September 04, 2014

9:57 PM | August Favorites
It is time for August favorites, this was my holiday month, so there is not that much math in it obviously; as July was my extra-work month ( check July Favorites in case you missed it). So, this will just a little … Continue reading →
8:55 PM | Ayesha
Avevo iniziato a leggere il secondo romanzo prima ancora di acquistare il primo quando, resomi conto che era il seguito di un libro che non avevo, ne lasciai la lettura dopo poco. Ora, avendo recuperato il primo dei due romanzi, ho potuto leggere l'opera di Haggard, il creatore di Alan Quatermann, nel suo complesso, apprezzando così una saga che ha visto la pubblicazione originale delle due parti a 20 anni di distanza l'una dall'altra.Al di là dei problemi di traduzione […]
1:25 PM | Why isn’t replication required before publication in top journals?
Gabriel Power asks the above question, writing: I don’t recall seeing, on your blog or elsewhere, this question raised directly. Of course there is much talk about the importance of replication, mostly by statisticians, and economists are grudgingly following suit with top journals requiring datasets and code. But why not make it a simple requirement? […] The post Why isn’t replication required before publication in top journals? appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal […]
11:25 AM | Student evaluations: very noisy data
I’ve been sent this recent New York Times article by a few people (thanks!). It’s called Grading Teachers, With Data From Class, and it’s about how standardized tests are showing themselves to be inadequate to evaluate teachers, so a Silicon Valley-backed education startup called Panorama is stepping into the mix with a data collection process focused […]
4:22 AM | Squeeze! Squeeze!
I hope the world never runs out of awesome Earl Weaver stories. I saw Earl Weaver put on a suicide squeeze bunt, in Milwaukee. It worked. Everybody asked him, ‘Wait, we thought you told us you didn’t even have a sign for a suicide squeeze, because you hated it so much.’ Earl said, ‘I still […]
4:04 AM | Teach Yourself Logic
Peter Smith, long ago a Cambridge colleague of mine, whose blog is Logic Matters, regularly updates his Teach Yourself Logic Study Guide, an annotated reading list for mathematical logic. It's useful for students, or anyone really, who want to do some self-study. Version 12.0 of the guide can be downloaded here.

September 03, 2014

10:14 PM | statistical challenges in neuroscience
Yet another workshop around! Still at Warwick, organised by Simon Barthelmé, Nicolas Chopin and Adam Johansen  on the theme of statistical aspects of neuroscience. Being nearby I attended a few lectures today but most talks are more topical than my current interest in the matter, plus workshop fatigue starts to appear!, and hence I will […]
9:37 PM | Steep learning curves you wish you’d climbed sooner
I asked on Twitter today “What steep learning curves do you wish you’d climbed sooner?” Here’s a summary of the replies: R Version control Linear algebra Advanced math Bayesian statistics Category theory Foreign languages How to not waste time Women IgorCarron‘s response didn’t fit into the list above. He said “I wish I had known […]
6:33 PM | Il laboratorio
Renzo Tomatis è stato uno dei massimi ricercatori medici italiani. La sua carriera si è svolta tra Italia, Stati Uniti e Francia. In particolare la sua esperienza statunitense, iniziata nel 1959, è stata raccontata con grandissima onestà ne Il laboratorio, diventato ben presto una sorta di punto di riferimento per molti ricercatori, in particolare quelli che speravano potesse cambiare qualcosa in Italia.In effetti, leggendo le pagine del libro, si ha la sensazione […]
1:43 PM | I disagree with Alan Turing and Daniel Kahneman regarding the strength of statistical evidence
It’s funny. I’m the statistician, but I’m more skeptical about statistics, compared to these renowned scientists. The quotes Here’s one: “You have no choice but to accept that the major conclusions of these studies are true.” Ahhhh, but we do have a choice! First, the background. We have two quotes from this paper by E. […] The post I disagree with Alan Turing and Daniel Kahneman regarding the strength of statistical evidence appeared first on […]
1:08 PM | ICM2014 — Kollár, Conlon, Katz, Krivelevich, Milnor
As the ICM recedes further into the past, these posts start to feel less and less fresh. I’ve had an enforced break from them as over the course of three days I drove my family from the south of France back to Cambridge. So I think I’ll try to do what I originally intended to […]
12:24 PM | Warwick campus
Filed under: pictures, Travel, University life Tagged: England, heron, mathematics, Statistics, summer, University of Warwick
11:39 AM | Major League Baseball scheduling at the German OR Society Conference
Mike Trick talked about his experience setting the Major League Baseball (MLB) schedule at the 2014 German OR Conference in Aachen, Germany. Mike’s plenary talk had two major themes: 1. Getting the job with the MLB 2. Keeping the job with the MLB The getting the job section summarized advances in computing power and integer […]
10:54 AM | Guest Post: Bring Back The Slide Rule!
This is a guest post by Gary Cornell, a mathematician, writer, publisher, and recent founder of StemForums. I was was having a wonderful ramen lunch with the mathbabe and, as is all too common when two broad minded Ph.D.’s in math get together, we started talking about the horrible state math education is in for […]
2:25 AM | The Spellbinding Mathematical GIFs Of Dave Whyte
Have a look.

September 02, 2014

10:14 PM | big data, big models, it is a big deal! [posters & talks]
Great poster session yesterday night and at lunch today. Saw an ABC poster (by Dennis Prangle, following our random forest paper) and several MCMC posters (by Marco Banterle, who actually won one of the speed-meeting mini-project awards!, Michael Betancourt, Anne-Marie Lyne, Murray Pollock), and then a rather different poster on Mondrian forests, that generalise random […]
7:08 PM | I cuculi di Midwich
Consigliato come lettura estiva da Fantascientificast, I figli dell'invasione di John Wyndham è un classico della fantascienza, trasportato al cinema in una versione di culto, Il villaggio dei dannati del 1960 girato da Wolf Rilla, e successivamente riportato al cinema nel 1995 in una delle ultime interpretazioni cinematografiche di Christopher Reeve, il Superman cinematografico, diretto per l'occasione da John Carpenter.La storia è tremendamente semplice e originale: in un […]
3:54 PM | Distributional Economic Health
I am pushing an unusual way of considering economic health. I call it “distributional thinking.” It requires that you not aggregate everything into one statistic, but rather take a few samples from different parts of the distribution and consider things from those different perspectives. So instead of saying “things are great because the economy has expanded at […]
3:43 PM | Maths in the city
Outreach is an incredibly important part of a researcher's job. Many mathematicians are funded through research councils that rely on tax payer money, so we really should be able to justify the work that we do. One project set up to do just that is Maths in the City. WCMB members, Dr Thomas Woolley and Paul Taylor, were recently filmed demonstrating the tour. Here, Paul recounts the experience.The close proximity of London is one of the perks of living in Oxford. Residents trek to the capital […]
1:23 PM | Questions about “Too Good to Be True”
Greg Won writes: I manage a team tasked with, among other things, analyzing data on Air Traffic operations to identify factors that may be associated with elevated risk. I think its fair to characterize our work as “data mining” (e.g., using rule induction, Bayesian, and statistical methods). One of my colleagues sent me a link […] The post Questions about “Too Good to Be True” appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
12:18 PM | ISBA@NIPS
[An announcement from ISBA about sponsoring young researchers at NIPS that links with my earlier post that our ABC in Montréal proposal for a workshop had been accepted and a more global feeling that we (as a society) should do more to reach towards machine-learning.] The International Society for Bayesian Analysis (ISBA) is pleased to […]
10:37 AM | Data science expiration date
About three years ago JD Long said I like the term “Data Scientist” for now. I expect that term will be meaningless in 5 years. Sounds about right.  
3:15 AM | Falsifiability and Gandy’s variant of the Church-Turing thesis
In 1936, two years after Karl Popper published the first German version of The Logic of Scientific Discovery and introduced falsifiability; Alonzo Church, Alan Turing, and Emil Post each published independent papers on the Entscheidungsproblem and introducing the lambda calculus, Turing machines, and Post-Turing machines as mathematical models of computation. The years after saw many […]

Gandy, R. (1980). Church's thesis and principles for mechanisms., Studies in Logic and the Foundations of Mathematics, (101) 123-148. DOI: 10.1016/S0049-237X(08)71257-6


September 01, 2014

10:14 PM | big data, big models, it is a big deal!
Filed under: pictures, Statistics, University life Tagged: big data, conference, England, Statistics, University of Warwick, workshop
8:15 PM | Racconti matematici
Secondo Robert Musil, nel simpatico racconto/saggio che chiude la raccolta curata da Claudio Bartocci, sono ben poche le attività umane dove la matematica non riveste alcun ruolo: Tutto ciò che esiste intorno a noi, che si muove, corre o se ne sta immobile, non soltanto sarebbe incomprensibile senza la matematica ma è effettivamente nato dalla matematica, e ne è sostenuto nella realtà concreta della propria esistenza.Anche la letteratura è fatta di […]
3:24 PM | Bad Statistics: Ignore or Call Out?
Evelyn Lamb adds to the conversation that Jeff Leek and I had a few months ago. It’s a topic that’s worth returning to, in light of our continuing discussions regarding the crisis of criticism in science. The post Bad Statistics: Ignore or Call Out? appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
3:00 PM | On deck this week
Mon: Bad Statistics: Ignore or Call Out? Tues: Questions about “Too Good to Be True” Wed: I disagree with Alan Turing and Daniel Kahneman regarding the strength of statistical evidence Thurs: Why isn’t replication required before publication in top journals? Fri: Confirmationist and falsificationist paradigms of science Sat: How does inference for next year’s data […] The post On deck this week appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social […]
12:18 PM | a day of travel
I had quite a special day today as I travelled through Birmingham, made a twenty minutes stop in Coventry to drop my bag in my office, went down to London to collect a most kindly loaned city-bike and took the train back to Coventry with the said bike… On my way from Bristol to Warwick, […]
5:59 AM | Linkage
More Google+ links from the last couple of weeks:An interview with Haida artist Jim Hart (G+):Persi Diaconis discusses mathematics and magic (G+)A still-unsolved question about whether it's possible to compute edit distance in sublinear space and polynomial time (G+)A New York Times story about how scheduling software makes part-time workers' lives harder. Or does it? The MF discussion of the article makes it clear that managers have been doing the same things with lower tech for a long time. […]

August 31, 2014

10:14 PM | efficient exploration of multi-modal posterior distributions
The title of this recent arXival had potential appeal, however the proposal ends up being rather straightforward and hence  anti-climactic! The paper by Hu, Hendry and Heng proposes to run a mixture of proposals centred at the various modes of  the target for an efficient exploration. This is a correct MCMC algorithm, granted!, but the […]
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