Posts

August 27, 2014

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6:27 AM | CFP: SoTFoM II 'Competing Foundations?', 12-13 January 2015, London.
The focus of this conference is on different approaches to the foundationsof mathematics. The interaction between set-theoretic and category-theoreticfoundations has had significant philosophical impact, and represents a shiftin attitudes towards the philosophy of mathematics. This conference willbring together leading scholars in these areas to showcase contemporaryphilosophical research on different approaches to the foundations ofmathematics. To accomplish this, the conference has the […]
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5:35 AM | Planarization by vertex deletion
Another of my Graph Drawing papers is online today: "Planar Induced Subgraphs of Sparse Graphs", arXiv:1408.5939, with Cora Borradaile and her student Pingan Zhu. It's about finding large planar subgraphs in arbitrary graphs; in the version of the problem we study, we want the planar subgraph to be an induced subgraph, so the goal is to find as large a subset of vertices as possible with the property that all edges connecting them can be drawn planarly. Equivalently, we want to delete as few […]

August 26, 2014

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10:14 PM | dans le noir
Yesterday night, we went to a very special restaurant in down-town Paris, called “dans le noir” where meals take place in complete darkness (truly “dans le noir”!). Complete in the sense it is impossible to see one’s hand and one’s glass. The waiters are blind and the experiment turns them into our guides, as we […]
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7:16 PM | Particle Clicker: gestire un esperimento di LHC
In particolare uno tra ATLAS e CMS, i due esperimenti giunti agli onori delle cronache per la scoperta del bosone di Higgs.E' possibile, infatti, da un paio di settimane, giocare a Particle Clicker, un bel gioco gestionale che fa comprendere quanto sia complesso, ma anche gratificante gestire un esperimento scientifico come uno dei due citati prima.Innanzitutto la schermata: è suddivisa in quattro frame. Da sinistra a destra: nel primo sono elencati i risultati di ricerca ottenuti con […]
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4:59 PM | academic blogs: a labor of love
I recently discovered an articles about academics who blog from Tim Hitchcock (a humanities professor). The title really caught my eye: “Twitter and blogs are not add-ons to academic research, but a simple reflection of the passion that underpins it.” Yes! We don’t have to create and maintain blogs, we do so because we love our disciplines […]
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3:31 PM | Dave Blei course on Foundations of Graphical Models
Dave Blei writes: This course is cross listed in Computer Science and Statistics at Columbia University. It is a PhD level course about applied probabilistic modeling. Loosely, it will be similar to this course. Students should have some background in probability, college-level mathematics (calculus, linear algebra), and be comfortable with computer programming. The course is […] The post Dave Blei course on Foundations of Graphical Models appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal […]
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1:59 PM | ICM2014 — Barak, Guralnick, Brown
Here’s a little puzzle to get this post started. Of the fourteen 21st-century Fields medallists (if you count Perelman), seven — Lafforgue, Voevodsky, Tao, Werner, Smirnov, Avila and Mirzakhani — have something interesting in common that the others lack. What is this property? That’s a fairly easy question, so let’s follow it up with another […]
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1:16 PM | Review of “Forecasting Elections”
From 1993. The topic of election forecasting sure gets a lot more attention than it used to! Here are some quotes from my review of that book by Michael Lewis-Beck and Tom Rice: Political scientists are aware that most voters are consistent in their preferences, and one can make a good guess just looking at […] The post Review of “Forecasting Elections” appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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12:18 PM | avernian landscapes (#2)
Filed under: Mountains, pictures, Running, Travel Tagged: Auvergne, Besse-en-Chandesse, France, Puy de Sancy, Puy-de-Dôme, sunrise, vacations
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11:20 AM | The Stubborn Hope of an Urban Teacher
Yesterday I read a book written by Carole Marshall which she called Stubborn Hope: Memoir of an Urban Teacher (thanks to Ernest Davis for sending it to me). Just to give you an idea of how quick this read is, I read it before class. I think it took about 1 hour and 10 minutes in […]

August 25, 2014

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10:14 PM | understanding the Hastings algorithm
David Minh and Paul Minh [who wrote a 2001 Applied Probability Models] have recently arXived a paper on “understanding the Hastings algorithm”. They revert to the form of the acceptance probability suggested by Hastings (1970): where s(x,y) is a symmetric function keeping the above between 0 and 1, and q is the proposal. This obviously […]
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9:55 PM | Radiation equipment
John Tukey said that the best thing about being a statistician is that you get to play in everyone’s backyard. This morning I got to play in IsoTherapeutics‘ backyard. The most photogenic thing on the tour they gave me was their box for working with highly radioactive material with robotic arms. (There was nothing hot […]
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5:41 PM | Il segreto dei cospiratori egiziani
Inizia come una spy story, Il segreto dei cospiratori egiziani, o come un fumetto noir, come afferma Baffo durante l'immancabile inseguimento sul tetto del treno in un incipit che, in effetti, sembra ispirato anche a Mistero sull'Orinet Express di Agatha Cristie.Dietro questo inizio al fulmicotone c'è una cospirazione ordita dal professor Baribari che, utilizzando il suo robot Cleopatra, cerca di riportare al suo antico splendore il Regno dell'Egitto e, da qui, conquistare il mondo […]
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5:36 PM | Discussion of “Maximum entropy and the nearly black object”
From 1992. It’s a discussion of a paper by Donoho, Johnstone, Hoch, and Stern. As I summarize: Under the “nearly black” model, the normal prior is terrible, the entropy prior is better and the exponential prior is slightly better still. (An even better prior distribution for the nearly black model would combine the threshold and […] The post Discussion of “Maximum entropy and the nearly black object” appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, […]
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1:00 PM | On deck this week
Mon: Discussion of “Maximum entropy and the nearly black object” Tues: Review of “Forecasting Elections” Wed: Discussion of “A probabilistic model for the spatial distribution of party support in multiparty elections” Thurs: Pre-election survey methodology: details from nine polling organizations, 1988 and 1992 Fri: Avoiding model selection in Bayesian social research Sat, Sun: You might […] The post On deck this week appeared first on Statistical […]
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12:19 PM | What’s the big deal with consistency?
(Cross-posted at NewAPPS)It is no news to anyone that the concept of consistency is a hotly debated topic in philosophy of logic and epistemology (as well as elsewhere). Indeed, a number of philosophers throughout history have defended the view that consistency, in particular in the form of the principle of non-contradiction (PNC), is the most fundamental principle governing human rationality – so much so that rational debate about PNC itself wouldn’t even be possible, as famously […]
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12:18 PM | avernian landscape (#1)
Filed under: Mountains, pictures, Running, Travel Tagged: Auvergne, Besse-en-Chandesse, fog, France, Lac Pavin, Puy de Sancy, Puy-de-Dôme, sunrise, vacations
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11:20 AM | Gilian Tett gets it very wrong on racial profiling
Last Friday Gillian Tett ran a profoundly disturbing article in the Financial Times entitled Mapping Crime – Or Stirring Hate? (hat tip Marcos Carreira), which makes me sad to say this given how much respect I normally have for her regarding her coverage of the financial crisis. In the article, Tett describes the predictive policing model used by the Chicago […]
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9:20 AM | Servus, New York! Invitation to the MCMP Workshop "Bridges" (2 and 3 Sept, 2014)
MCMP Workshop "Bridges 2014"New York City, 2 and 3 Sept, 2014www.lmu.de/bridges2014The Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (MCMP) cordially invites you to "Bridges 2014" in the German House, New York City, on 2 and 3 September, 2014. The 2-day trans-continental meeting in mathematical philosophy will focus on inter-theoretical relations thereby connecting form and content of this philosophical exchange. The workshop will be accompanied by an open-to-public evening event with Stephan […]
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9:08 AM | ICM2014 — Emmanuel Candès plenary lecture
If you are a mathematical researcher, do you ever stop to ask yourself what the point is of all your research? Do you worry that the world could get along just fine without it? One person who doesn’t lose any sleep over doubts like this is Emmanuel Candès, who gave the second plenary lecture I […]
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6:06 AM | Poker math showdown!
In comments, Rick Schoenberg wrote: One thing I tried to say as politely as I could in [the book, "Probability with Texas Holdem Applications"] on p146 is that there’s a huge error in Chen and Ankenman’s “The Mathematics of Poker” which renders all the calculations and formulas in the whole last chapter wrong or meaningless […] The post Poker math showdown! appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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3:23 AM | Why It Matters
Many mathematicians are uncomfortable about the NSA/GCHQ's surveillance of entire populations, but fundamentally aren't that bothered. Does it really matter?

August 24, 2014

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10:14 PM | NIPS workshops (Dec. 12-13, 2014, Montréal)
Following a proposal put forward by Ted Meeds, Max Welling,  Richard Wilkinson, Neil Lawrence and myself, our ABC in Montréal workshop has been accepted by the NIPS 2014 committee and will thus take place on either Friday, Dec. 11, or Saturday, Dec. 12, at the end of the main NIPS meeting (Dec. 8-10). (Despite the […]
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7:03 PM | Cobalt, Uran e il cavallo vapore
Come visto in Nascita di Atom, il professor Ochanomizu creò per il robot anche una coppia di genitori, ideata in origine su Gas People (come letto nel post Atom l'ambasciatore). La famiglia, però, venne successivamente allargata con l'aggiunta di due "fratelli": Cobalt e Uran. Mentre il primo è una versione un po' più alta e snella di Atom, la seconda è rappresentata, sia graficamente sia caratterialmente come una sorella minore.Cobalt esordisce sull'omonima […]
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6:30 PM | The discover of Morniel Mathaway
http://youtu.be/OoYkZyZ6XSU a radio drama by William Tenn Following Deutsch and Lockwood(1), there are two types of time paradoxes: inconsistency paradox and knowledge paradox.An example of the first type is the grandfather paradox, introduced by the french writer René Barjavel in Le voyageur imprudent (1943 - Future Times Three).An example of the second type is The discover of Morniel Mathaway, a radio science fiction drama by William Tenn. It was originally transmitted by the show X […]
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12:18 PM | Drake Island beach (#2)
Filed under: Kids, pictures, Running, Travel Tagged: beach, Drake Island, grass, Maine, sunrise, USA, vacations
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11:20 AM | Extending a theory with the theory of mereological fusions
"Arithmetic with fusions" (draft) is a joint paper with my graduate student Thomas Schindler (MCMP).  The abstract is:In this article, the relationship between second-order comprehension and unrestricted mereological fusion (over atoms) is clarified. An extension $\mathsf{PAF}$ of Peano arithmetic with a new binary mereological notion of ``fusion'', and a scheme of unrestricted fusion, is introduced. It is shown that $\mathsf{PAF}$ interprets full second-order arithmetic, $Z_2$.Roughly […]

August 23, 2014

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10:14 PM | the intelligent-life lottery
In a theme connected with one argument in Dawkins’ The God Delusion, The New York Time just published a piece on the 20th anniversary of the debate between Carl Sagan and Ernst Mayr about the likelihood of the apparition of intelligent life. While 20 years ago, there was very little evidence if any of the […]
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8:43 PM | Atom l'ambasciatore
Lo spiega lo stesso Osamu Tezuka ne La nascita e l'evoluzione di Tetsuwan Atom, storia in tre parti in appendice al primo volume della Panini Comics: Atom, noto negli Stati Uniti e da qui nel resto del mondo soprattutto come Astro Boy (soprattutto per la serie televisiva), nasceva come personaggio di contorno in Atomu Taishi, Ambassador Atom anche nota come Captain Atom, storia serializzata su Shonen dall'aprile 1951 al marzo 1952.Nelle prime due puntate Tezuka prepara l'ambientazione, presenta […]
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2:54 PM | How Many Mic’s Do We Rip
Yakir Reshef writes: Our technical comment on Kinney and Atwal’s paper on MIC and equitability has come out in PNAS along with their response. Similarly to Ben Murrell, who also wrote you a note when he published a technical comment on the same work, we feel that they “somewhat missed the point.” Specifically: one statistic […] The post How Many Mic’s Do We Rip appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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