Posts

October 02, 2014

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1:15 PM | International Journal of Epidemiology versus Hivemind and the Datagoround
The Hivemind wins (see the comment thread here, which is full of detective work from various commenters). As I wrote as a postscript to that earlier post, maybe we should call this the “stone soup” or “Bem” phenomenon, when a highly flawed work stimulates interesting, thoughtful discussion. The post International Journal of Epidemiology versus Hivemind and the Datagoround appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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12:54 PM | Taking responsibility for the mistakes of others
The version of Windows following 8.1 will be Windows 10, not Windows 9. Apparently this is because Microsoft knows that a lot of software naively looks at the first digit of the version number, concluding that it must be Windows 95 or Windows 98 if it starts with 9. Many think this is stupid. They […]
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12:32 PM | StemFeminist
I found the website StemFeminist.com via Jordan Ellenberg this morning and I honestly can’t stop reading it. It consists of a bunch of anonymously contributed stories, most but not all by women, about everyday sexism that happens in the STEM fields. Many of them resonate either with stuff I’ve lived through or stuff my friends […]
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11:28 AM | plenty of new arXivals!
Here are some entries I spotted in the past days as of potential interest, for which I will have not enough time to comment: arXiv:1410.0163: Instrumental Variables: An Econometrician’s Perspective by Guido Imbens arXiv:1410.0123: Deep Tempering by Guillaume Desjardins, Heng Luo, Aaron Courville, Yoshua Bengio arXiv:1410.0255: Variance reduction for irreversible Langevin samplers and diffusion on […]
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12:00 AM | Clustering of bigram frequencies
Rick Wicklin at the SAS blog writes on the frequency of bigrams in an English corpus. In English: how often does a pair of letters, such as “TH” or “QZ”, appear in English text? This is a follow-up to a previous post on the frequency of letters in an English corpus and builds on an […]

October 01, 2014

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10:14 PM | Approximate Bayesian Computation in state space models
While it took quite a while (!), with several visits by three of us to our respective antipodes, incl. my exciting trip to Melbourne and Monash University two years ago, our paper on ABC for state space models was arXived yesterday! Thanks to my coauthors, Gael Martin, Brendan McCabe, and  Worapree Maneesoonthorn,  I am very […]
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9:55 PM | La tavola delle coniche
da Cyclopaedia, 1728
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2:06 PM | In defense of stories and classroom activities, from a resubmission letter from 1999
I was going through my files looking for some old data (which I still haven’t found!) and came across a letter from 1999 accompanying the submission of a revision of this article with Glickman. Here’s a part of the letter, a response to some questions of one of the reviewers: With regard to the comment […] The post In defense of stories and classroom activities, from a resubmission letter from 1999 appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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1:30 PM | Can anyone guess what went wrong here?
OK, here’s a puzzle for all of you. I received the following email: Dear Professor Gelman: The editor of ** asked me to write to see if you would be willing to review MS ** entitled ** We are hoping for a review within the next 2-3 weeks if possible. I would appreciate if you […] The post Can anyone guess what went wrong here? appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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1:21 PM | From Nash equilibria to collective behavior
https://twitter.com/ulaulaman/status/517303481565458432 by @ulaulaman about #Nash equilibria and their role in collective behavior The Nash equilibrium is an important tool in game theory: [It] is a solution concept of a non-cooperative game involving two or more players, in which each player is assumed to know the equilibrium strategies of the other players, and no player has anything to gain by changing only their own strategy. If each player has chosen a strategy and no player can benefit […]
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1:06 PM | Notices of the AMS is killing it
I am somewhat surprised to hear myself say this, but this month’s Notices of the AMS is killing it. Generally speaking I think of it as rather narrowly focused but things seem to be expanding and picking up. Scanning the list of editors, they do seem to have quite a few people that want to […]
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4:58 AM | The “bounded gaps between primes” Polymath project – a retrospective
The (presumably) final article arising from the Polymath8 project has now been uploaded to the arXiv as “The “bounded gaps between primes” Polymath project – a retrospective“.  This article, submitted to the Newsletter of the European Mathematical Society, consists of personal contributions from ten different participants (at varying levels of stage of career, and intensity […]
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3:09 AM | Linkage for the end of September
Algomation animated algorithms (G+)Rush hour video, or, what our robot-driven future will be like (G+)The Washington Post rants about those evil student pirates, but neglects to mention the free alternatives (G+)A song video about knots, from the low-dimensional topology blog (G+)Fun hex grid facts, via MF (G+)SODA 2015 accepted papers (G+)KaTeX, a lobotomized but fast web math renderer (G+)Against laptops in lectures, via MF (G+)David Wade’s ‘Fantastic Geometry’ – The […]
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12:27 AM | How weird is it that three pairs of same-market teams made the playoffs this year?
The Major League Baseball postseason is starting just as I write this. From the National League, we have Washington, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. From the American League, we have Baltimore, Kansas City, Detroit, Los Angeles (Anaheim), and Oakland. These match up pretty well geographically, and this hasn’t gone unnoticed: see for […]
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12:00 AM | Limits of prediction: stochasticity, chaos, and computation
Some of my favorite conversations are about prediction and its limits. For some, this is purely a practical topic, but for me it is a deeply philosophical discussion. Understanding the limits of prediction can inform philosophy of science, mind, and even questions of free-will. As such, I wanted to share with you a World Science […]

September 30, 2014

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10:14 PM | ABC model choice via random forests [expanded]
Today, we arXived a second version of our paper on ABC model choice with random forests. Or maybe [A]BC model choice with random forests. Since the random forest is built on a simulation from the prior predictive and no further approximation is used in the process. Except for the computation of the posterior [predictive] error […]
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8:47 PM | Ritratti: Winifred Edgerton Merrill
Winifred Edgerton Merrill fu la prima americana ad ottenere un dottorato in matematica presso la Columbia University nel 1886. Nella sua tesi sviluppò una rappresentazione geometrica degli infinitesimi in diversi sistemi di coordinate, utilizzando lo jacobiano per per derivare le trasformazioni tra gli integrali nei diversi sistemi.Tra matematica e astronomiaNata a Ripon, nel Wisconsin, il 24 settembre del 1862 da Emmet e Clara Edgerton, si trasferisce con la famiglia a New York intorno […]

Kelly S.E. & Rozner S.A. (2012). Winifred Edgerton Merrill: "She Opened the Door", Notices of the American Mathematical Society, 59 (04) 504-512. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1090/noti818

Citation
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3:55 PM | Are Ivy League schools overrated?
I won’t actually answer the above question, as I am offering neither a rating of these schools nor a measure of how others rate them (which would be necessary to calibrate the “overrated” claim). What I am doing is responding to an email from Mark Palko, who wrote: I [Palko] am in broad agreement with […] The post Are Ivy League schools overrated? appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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2:52 PM | The chocolate factory gone up in smoke
There was a major fire near my house yesterday with many fire-engines rushing by and a wet smoke smell lingering by the whole night. As I found out during my early morning run, the nearby chocolate factory had completely burned. Actually, sixteen  hours after the beginning of the fire, the building was still smouldering, with […]
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12:33 PM | People hate me, I must be doing something right
Not sure if you’ve seen this recent New York Times article entitled Learning to Love Criticism, but go ahead and read it if you haven’t. The key figures: …76 percent of the negative feedback given to women included some kind of personality criticism, such as comments that the woman was “abrasive,” “judgmental” or “strident.” Only […]
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4:34 AM | No, I didn’t say that!
Faye Flam wrote a solid article for the New York Times on Bayesian statistics, and as part of her research she spent some time on the phone with me awhile ago discussing the connections between Bayesian inference and the crisis in science criticism. My longer thoughts on this topic are in my recent article, “The […] The post No, I didn’t say that! appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

September 29, 2014

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11:47 PM | Power laws and wealth
From Alison Griswold at Slate, reporting on the Wealth-X and UBS billionaire census (warning: obnoxious auto-playing music at the second link): “The typical billionaire has a net worth of $3.1 billion.” Does “typical” mean mean? or median? It appears that “mean” is intended, because the front page of this census says there are 2,325 billionaires […]
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10:14 PM | The Unimaginable Mathematics of Borges’ Library of Babel [book review]
This is a book I carried away from JSM in Boston as the Oxford University Press representative kindly provided my with a copy at the end of the meeting. After I asked for it, as I was quite excited to see a book linking Jorge Luis Borges’ great Library of Babel short story with mathematical […]
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6:40 PM | Wouldn’t trade places
Last week at the Heidelberg Laureate Forum, I was surrounded by the most successful researchers in math and computer science. The laureates had all won the Fields Medal, Abel Prize, Nevanlinna Prize, or Turing Award. Some had even won two of these awards. I thought about my short academic career [1]. If I had been […]
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3:45 PM | Imparare la matematica con le gif animate
La matematica, in particolare la geometria, è una disciplina visualizzabile, e questa possibilità può essere sfruttata per avvicinarla agli studenti di ogni ordine e grado. Docsity ha recentemente pubblicato una serie di gif animate utili proprio allo scopo, trovate un po' qua e là lungo il web.Una prima gif animata è quella relativa al completamento del quadrato, argomento un po' ostico per molti studenti: La gif successiva, invece, può utilmente […]
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3:30 PM | Some general principles of Bayesian data analysis, arising from a Stan analysis of John Lee Anderson’s height
God is in every leaf of every tree. The leaf in question today is the height of journalist and Twitter aficionado Jon Lee Anderson, a man who got some attention a couple years ago after disparaging some dude for having too high a tweets-to-followers ratio. Anderson called the other guy a “little twerp” which made […] The post Some general principles of Bayesian data analysis, arising from a Stan analysis of John Lee Anderson’s height appeared first on Statistical […]
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1:03 PM | Chameleon models
Here’s an interesting paper I’m reading this morning (hat tip Suresh Naidu) entitled Chameleons: The Misuse of Theoretical Models in Finance and Economics written by Paul Pfleiderer. The paper introduces the useful concept of chameleon models, defined in the following diagram:   Pfleiderer provides some examples of chameleon models, and also takes on the Milton Friedman argument that […]
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1:00 PM | On deck this week
Mon: Some general principles of Bayesian data analysis, arising from a Stan analysis of John Lee Anderson’s height Tues: Are Ivy League schools overrated? Wed: Can anyone guess what went wrong here? Thurs: What went wrong Fri: 65% of principals say that at least 30% of students . . . wha?? Sat: Carrie McLaren was […] The post On deck this week appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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12:30 PM | Another Reason to Love the Number Seven
The world’s favorite number is seven, at least if the result of a poll conducted by Alex Bellos is to be believed. Some people like it because it is prime, some because they have a lot of sevens in... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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10:30 AM | CERN's 60th Birthday
http://t.co/zU9b7V4idL by @ulaulaman about #CERN60 The day to celebrate CERN's birthday is arrived: The convention establishing CERN was ratified on 29 September 1954 by 12 countries in Western Europe. The acronym CERN originally stood in French for Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire (European Council for Nuclear Research), which was a provisional council for setting up the laboratory, established by 12 European governments in 1952. The acronym was retained for the new […]
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