Posts

March 05, 2015

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11:43 PM | Quaternions in Paradise Lost
Last night I checked a few books out from a library. One was Milton’s Paradise Lost and another was Kuipers’ Quaternions and Rotation Sequences. I didn’t expect any connection between these two books, but there is one. The following lines from Book V of Paradise Lost, starting at line 180, are quoted in Kuipers’ book: Air […]
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11:15 PM | mixture models with a prior on the number of components
“From a Bayesian perspective, perhaps the most natural approach is to treat the numberof components like any other unknown parameter and put a prior on it.” Another mixture paper on arXiv! Indeed, Jeffrey Miller and Matthew Harrison recently arXived a paper on estimating the number of components in a mixture model, comparing the parametric with […]
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9:18 PM | Fare matematica
La poesia, in altre parole, è matematica. E' vicina a una particolare branca della materia nota come combinatoria, lo studio delle permutazioni, o di come possiamo sistemare un particolare gruppo di oggetti, numeri o lettere secondo leggi stabilite. Già nel lontano 200 a.C., gli scrittori sulle poesie in sanscrito si chiedevano in quanti modi sia possibile sistemare vari insiemi di sillabe lunghe o corte, i mattoni dei versi in sanscrito. Una sillaba è corta, con una […]
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6:18 PM | snapshot from Gibbet Hill
Filed under: pictures, Travel, University life Tagged: England, Gibbet Hill, sculpture, sunset, University of Warwick
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5:00 PM | Judy Garland (4) vs. Al Sharpton; Derrida advances
WB calls yesterday‘s contest in the comments: Among French intellectuals, I’d rather hear from a corpse than an active public figure. My vote goes to Derrida. And, today, the woman who defined Hollywood stardom, up against a religious leader who dabbles in slander. How fabulous is that?? P.S. As always, here’s the background, and here […] The post Judy Garland (4) vs. Al Sharpton; Derrida advances appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social […]
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2:36 PM | Defaults, once set, are hard to change.
So. Farewell then Rainbow color scheme. You reigned in Matlab Far too long. But now that You are no longer The default, Will we miss you? We can only Visualize. E. T. Thribb (17 1/2) Here’s the background.  Brad Stiritz writes: I know you’re a creator and big proponent of open-source tools. Given your strong interest […] The post Defaults, once set, are hard to change. appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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9:09 AM | Mathematics Without Apologies
Book release of 'Mathematics Without Apologies'

March 04, 2015

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11:30 PM | My talk tomorrow (Thurs) at MIT political science: Recent challenges and developments in Bayesian modeling and computation (from a political and social science perspective)
It’s 1pm in room E53-482. I’ll talk about the usual stuff (and some of this too, I guess). The post My talk tomorrow (Thurs) at MIT political science: Recent challenges and developments in Bayesian modeling and computation (from a political and social science perspective) appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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11:14 PM | accelerating Metropolis-Hastings algorithms by delayed acceptance
Marco Banterle, Clara Grazian, Anthony Lee, and myself just arXived ou paper “Accelerating Metropolis-Hastings algorithms by delayed acceptance“, which is an major revision and upgrade of our “Delayed acceptance with prefetching” paper of last June. Paper that we submitted at the last minute to NIPS, but which did not get accepted. The difference with this […]
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5:00 PM | Bernard-Henry Levy (3) vs. Jacques Derrida; Carlin advances
There wasn’t much enthusiasm yesterday, but I do have to pick a winner, so I’ll go with Zbicylist’s comment: “Carlin. Are there 7 words you can’t say in a seminar? Let’s find out.” And today we have two more modern French intellectuals! I don’t have much of anything to say about either of these guys […] The post Bernard-Henry Levy (3) vs. Jacques Derrida; Carlin advances appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social […]
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3:13 PM | Schema per affrontare il calcolo di un esponenziale
Erano un po' di giorni che ci pensavo. E' che, semplicemente, mi sembrava incredibile che la maggior parte delle funzioni per il calcolo dell'esponenziale dei principali linguaggi di programmazione (inclusi gli algoritmi di Google e Wolfram Alpha) fallavano nel calcolo di $-2^{7/5}$, mentre una calcolatrice scientifica installata su uno smartphone propone il risultato giusto, nello specifico -2.639015822. Sicuramente gli algoritmi fallaci di cui sopra non hanno al loro interno una non sono in […]
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2:02 PM | These are the statistics papers you just have to read
Here. And here. Just kidding. Here’s the real story. Susanna Makela writes: A few of us want to start a journal club for the statistics PhD students. The idea is to read important papers that we might not otherwise read, maybe because they’re not directly related to our area of research/we don’t have time/etc. What […] The post These are the statistics papers you just have to read appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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12:40 PM | Technical notes
For the last fifteen Wednesdays I’ve been posting links to technical notes. This is the end of the series. You can find most of the links from previous Wednesday posts on one page by going to technical notes from the navigation menu at the top of the site.
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11:26 AM | Affordable Housing Needs a Reset #OWS
I’m super proud of the latest Huffington Post piece that Alt Banking put out entitled Affordable Housing Needs a Reset. Here’s an excerpt: We’ve been hearing a lot lately from New York Mayor de Blasio on his affordable housing plan. He says he will “build or preserve” 200,000 housing units, but the plan would only build […]
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12:27 AM | Indian food (and wine) pairing
Scientists have figured out what makes Indian food so delicious, from Roberto A. Ferdman at Wonkblog. In Western cuisines, ingredients in a dish are more likely to share flavor components than ingredients picked at random; in Indian cuisines, ingredients in … Continue reading →

March 03, 2015

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11:15 PM | Overfitting Bayesian mixture models with an unknown number of components
During my Czech vacations, Zoé van Havre, Nicole White, Judith Rousseau, and Kerrie Mengersen1 posted on arXiv a paper on overfitting mixture models to estimate the number of components. This is directly related with Judith and Kerrie’s 2011 paper and with Zoé’s PhD topic. The paper also returns to the vexing (?) issue of label […]
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9:53 PM | 1st Conference
I have been saying for a long time that I would tell you what happened to this ‘magic’ conference, and here it is: the resume for my 1st presentation at a conference. First of all Tomorrow Mathematicians of Today Conference is organized by the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (London) and it took place in York. […]
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8:06 PM | Oil on a parking lot
Oil on a wet parking lot
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5:00 PM | George Carlin (2) vs. Barbara Kruger
To decide yesterday‘s contest, I’ll have to point to Jeremy’s comment: Rembrandt in a walk: -He believes that “God is in every leaf on every tree”. Most of his greatest paintings are portraits of himself or regular people (as opposed to portraits of kings or Popes, or mythical battles, or etc.) Same for his etchings. […] The post George Carlin (2) vs. Barbara Kruger appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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3:03 PM | La disfida dei maxi eventi secondo Dc comics
Mentre cerco di riprendere il ritmo e le trasmissioni usuali, vi propongo un post che avevo scritto per LSB ma che non è stato pubblicato (non so per quale motivo) e visto che non mi piace buttare via nulla, eccovelo qui:La sfida degli eventi ha raggiunto un nuovo livello: l'annuncite. Marvel e DC Comics stanno, infatti, annunciando i loro programmi da qui a sei (e più mesi), sfidandosi sul terreno dei grandi eventi e dei nuovi team creativi. Tra considerazioni e news, spicca in […]
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2:02 PM | One simple trick to make Stan run faster
Did you know that Stan automatically runs in parallel (and caches compiled models) from R if you do this: source(“http://mc-stan.org/rstan/stan.R”) It’s from Stan core developer Ben Goodrich. This simple line of code has changed my life. A factor-of-4 speedup might not sound like much, but, believe me, it is! The post One simple trick to make Stan run faster appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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10:29 AM | Second MCMP Summer School on Mathematical Philosophy for Female Students
After the huge success of last year's event, the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy will be hosting the second installment of its Summer School for female students, from July 26th to August 1st 2015. From the website:The summer school is open to excellent female students who want to specialize in mathematical philosophy. Since women are significantly underrepresented in philosophy generally and in formal philosophy in particular, this summer school is aimed at encouraging women to engage […]
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4:55 AM | Short history of iterated prisoner’s dilemma tournaments
Nineteen Eighty — if I had to pick the year that computational modeling invaded evolutionary game theory then that would be it. In March, 1980 — exactly thirty-five years ago — was when Robert Axelrod, a professor of political science at University of Michigan, published the results of his first tournament for iterated prisoner’s dilemma […]

Axelrod, R. (1980). More effective choice in the prisoner's dilemma., Journal of Conflict Resolution, 24 (3) 379-403. DOI: 10.1177/002200278002400301

Citation

March 02, 2015

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11:15 PM | Is Jeffreys’ prior unique?
“A striking characterisation showing the central importance of Fisher’s information in a differential framework is due to Cencov (1972), who shows that it is the only invariant Riemannian metric under symmetry conditions.” N. Polson, PhD Thesis, University of Nottingham, 1988 Following a discussion on Cross Validated, I wonder whether or not the affirmation that Jeffreys’ […]
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10:30 PM | Introducing shinyStan
As a project for Andrew’s Statistical Communication and Graphics graduate course at Columbia, a few of us (Michael Andreae, Yuanjun Gao, Dongying Song, and I) had the goal of giving RStan’s print and plot functions a makeover. We ended up getting a bit carried away and instead we designed a graphical user interface for interactively exploring virtually […] The post Introducing shinyStan appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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8:00 PM | Rembrandt van Rijn (2) vs. Bertrand Russell
For yesterday, the most perceptive comment came from Slugger: Rabbit Angstrom is a perfect example of the life that the Buddha warns against. He is a creature of animal passions who never gains any enlightenment. In any case, I think we can all agree that Buddha is a far more interesting person than Updike. But, […] The post Rembrandt van Rijn (2) vs. Bertrand Russell appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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3:00 PM | What hypothesis testing is all about. (Hint: It’s not what you think.)
I’ve said it before but it’s worth saying again. The conventional view: Hyp testing is all about rejection. The idea is that if you reject the null hyp at the 5% level, you have a win, you have learned that a certain null model is false and science has progressed, either in the glamorous “scientific […] The post What hypothesis testing is all about. (Hint: It’s not what you think.) appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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2:00 PM | On deck this week
Mon: What hypothesis testing is all about. (Hint: It’s not what you think.) Rembrandt van Rijn (2) vs. Betrand Russell Tues: One simple trick to make Stan run faster George Carlin (2) vs. Barbara Kruger Wed: I actually think this infographic is ok Bernard-Henry Levy (3) vs. Jacques Derrida Thurs: Defaults, once set, are hard […] The post On deck this week appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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1:18 PM | market static
[Heard in the local market, while queuing for cheese:] – You took too much! – Maybe, but remember your sister is staying for two days. – My sister…, as usual, she will take a big serving and leave half of it! – Yes, but she will make sure to finish the bottle of wine!Filed under: […]
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12:17 PM | Two articles on understanding statistical error
Today I want to share two articles today which call on the public to try to understand scientific error at a deeper level than we do now. First, an academic journal called Basic and Applied Social Psychology (BASP) has decided to ban articles using p-values. This was written up in Nature news (hat tip Nikki Leger) […]
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