March 29, 2014

6:07 AM | Greetings from Barbados
I'm back now, but this beach house in Barbados was my home for the last week, as I attended the 29th Bellairs Winter Workshop on Computational Geometry (my first time there).The format of the workshop is very much aimed at making new research, not just sharing what the participants have done elsewhere (as many other workshops and conferences do). We met as a group twice each day for three-hour group sessions, one in the morning and another in the evening, with afternoons as free time. The […]
4:01 AM | Looking like you know what you’re doing
I’ve been in The Netherlands this week for a conference where I gave a talk on erasure coding. Last night after the conference, my host drove me and another speaker to Schiphol Airport. I’m staying in Amsterdam, but it was…Read more ›

March 28, 2014

11:14 PM | ski with deviation
I just learned that a micro-brew brand of homemade skis has connections with statistics and, who knows, could become a sponsor to the next MCMSki…  Indeed, the brand is called deviation (as in standard deviation), located in Gresham, Oregon, and sell locally made skis and snowboards with names like The Moment Generator or The Mode! […]
8:59 PM | Passione per la lettura
(da Topolino e il finale giallo di Michele Gazzarri e Romano Scarpa)
8:34 PM | The Cayley-Salmon theorem via classical differential geometry
Let be an irreducible polynomial in three variables. As is not algebraically closed, the zero set can split into various components of dimension between and . For instance, if , the zero set is a line; more interestingly, if , then is the union of a line and a surface (or the product of an […]
1:59 PM | Creating a Lenin-style democracy
Mark Palko explains why a penalty for getting the wrong answer on a test (the SAT, which is used in college admissions and which is used in the famous 8 schools example) is not a “penalty for guessing.” Then the very next day he catches this from Todd Balf in the New York Times Magazine: […]The post Creating a Lenin-style democracy appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
1:38 PM | NIMBioS and University of Tennessee to Exhibit at ‘Superbowl of STEM’ in DC
NIMBioS and the University of Tennessee hopes to inspire the next generation of innovators at the 3rd USA Science & Engineering Festival Expo and Book Fair, to be held April 26-27 in Washington, DC. The Festival Expo, which takes place … Continue reading →
12:56 PM | What happened to the world we knew?
I was unlocking my bike, with music turned on low, and a couple of high school kids were lounging around nearby. One of them walked over and asked, « Qui est-ce qui chante? ». I responded, “Stevie Wonder” (not trying any accent on this one). The kid said, « Ees good ».The post What happened to the world we knew? appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
10:24 AM | Counting Infinities
(Cross-posted at NewAPPS)In his Two New Sciences (1638), Galileo presents a puzzle about infinite collections of numbers that became known as ‘Galileo’s paradox’. Written in the form of a dialogue, the interlocutors in the text observe that there are many more positive integers than there are perfect squares, but that every positive integer is the root of a given square. And so, there is a one-to-one correspondence between the positive integers and the perfect squares, and […]
10:12 AM | Interview with a high school principal on the math Common Core
In my third effort to understand the Common Core State Standards (CC) for math, I interviewed an old college friend Kiri Soares, who is the principal and co-founder of the Urban Assembly Institute of Math and Science for Young Women. Here’s a transcript of the interview which took place earlier this month. My words are in […]
Editor's Pick
12:14 AM | Change in blackjack odds
A recent blackjack rule change at a couple Vegas casinos, reported in Business Insider: a “natural” blackjack (that is, being dealt two cards that sum to 21) will now pay out at 6:5 odds instead of 3:2. For those not familiar with blackjack: in blackjack, an ace can count as 1 or 11, and 10, […]

March 27, 2014

11:14 PM | Bayesian Data Analysis [BDA3]
Andrew Gelman and his coauthors, John Carlin, Hal Stern, David Dunson, Aki Vehtari, and Don Rubin, have now published the latest edition of their book Bayesian Data Analysis. David and Aki are newcomers to the authors’ list, with an extended section on non-linear and non-parametric models. I have been asked by Sam Behseta to write […]
10:16 PM | Ritratto di un lettore di libri
di Gluyas Williams via kiado
1:02 PM | Beyond the Valley of the Trolls
In a further discussion of the discussion about the discussion of a paper in Administrative Science Quarterly, Thomas Basbøll writes: I [Basbøll] feel “entitled”, if that’s the right word (actually, I’d say I feel privileged), to express my opinions to anyone who wants to listen, and while I think it does say something about an […]The post Beyond the Valley of the Trolls appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
7:08 AM | CFP: *Extended Deadline* Symposium on the Foundations of Mathematics, Kurt Gödel Research Center, University of Vienna, 7-8 July 2014.
Date and Venue: 7-8 July 2014 - Kurt Gödel Research Center, ViennaConfirmed Speakers:Sy-David Friedman (Kurt Gödel Research Center for Mathematical Logic)Hannes Leitgeb (Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy)Call for Papers: We welcome submissions from scholars (in particular, young scholars, i.e. early career researchers or post-graduate students) on any area of the foundations of mathematics (broadly construed). Particularly desired are submissions that address the role of […]

March 26, 2014

11:09 PM | ¼th i-like workshop in St. Anne’s College, Oxford
Due to my previous travelling to and from Nottingham for the seminar and back home early enough to avoid the dreary evening trains from Roissy airport (no luck there, even at 8pm, the RER train was not operating efficiently!, and no fast lane is planed prior to 2023…), I did not see many talks at […]
10:03 PM | Red workbook, p14
Source Transcript Beweis: (a) =(b): $\mathfrak{B} \subseteq q \Rightarrow \mathfrak{D} = \{ D_e : e \in [ \mathfrak{B} ]^{< \omega} \} \subseteq q$ Nimm $g_e \in [S^{< \omega}]$ mit $\beta S \cdot q \subseteq \bigcup_{x \in g_e} \widehat{ x^{-1} …
8:23 PM | Yakov Sinai wins the Abel Prize
And I had the job of delivering, in a format suitable for non-mathematicians, a half-hour summary of Sinai’s work.  A tough task, especially since you can’t ask any experts for help without breaking the secrecy!  I like what Tim Gowers wrote in 2011 about doing the same job the year Milnor won. I was very happy […]
7:32 PM | New research journal on observational studies
Dylan Small writes: I am starting an observational studies journal that aims to publish papers on all aspects of observational studies, including study protocols for observational studies, methodologies for observational studies, descriptions of data sets for observational studies, software for observational studies and analyses of observational studies. One of the goals of the journal is […]The post New research journal on observational studies appeared first on Statistical Modeling, […]
4:54 PM | Memorie di un sognatore abusivo
Ci si rende conto solo leggendo di quanto il titolo del libro che potrebbe sembrare un po' fantasioso rispetti invece perfettamente ciò che si legge tra le pagine, perché in questo libro ci sono proprio le memorie di un sognatore abusivo.Ci troviamo nel 2035, e i tempi sono davvero molto moderni, con tecnologie che ora faremmo fatica a immaginare. Però ci sono alcune cose che non sono cambiate tanto rispetto ai giorni nostri, e riguarda la politica, con i suoi annessi e […]
The title is supposed to make you think of a typical article in the Daily Fail, Britain’s most obnoxious representative of the gutter press. It represents one of the dominant reactions by members of the Gnu Model ArmyTM to the … Continue reading →
2:23 PM | The Lede Program: An Introduction to Data Practices
It’s been tough to blog what with jetlag and a new job, and continuing digestive issues stemming from my recent trip, which has prevented me from drinking coffee. It really isn’t until something like this happens that I realize how very much I depend on caffeine for my early morning blogging. I really cherish that […]
1:10 PM | Is a steal really worth 9 points?
Theodore Vasiloudis writes: I’d like to bring your attention to this article by Benjamin Morris discussing the value of steals for the NBA. The author argues that a steal should be a highly sought after statistic as it equates to higher chances of victory and is very hard to replace when a player is injured. […]The post Is a steal really worth 9 points? appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
9:19 AM | métro static
[heard in the métro this morning] “…les équations à deux inconnues ça va encore, mais à trois inconnues, c’est trop dur!” ["...systems of equations with two unknowns are still ok, but with three variables it is too hard!"]Filed under: Kids, Travel Tagged: high school mathematics, métro, Paris
3:45 AM | Algorithmic Darwinism
The workshop on computational theories of evolution started off on Monday, March 17th with Leslie Valiant — one of the organizers — introducing his model of evolvability (Valiant, 2009). This original name was meant to capture what type of complexity can be achieved through evolution. Unfortunately — especially at this workshop — evolvability already had […]

Feldman, V. (2008). Evolvability from learning algorithms., Proceedings of the 40th annual ACM symposium on Theory of Computing, 619-628. DOI:


March 25, 2014

11:14 PM | Seminar in Nottingham
Last Thursday, I gave a seminar in Nottingham, the true birthplace of the Gibbs sampler!, and I had a quite enjoyable half-day of scientific discussions in the Department of Statistics, with a fine evening tasting a local ale in the oldest (?) inn in England (Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem) and sampling Indian dishes at […]
10:18 PM | Red workbook, p13
Source Transcript First page 14. Sept. 2006 Fortsetzung Vortrag SK 3. collectionwise thick (cwt, cwdick), collectionwise pws (cwpws) 3.2 Notation. $\mathfrak{B} \subseteq \mathcal{P}(S), \mathfrak{V} := \{ D_e : e \in [\mathcal{B}]^{<\omega} \}$ $\mathfrak{D}$ (-Suetterlin?), $D_e = \bigcap_{B\in e} B$ Also: …
1:37 PM | A statistical graphics course and statistical graphics advice
Dean Eckles writes: Some of my coworkers at Facebook and I have worked with Udacity to create an online course on exploratory data analysis, including using data visualizations in R as part of EDA. The course has now launched at https://www.udacity.com/course/ud651 so anyone can take it for free. And Kaiser Fung has reviewed it. So definitely feel free […]The post A statistical graphics course and statistical graphics advice appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal […]
10:07 AM | Buchak on risk and rationality II: the virtues of expected utility theory
In a previous post, I gave an overview of the alternative to expected utility theory that Lara Buchak formulates and defends in her excellent new book, Risk and Rationality (Buchak 2013).  Buchak dubs the alternative risk-weighted expected utility theory.  It permits agents to have risk-sensitive attitudes.  In this post and the next one, I wish to argue that risk-weighted expected utility theory is right about the constraints that rationality places on our external attitudes, […]

March 24, 2014

7:43 PM | Lend Your Ears to the Sounds of Howls
Attention scientists and citizen scientists! NIMBioS is supporting a new project that aims to source the crowd for help in analyzing thousands of howls from wolves, coyotes, dogs and other canid species. At the new Canid Howl Project website, volunteers … Continue reading →
250 Results