Posts

October 13, 2014

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2:17 PM | what I learned from preparing for a semi-plenary talk
I recently blogged about a semi-plenary talk I gave at the German OR Society Conference. This post is about the process of preparing for that presentation. First I thought about the story I wanted to tell. I’ve given a lot of research talks before. I understand the general plot of a research talk, but a semi-plenary […]
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1:42 PM | Just a bit of blue
http://t.co/hgbABOxUlm by @ulaulaman about #nobelprize2014 on #physics #led #light #semiconductors Created with SketchBookXOne of the first classifications that you learn when you start to study the behavior of matter interacting with electricity is between conductors and insulators: a conductor is a material that easily allows the passage of electric charges; on the other hand, an insulator prevents it (or makes it difficult). It is possible to characterize these two kinds of materials […]
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12:00 AM | Links for October 12
An exact fishy test, a Shiny app by Macartan Humphreys, via Andrew Gelman. Beautiful Chemistry is a project from Tsinghua University Press and China’s University of Science and Technology, with beautiful close-up footage of chemical reactions. Laura McLay in defense of model complexity, a counterpoint to her post in defense of model simplicity. Pledge something […]

October 12, 2014

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10:14 PM | how far can we go with Minard’s map?!
Like many others, I discovered Minard’s map of the catastrophic 1812 Russian campaign of Napoleon in Tufte’s book. And I consider it a masterpiece for its elegant way of summarising some many levels of information about this doomed invasion of Russia. So when I spotted Menno-Jan Kraak’s Mapping Time, analysing the challenges of multidimensional cartography […]
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8:47 PM | 10th anniversary of “Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science”
Richard Morey pointed out the other day that this blog is 10 years old! During this time, we’ve had 5688 posts, 48799 comments, and who knows how many readers. On this tenth anniversary, I’d like to thank my collaborators on all the work I’ve blogged, my co-bloggers (“This post is by Phil”), our commenters, Alex […] The post 10th anniversary of “Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science” appeared first on Statistical Modeling, […]
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8:30 PM | Celebrate Mathematicians part 2
I observed that you enjoyed my last post ( part 1 ) about the mathematicians born in October, so I decided to write a post for every 6 mathematicians (I believe it just easy to read and the post is not that … Continue reading →
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7:55 PM | Additive limits
In graph theory, the recently developed theory of graph limits has proven to be a useful tool for analysing large dense graphs, being a convenient reformulation of the Szemerédi regularity lemma. Roughly speaking, the theory asserts that given any sequence of finite graphs, one can extract a subsequence which converges (in a specific sense) to […]
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5:53 PM | Batman e Joker: tra Moore e Morrison
E' partito lo Speciale per i 75 anni di Batman. Anche in questo caso ho partecipato con grande entusiasmo scrivendo un lungo articolo dedicato al Joker, l'avversario per eccellenza di Batman. In questo estratto (con alcune parti che ho tenuto fuori dall'articolo, centrato sul Joker), vi propongo un breve esame su due delle più importanti visioni sul folle clown del crimine, come lo definì durante la silver age il grande Dennis O'Neil. The Killing JokeAlan Moore riteneva e continua […]
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12:18 PM | poor graph of the day
Filed under: Books Tagged: bad graph, Eurostat, investment, Le Monde
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3:13 AM | “Illinois chancellor who fired Salaita accused of serial self-plagiarism.”
I came across a couple of stories today that made me wonder how much we can learn from a scholar’s professional misconduct. The first was a review by Kimberle Crenshaw of a book by Joan Biskupic about Supreme Court judge Sonia Sotomayor. Crenshaw makes the interesting point that Sotomayor, like many political appointees of the […] The post “Illinois chancellor who fired Salaita accused of serial self-plagiarism.” appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, […]

October 11, 2014

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10:18 PM | Wien graffitis
Filed under: Kids, pictures, Running, Travel Tagged: bagpipes, graffitis, Panza, Scotland, Skirl, Vienna
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10:01 PM | Thoughts on ranking employers
Via Alex Tabarrok at Marginal Revolution – OK, who am I fooling, via LinkedIn when it said that schools I’d attended were highly ranked – LinkedIn has put out university rankings based on career outcomes. They’ve done this in eight fields: accounting professionals, designers, finance professionals, investment bankers, marketers, media professionals, software developers, and software […]
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1:57 PM | Science tells us that fast food lovers are more likely to marry other fast food lovers
Emma Pierson writes: I’m a statistician working at the genetics company 23andMe before pursuing a master’s in statistics at Oxford on a Rhodes scholarship. I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog, and we’ve been doing some social science research at 23andMe which I thought might be of interest. We have about half a million customers answering […] The post Science tells us that fast food lovers are more likely to marry other fast food lovers appeared first on […]
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12:10 PM | Visualizzare MCD, mcm con i diagrammi di Venn
Il passo successivo alla scomposizione dei numeri è utilizzarla con lo scopo di determinare il massimo comun divisore e il minimo comune multiplo di due o più numeri. La regole sono semplici: nel primo caso, l'MCD è costituito dal prodotto dei fattori primi comuni presi con la potenza più piccola; nel secondo caso, l'mcm è costruito con il prodotto di tutti i fattori primi, comuni e non, presi con la potenza più grande. L'altra sera, mentre spiegavo […]

October 10, 2014

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10:14 PM | impression, soleil couchant
  As the sunset the day before had been magnificent [thanks to the current air pollution!], I attempted to catch it from a nice spot and went to the top of the nearby hill. The particles were alas (!) not so numerous that evening and so I only got this standard view of the sun […]
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4:39 PM | De-stressing Jokes
Whenever I am under stress, I turn to jokes. My recent problems with spam attacks on my blog led me to surf the web for new math jokes. Here are some of my recent translations from Russian. * * * Two is the same thing as eight, to some degree. * * * A girl […]
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2:08 PM | My Blog is under Attack
My readers noticed that my blog disappeared several times. Here’s what’s been happening. Spammers were sending tens of thousands of comments a day, which crashed the server several times. My hosting provider doteasy.com couldn’t handle it and took down my blog. They asked me to install CAPTCHAs. Installing CAPTCHAs became a big issue. Since I […]
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1:28 PM | When am I a conservative and when am I a liberal (when it comes to statistics, that is)?
Here I am one day: Let me conclude with a statistical point. Sometimes researchers want to play it safe by using traditional methods — most notoriously, in that recent note by Michael Link, president of the American Association of Public Opinion Research, arguing against non-probability sampling on the (unsupported) grounds that such methods have “little […] The post When am I a conservative and when am I a liberal (when it comes to statistics, that is)? appeared first on […]
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11:37 AM | Optimism can be discouraging
Here’s an internal dialog I’ve had several times. “What will happen when you’re done with this project?” “I don’t know. Maybe not much. Maybe great things.” “How great? What’s the best outcome you could reasonably expect?” “Hmm …  Not that great. Maybe I should be doing something else.” It’s a little paradoxical to think that […]
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11:26 AM | What male allies should *really* be doing
Chris Wiggins was kind enough to forward me this article on a recent panel discussion of “Male Allies of Women” at the 2014 Grace Hopper Celebration, which is a big deal conference for women in tech. Panelists included Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer, Google’s SVP of Search Alan Eustace, GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving, and Intuit CTO Tayloe Stansbury. […]
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10:41 AM | Insegnanti per la pace
Il Nobel per la Pace 2014 è stato assegnato a Kailash Satyarthi e Malala Yousafzai, insegnanti e attivisti per i diritti dei bambini, per la loro lotta contro l'oppressione di bambini e ragazzi e per il diritto all'istruzione di tutti i bambini
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10:40 AM | Teachers for the peace
http://t.co/W1K0rh9An6 #nobelprize2014 #peace #children #education #teaching The Nobel Prize for Peace 2014 is awarded to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai, teachers and activists for children rights, for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education
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2:15 AM | Ecology of cancer: mimicry, eco-engineers, morphostats, and nutrition
One of my favorite parts of mathematical modeling is the opportunities it provides to carefully explore metaphors and analogies between disciplines. The connection most carefully explored at the MBI Workshop on the Ecology and Evolution of Cancer was, as you can guess from the name, between ecology and oncology. Looking at cancer from the perspective […]

Potter, J. (2007). Morphogens, morphostats, microarchitecture and malignancy., Nature Reviews Cancer, 7 (6) 464-474. DOI: 10.1038/nrc2146

Citation

October 09, 2014

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10:35 PM | Varieties of description in political science
Markus Kreuzer writes: I am organizing a panel at next year’s American Political Science Association meeting tentatively entitled “Varieties of Description.” The idea is to compare and contrast the ways in which different disciplines approach descriptive inferences, that how they go about collective data, how they validate descriptive inferences and what ontological assumptions they make. […] The post Varieties of description in political science appeared first on […]
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10:14 PM | Combining Particle MCMC with Rao-Blackwellized Monte Carlo Data Association
This recently arXived paper by Juho Kokkala and Simo Särkkä mixes a whole lot of interesting topics, from particle MCMC and Rao-Blackwellisation to particle filters, Kalman filters, and even bear population estimation. The starting setup is the state-space hidden process models where particle filters are of use. And where Andrieu, Doucet and Hollenstein (2010) introduced […]
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7:59 PM | World Post Day
I have just discovered that on 9th October is celebrated the World Post Day, organized by the Universal Postal Union, the United Nations agency for postal services. And I thought it would be a nice idea to show you my … Continue reading →
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3:56 PM | underpowered statistical tests and the myth of the myth of the hot hand
In grad school, I learned about the hot hand fallacy in basketball. The so-called “hot hand” is the person whose scoring success probability is temporarily increased and therefore should shoot the ball more often (in the basketball context). I thought the myth of the hot hand effect was an amazing result: there is no such thing as a hot […]
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2:07 PM | Aggiornamento precario
Aggiornamento da INPS, precari e coccodé: Nel 2014 numerosi ex co.co.co., attualmente precari e/o disoccupati, si sono visti recapitare a casa una lettera dell’Inps con la quale si chiedeva la restituzione delle indennità di disoccupazione "una tantum" per collaboratori "erroneamente" erogate in precedenza (mediamente circa 4.000 euro). L'una tantum infatti esclude inspiegabilmente i collaboratori del pubblico impiego, ma a causa di una norma confusa e di dubbia […]
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1:23 PM | “Science does not advance by guessing”
I agree with Deborah Mayo who agrees with Carlo Rovelli that “Science does not advance by guessing. It advances by new data or by a deep investigation of the content and the apparent contradictions of previous empirically successful theories.” And, speaking as a statistician and statistical educator, I think there’s a big problem with the […] The post “Science does not advance by guessing” appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social […]
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1:07 PM | The upside down world paradox
By Catarina Dutilh NovaesAs most kids (I suspect), my daughters sometimes play ‘upside down world’, especially when I ask them something to which they should say ‘yes’, but instead they say ‘no’ and immediately regret it: ‘Upside down world!’ The upside down world game basically functions as a truth-value flipping operator: if you say yes, you mean no, and if you say no, you mean yes.My younger daughter recently came across the upside down […]
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