Posts

September 25, 2014

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11:49 AM | The business of public education
I’ve been writing my book, and I’m on chapter 4 right now, which is tentatively entitled Feedback Loops In Education. I’m studying the enormous changes in primary and secondary education that have occurred since the “data-driven” educational reform movement started with No Child Left Behind in 2001. Here’s the issue I’m having writing this chapter. […]

September 24, 2014

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10:28 PM | Derived multiplicative functions
Analytic number theory is often concerned with the asymptotic behaviour of various arithmetic functions: functions or from the natural numbers to the real numbers or complex numbers . In this post, we will focus on the purely algebraic properties of these functions, and for reasons that will become clear later, it will be convenient to […]
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10:14 PM | interesting mis-quote
At a recent conference on Big Data, one speaker mentioned this quote from Peter Norvig, the director of research at Google: “All models are wrong, and increasingly you can succeed without them.” quote that I found rather shocking, esp. when considering the amount of modelling behind Google tools. And coming from someone citing Kernel Methods for […]
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10:08 PM | Profumo di particelle
Direi che oggi pomeriggio è stato un bel respirare, al Palazzo Brera. Cristina Lazzeroni dell'Università di Birmingham è venuta alle 18 (come avevo scritto nel post precedente) per raccontare del bosone di Higgs, del modello standard e di materia e antimateria. E' una sperimentale presso l'esperimento LHCb al CERN, l'esperimento dedicato proprio alla ricerca su uno dei grandi misteri dell'universo: perché in esso c'è un eccesso di materia (e d'altra parte se […]

Aaij R., B. Adeva, M. Adinolfi, C. Adrover, A. Affolder, Z. Ajaltouni, J. Albrecht, F. Alessio, M. Alexander & S. Ali & (2013). First Observation of CP Violation in the Decays of B_{s}^{0} Mesons, Physical Review Letters, 110 (22) DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/physrevlett.110.221601

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7:46 PM | Posts from HLF
Here are the blog posts I’ve written so far for the Heidelberg Laureate Form blog: Mathematics and art restoration Mental cryptography What is smoothed analysis? Studying algorithms to study problems Cheap transistors, expensive wires An xkcd-style poster Two thirds of a million dollar prize?
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7:22 PM | TechFest
As I said in a previous post (this one: Lucy (2014) ) I did a week as a Festival Assistant at the beginning of September at TechFest in Aberdeen.  Firstly, you need to know that TechFest is Aberdeen and the North-East Scotland’s annual … Continue reading →
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7:04 PM | A Computer Scientist Tells Mathematicians How To Write Proofs
Believe it or not, I do have friends who would describe themselves as not liking math, and every so often one of them will share this meme on Facebook: And then Satan said, “Put the alphabet in... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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1:14 PM | Study published in 2011, followed by successful replication in 2003 [sic]
This one is like shooting fish in a barrel but sometimes the job just has to be done. . . . The paper is by Daryl Bem, Patrizio Tressoldi, Thomas Rabeyron, and Michael Duggan, it’s called “Feeling the Future: A Meta-Analysis of 90 Experiments on the Anomalous Anticipation of Random Future Events,” and it begins […] The post Study published in 2011, followed by successful replication in 2003 [sic] appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social […]
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12:18 PM | snapshot from Vienna (#3)
Filed under: pictures, Travel Tagged: Austria, Baroque architecture, Franz Joseph I, Habsburgs, Schönbrunn palace, Unesco World Heritage List, Vienna
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12:05 PM | Proof maintenance
Leslie Lamport coined the phrase “proof maintenance” to describe the process of producing variations of a proof over time. It’s well known that software needs to be maintained; most of the work on a program occurs after it is “finished.” Proof maintenance is common as well, but it is usually very informal. Proofs of any […]

September 23, 2014

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10:14 PM | a weird beamer feature…
As I was preparing my slides for my third year undergraduate stat course, I got a weird error that got a search on the Web to unravel: which was related with a fragile environment but not directly the verbatim part: the reason for the bug was that the \end{frame} command did not have a line […]
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10:14 PM | Statistics second slides
This is the next chapter of my Statistics course, definitely more standard, with some notions on statistical models, limit theorems, and exponential families. In the first class, I recalled the convergence notions with no proof but counterexamples and spend some time on a slide not included here, borrowed from Chris Holmes’ talk last Friday on […]
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6:57 PM | The Magic of Algebra
The power of algebra lies in abstraction, and abstraction is basically forgetting. By retracing the History of algebra from its roots to more recent advancements, this article unveils the numerous breakthrough in our understanding of the world, by abusing of the power of forgetting.
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2:37 PM | Uses for orthogonal polynomials
When I interviewed Daniel Spielman at this year’s Heidelberg Laureate Forum, we began our conversation by looking for common mathematical ground. The first thing that came up was orthogonal polynomials. (If you’re wondering what it means for two polynomials to be orthogonal, see here.) JC: Orthogonal polynomials are kind of a lost art, a topic […]
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1:35 PM | Why I’m still not persuaded by the claim that subliminal smiley-faces can have big effects on political attitudes
We had a discussion last month on the sister blog regarding the effects of subliminal messages on political attitudes.  It started with a Larry Bartels post entitled “Here’s how a cartoon smiley face punched a big hole in democratic theory,” with the subtitle, “Fleeting exposure to ‘irrelevant stimuli’ powerfully shapes our assessments of policy arguments,” discussing the […] The post Why I’m still not persuaded by the claim […]
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1:22 PM | a journey to the German OR Society Conference
Earlier in September, I gave a semi-plenary at the 2014 German OR Conference in Aachen, Germany. It was a wonderful conference and experience that will inspire at least another blog post or two. The German OR Society and Marco Lübbecke were wonderful hosts and conference organizers. There were more than 850 attendees, 500 talks, and […]
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11:39 AM | Explaining banding in a scatterplot of Goldbach’s function
David Radcliffe asks for an explanation of the “bands” in the scatterplot of the number of solutions to p + q = 2n in primes. To give an example, we have 2 × 14 = 28 = 23 + 5 = 17 + 11 = 11 + 17 = 5 + 23 2 × 15 […]
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11:30 AM | When your genetic information is held against you
My friend Jan Zilinsky recently sent me this blogpost from the NeuroCritic which investigates the repercussions of having biomarkers held against individuals. In this case, the biomarker was in the brain and indicated a propensity for taking financial risks. Or maybe it didn’t really – the case wasn’t closed – but that was the idea, […]
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9:09 AM | Il bosone di Higgs sotto i cieli di Brera
Per i I cieli di Brera, il 24 settembre (domani... scusate per il ritardo nell'annuncio...) alle 18 presso la Sala delle Adunanze dell'Istituto Lombardo nel Palazzo Brera sito in via Brera 28 (Milano), si terrà la conferenza La fisica delle particelle e il Large Hadron Collider: recenti sviluppi e questioni aperte: Cristina Lazzeroni ci introdurrà alla fisica delle particelle e agli studi fatti al Large Hadron Collider del Cern di Ginevra mettendo l’accento su recenti […]

Aad G., J. Abdallah, S. Abdel Khalek, O. Abdinov, R. Aben, B. Abi, S. H. Abidi, M. Abolins, O. S. AbouZeid & H. Abramowicz & (2014). Measurement of the Higgs boson mass from the Hγγ and HZZ*4 channels in pp collisions at center-of-mass energies of 7 and 8 TeV with the ATLAS detector, Physical Review D, 90 (5) DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/physrevd.90.052004

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8:23 AM | Relatively Prime podcast series 2 Kickstarter
Friend of the Aperiodical Samuel Hansen has launched a Kickstarter to fund a second series of his maths podcast Relatively Prime. The first series was successfully funded in 2011 and consisted of eight hour-long episodes telling “stories from the mathematical domain”, including interviews with Tim Gowers, Matt Parker, David Spiegelhalter and more. For the second series,... Read more »

September 22, 2014

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9:14 PM | “How to disrupt the multi-billion dollar survey research industry”
David Rothschild (coauthor of the Xbox study, the Mythical Swing Voter paper, and of course the notorious Aapor note) will be speaking Friday 10 Oct in the Economics and Big Data meetup in NYC. His title: “How to disrupt the multi-billion dollar survey research industry: information aggregation using non-representative polling data.” Should be fun! P.P.S. […] The post “How to disrupt the multi-billion dollar survey research industry” appeared first on Statistical […]
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3:33 PM | Some will spam you with a six-gun and some with a fountain pen
A few weeks ago the following came in the email: Dear Professor Gelman, I am writing you because I am a prospective doctoral student with considerable interest in your research. My name is Xian Zhao, but you can call me by my English name Alex, a student from China. My plan is to apply to […] The post Some will spam you with a six-gun and some with a fountain pen appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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1:00 PM | On deck this week
Mon: Some will spam you with a six-gun and some with a fountain pen Tues: Why I’m still not persuaded by the claim that subliminal smiley-faces can have big effects on political attitudes Wed: Study published in 2011, followed by successful replication in 2003 [sic] Thurs: Waic for time series Fri: MA206 Program Director’s Memorandum Sat: “An […] The post On deck this week appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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12:18 PM | An der schönen blauen Donau
Filed under: pictures, Running, Travel Tagged: Austria, Donau, skyscrapers, sunrise, Vienna
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9:31 AM | Anti-anti Banach-Tarski arguments
Many people, more often than not these are people from analysis or worse (read: physicists, which in general are not bad, but I am bothered when they think they have a say in how theoretical mathematics should be done), would say ridiculous things like “We need to omit the axiom of choice, and keep only […]
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8:39 AM | Winter School on Paradoxes and Dilemmas -- Groningen
On January 26th-27th 2015, the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Groningen will host a short Winter School aimed at advanced undergraduate students and early-stage graduate students. The theme of the winter school is Paradoxes and Dilemmas, and it will consist of 6 tutorials where the topic will be discussed from different viewpoints: theoretical philosophy, practical philosophy, and the history of philosophy. As such, the Winter School may be of interest to at least some of the M-Phi […]
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7:44 AM | Mathematical beauty
Michael Atiyah quoted Hermann Weyl in the opening talk at the second Heidelberg Laureate Forum: I believe there is, in mathematics, in contrast to the experimental disciplines, a character which is nearer to that of free creative art. There is evidence that the relation of artistic beauty and mathematical beauty is more than an analogy. […]
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12:09 AM | When does fall really start?
This year the autumnal equinox – which marks the point when the sun crosses the celestial equator – falls on September 22 in the United States (10:29 PM Eastern time, and earlier for the other time zones.) People seem to refer to this as the “first day of fall”. But this is the astronomical definition. […]

September 21, 2014

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10:38 PM | Il più grande robot del mondo
Oltre ai problemi di pubblicazione, la gestazione del post è stata sicuramente la più complessa di tutta la serie dedicata ad "Astro Boy". Il post che segue ha subito almeno un paio di riscritture a partire da un testo di base iniziale, che vi posso assicurare alla fine è risultato completamente stravolto. La versione alla fine pubblicata non mi ha comunque soddisfatto appieno, ma se avessi continuato a limare, probabilmente non avrebbe visto mai la luce e non avevo altre […]
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10:14 PM | new kids on the block
This summer, for the first time, I took three Dauphine undergraduate students into research projects thinking they had had enough R training (with me!) and several stats classes to undertake such projects. In all cases, the concept was pre-defined and “all they had to do” was running a massive flow of simulations in R (or […]
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