pick up some Sandkastensand (because people had actually cleaned out the other store’s 150 25kg packs — are you kidding me). While in my car, I was listening to this conversation on …

April 11, 2015

10:23 PM | Various computations of the odds of a perfect March Madness bracket
Joseph Nebus has written a series of posts on the entropy in basketball results: for a single team, for both teams, in the win-loss results for a 64-team tournament like March Madness. For the final question he gets an answer … Continue reading →
10:15 PM | chocolate mousse [recipe]
Chocolate mousse may be my favourite desert, most likely because it was considered the top desert by both my mother and my grandmother!, but it is very easy both to miss and to mess the outcome. Which is why I never eat mousse in a restaurant and why I statistically fail to make a proper […]
6:29 PM | Defining zero factorial
Things are defined the way they are for good reasons. This seems blatantly obvious now, but it was eye-opening when I learned this my first year in college. Our professor, Mike Starbird, asked us to go home and think about how convergence of a series should be defined. Not how it is defined, but how […]
3:17 PM | Aunt Pythia’s advice
Hello, friends. Aunt Pythia is grateful, as usual, to be able to perform her favorite function this morning, namely doling out questionable and downright misleading advice to earnest and vulnerable nerds. She wishes she could do better than that, but there it is. For example, here’s some terrible advice that Aunt Pythia is offering up, […]
3:09 PM | George’s dream
While I have shared this idea with many of my friends [in both senses that I mentioned it and that they shared the same feeling that it would be a great improvement], the first time I heard of the notion was in George Casella‘s kitchen in Ithaca, New York, in the early 1990’s… We were […]
2:18 PM | Great Pacific: l'immondizia del Pacifico
Great Pacific, fumetto di Joe Harris e Martin Morazzo tra #politica, #ecologismo e #misticismo: una salsa non completamente efficaceGreat Pacific di Joe Harris e Martin Morazzo è costruito, come molte serie televisive, con l'intreccio narrativo di temi differenti. Tutto, però, ruota intorno al nodo centrale della così detta grande chiazza di immondizia del Pacifico, interpretata come una sorta di isola di lattine e altri rifiuti plastici di vario tipo. Una interpretazione […]

Zettler E.R., Mincer T.J. & Amaral-Zettler L.A. (2013). Life in the “Plastisphere”: Microbial Communities on Plastic Marine Debris, Environmental Science , 47 (13) 7137-7146. DOI:

Jambeck J.R., C. Wilcox, T. R. Siegler, M. Perryman, A. Andrady, R. Narayan & K. L. Law (2015). Plastic waste inputs from land into the ocean, Science, 347 (6223) 768-771. DOI:

1:24 PM | Another stylized fact bites the dust
According to economist Henry Farber (link from Dan Goldstein): In a seminal paper, Camerer, Babcock, Loewenstein, and Thaler (1997) find that the wage elasticity of daily hours of work New York City (NYC) taxi drivers is negative and conclude that their labor supply behavior is consistent with target earning (having reference dependent preferences). I replicate […] The post Another stylized fact bites the dust appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
4:25 AM | Summer Internship at Novartis: Stan PK/PD Modeling
This looks like a great way to spend a summer: Summer Internship at Novartis Integrated Quantitative Sciences Here’s the job description: Bayesian modeling tools with Stan: Create re-usable tools for the Bayesian modeling of pharmacometrics data that can integrate diverse data sources (including pre-clinical, in-silico model predictions, etc.). Using the latest Stan’s facilities ( develop […] The post Summer Internship at Novartis: Stan PK/PD Modeling […]

April 10, 2015

10:15 PM | Fool’s Assassin
When I learned that Robin Hobb had started a new Assassin’s trilogy, Fitz and the Fool, I got a bit wary, given the poor sequel to the Liveship Traders trilogy I read in the hospital two years ago, and the imperfect Soldier Son trilogy… But also excited, for The Farseer Trilogy is one of the […]
7:54 PM | A silly little error, of the sort that I make every day
Ummmm, running Stan, testing out a new method we have that applies EP-like ideas to perform inference with aggregate data—it’s really cool, I’ll post more on it once we’ve tried everything out and have a paper that’s in better shape—anyway, I’m starting with a normal example, a varying-intercept, varying-slope model where the intercepts have population […] The post A silly little error, of the sort that I make every day appeared first on […]
7:18 PM |
From the NYRB: In 2009, police in Long Branch, New Jersey, were alerted to the presence of an “eccentric-looking old man” wandering around a residential neighborhood in the rain and peering into the windows of a house marked with a “for sale” sign. When the police arrived, the man introduced himself as Bob Dylan. He […]
1:55 PM | Mistaken identity
Someone I know sent me the following email: The person XX [pseudonym redacted] who posts on your blog is almost certainly YY [name redacted]. So he is referencing his own work and trying to make it sound like it is a third party endorsing it. Not sure why but it bugs me. He is an […] The post Mistaken identity appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
1:15 PM | from my office
Filed under: pictures, Travel, University life Tagged: bois de Boulogne, Fondation Louis Vuiton, La Défense, Paris, Université Paris Dauphine
12:23 PM | Cricket averages: what do you mean?
Easter has always seemed a nothing sort of a holiday to me. Partly it’s because I never know when it will be (I would vote for a party that pledged to standardise Easter, but that’s another matter…) There is - of course - an R function, timeDate::Easter(), but Easter’s date will never be ingrained in the way that Christmas is, and thus anticipation will never build to the same extent. There’s not much to look forward too, either. Don’t get me... Read […]
10:37 AM | Aristotle's definition of the syllogism -- a dialogical interpretation
By Catarina Dutilh Novaes(Cross-posted at NewAPPS)(I am currently finishing a paper on the definition of the syllogism according to Aristotle, Ockham, and Buridan. I post below the section where I present a dialogical interpretation of Aristotle's definition.)Aristotle’s definition of ‘syllogismos’ in APri 24b18-22 is among one of the most commented-upon passages of the Aristotelian corpus, by ancient as well as (Arabic and Latin) medieval commentators. He offers very similar […]
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