January 10, 2015

10:25 PM | 254A, Notes 3: The large sieve and the Bombieri-Vinogradov theorem
A fundamental and recurring problem in analytic number theory is to demonstrate the presence of cancellation in an oscillating sum, a typical example of which might be a correlation between two arithmetic functions and , which to avoid technicalities we will assume to be finitely supported (or that the variable is localised to a finite […]
2:22 PM | A completely reasonable-sounding statement with which I strongly disagree
In the context of a listserv discussion about replication in psychology experiments, someone wrote: The current best estimate of the effect size is somewhere in between the original study and the replication’s reported value. This conciliatory, split-the-difference statement sounds reasonable, and it might well represent good politics in the context of a war over replications—but […] The post A completely reasonable-sounding statement with which I strongly disagree appeared […]
12:56 PM | Citation as received wisdom
So I’m here at JMM, hanging out with my buddy Aaron Abrams and finagling free wifi at the Hyatt (pro tip from Jonathan Bloom: sign up to be on their gold membership plan, which is free, and as a member you get free wifi). Aaron and I started talking about the case of MIT professor […]

January 09, 2015

11:15 PM | Bhattacharyya distance versus Kullback-Leibler divergence
Another question I picked on Cross Validated during the Yule break is about the connection between the Bhattacharyya distance and the Kullback-Leibler divergence, i.e., and Although this Bhattacharyya distance sounds close to the Hellinger distance, the ordering I got by a simple Jensen inequality is and I wonder how useful this ordering could be…Filed under: […]
4:31 PM | The Aperiodical’s Best Maths Pun of 2014 Competition – The Results
It’s time to reveal the results of our search for the best maths pun of 2014. First of all, a startling number of you seemed unclear as to what a pun is. Yet others seemed not to notice that we were asking for new puns, so we had to rule those out as well. After ruling out... Read more »
2:52 PM | Planning my class for this semester: Thinking aloud about how to move toward active learning?
I’m teaching two classes this semester: - Design and Analysis of Sample Surveys (in the political science department, but the course has lots of statistics content); - Statistical Communication and Graphics (in the statistics department, but last time I taught it, many of the students were from other fields). I’ve taught both classes before. I […] The post Planning my class for this semester: Thinking aloud about how to move toward active learning? appeared first on […]
2:12 PM | Blog seventh anniversary
Seven years This blog is seven years old today. I’ve written 2,273 posts so far, a little less than one per day. Over the holidays I combed through older posts looking for typos, broken links, etc. I fixed a lot of little things, but I’m sure I missed a few. If you find any problems, […]
12:36 PM | Guest post by Tom Adams: Obama homeownership push or mortgage market share battle?
This is a guest post by Tom Adams, who spent over 20 years in the securitization business and now works as an attorney and consultant and expert witness on MBS, CDO and securitization related issues. Good news for would-be home buyers  – the Obama Administration heard your concerns and has a new tool to help make […]
11:25 AM | Mochizuki's proof of the ABC conjecture: still "in limbo"
By Catarina Dutilh Novaes(Cross-posted at NewAPPS)Here's a short piece by the New Scientist on the status of Mochizuki's purported proof of the ABC conjecture. More than 2 years after the 500-page proof has been made public, the mathematical community still hasn't been able to decide whether it's correct or not. (Recall my post on this from May 2013; little change seems to have taken place since then.)Going back to my dialogical conception of mathematical proofs as involving a proponent who […]
10:15 AM | What meaning can and cannot be: Lessons from real life, Part 1
Nearly a decade and a half ago, before logic bewitched me and I fell under her spell, I started off graduate school intending to write a dissertation on something related to philosophy of fiction or fictional discourse (given that that's how specific my dissertation plans were for my first 1-2 years of grad school, I probably should've realized sooner that this was not the topic for me). This year I'm lucky enough to be teaching a 3rd-year undergrad course "Language & Mind" which has […]
7:11 AM | The AMS Must Justify Its Support of the NSA
Letter in the Notices of the AMS.

January 08, 2015

11:15 PM | ABC with emulators
A paper on the comparison of emulation methods for Approximate Bayesian Computation was recently arXived by Jabot et al. The idea is to bypass costly simulations of pseudo-data by running cheaper simulation from a pseudo-model or emulator constructed via a preliminary run of the original and costly model. To borrow from the paper introduction, ABC-Emulation […]
10:24 PM | Abstract Maths
These days someone shared an interesting article with me on Facebook (When Even Mathematicians Don’t Understand the Math) and I was impressed and it made me consider a lot of things. It is an article from 2004, but still I consider it to be even more true now than then. I have a question for […]
5:42 PM | Colours and Dimensions
You've probably learned early on that there are three primary colours. But why three? And why these three? Surprisingly, the answer lies in the beautiful mathematics of linear algebra and (high) dimension spaces!
3:37 PM | The Simon Marius Anniversary Celebrations 2014 have been a great success
On the 8 January 1610 the Ansbach court astronomer Simon Marius first observed the four largest moons of Jupiter just one day later than Galileo Galilei, although he would delay four years before publishing the results of his observations unlike … Continue reading →
2:14 PM | “Life Paths and Accomplishments of Mathematically Precocious Males and Females Four Decades Later”
Hmmmm . . . I think that, by “males and females,” they mean “boys and girls.” Anyway, I was interested in this paper (by David Lubinski, Camilla Benbow, and Harrison Kell) because . . . I’m one of the kids in the study. I was 11 years old at the time. What’s happened since then? […] The post “Life Paths and Accomplishments of Mathematically Precocious Males and Females Four Decades Later” appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal […]
10:32 AM | In memoriam: Ivor Grattan-Guinness
The great historian of logic and mathematics Ivor Grattan-Guinness passed away about a month ago, aged 73. I only heard it yesterday, when Stephen Read posted a link to the Guardian obituary on Facebook. From the obituary:He rescued the moribund journal Annals of Science, founded the journal History and Philosophy of Logic, and was on the board of Historia Mathematica from its inception. A member of the council of the Society for Psychical Research, he wrote Psychical Research: A Guide to […]

January 07, 2015

11:15 PM | a day of mourning
“Religion, a mediaeval form of unreason, when combined with modern weaponry becomes a real threat to our freedoms. This religious totalitarianism has caused a deadly mutation in the heart of Islam and we see the tragic consequences in Paris today. I stand with Charlie Hebdo, as we all must, to defend the art of satire, […]
6:24 PM | What to do in 2015: Your statistics diary
For the last two weeks of our class on statistical communication, I gave my students the following assignment: Every day, you will write an entry in your statistics diary. Just set up a text or Word file and add to it each day. The diary entries can be anything. They can be short slice-of-life observations […] The post What to do in 2015: Your statistics diary appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
5:28 PM | Stone cold sober as a matter of fact
The blog is back. We had some problems, I have no idea why. But it looks ok now. We’ll reschedule some posts that appeared briefly during the rebuilding process. The post Stone cold sober as a matter of fact appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
4:15 PM | ils ont tué Cabu, Charb, Wolinski, et les autres de Charlie!!!
Filed under: Books Tagged: Charlie Hebdo, Je suis Charlie
3:48 PM | If you’re going to blog about history of science then at least do the legwork.
In 2012 I found it necessary on two occasions to pour scorn onto the attempts of Esther Inglis-Arkell to blog about the history of science on the io9 website. In the end I gave up having come to the conclusion, … Continue reading →
2:39 PM | Je suis Charlie Hebdo
News e aggiornamenti su LSB - immagine di @freshmiss22
12:23 PM | Going to San Antonio for JMM
Hey, so this is cool. The Alternative Banking group just came out with a second Huffington Post essay, this time on how the bailout isn’t over, how it didn’t work, and how we’re already preparing for the next one. I think it came out really well. You can read it here. Also, I’ll be giving […]
10:45 AM | Probability resources
Each Wednesday I post a list of notes on some topic. This week it’s probability. Diagram of probability distribution relationships Central limit theorems Counting selections with replacement Distributions in R, Mathematica, Excel, SciPy Cauchy distribution parameter estimation Adult heights and mixture distributions See also posts tagged probability and statistics and the Twitter account ProbFact. Last […]
7:56 AM | Report from SODA, ALENEX, and ANALCO
I just returned from San Diego, where ALENEX, ANALCO, and SODA were held this year. I'm only going to write about a fraction of the things that happened at these conferences, in part because (with four different sessions happening in parallel much of the time) it was only possible for one person to see a fraction of those things. Also I already posted bits about the ALENEX/ANALCO business meeting and SODA business meeting so I won't repeat those here.Sunday's scheduled plenary talk by Peter […]
4:45 AM | Cataloging a year of blogging: cancer and biology
Welcome to 111101111. Another year has come to an end, and it is time to embrace tradition and reflect on the past twelve months. In fact, I will try to do one better and start a new tradition: cataloging a year of blogging. Last year, I split up the 83 content heavy posts of 2013 […]

Kaznatcheev, A., Scott, J.G. & Basanta, D. (2014). Edge effects in game theoretic dynamics of spatially structured tumours., arXiv, arXiv:

4:23 AM | I looked at him good
From a US Senate investigation, Reports of the Committee on the Conduct of the War, concerning the Fort Pillow Massacre, which I had never heard of until today. Question. Did you see any buildings burned? Answer. I staid in the woods all day Wednesday. I was there Thursday and looked at the buildings. I saw a […]
2:13 AM | Blog problems
Hi, the blog got screwed up. We’re busy fixing it. But, in the meantime, please don’t comment, as I can’t be sure the new comments will be saved. The post Blog problems appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

January 06, 2015

11:15 PM | how many modes in a normal mixture?
An interesting question I spotted on Cross Validated today: How to tell if a mixture of Gaussians will be multimodal? Indeed, there is no known analytical condition on the parameters of a fully specified k-component mixture for the modes to number k or less than k… Googling around, I immediately came upon this webpage by […]
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