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Posts

March 21, 2014

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10:02 AM | Logical foundations for mathematics? The first-order vs. second-order ‘dichotomy’? (Part IV of 'Axiomatizations of arithmetic...')
(It took me much longer than I had anticipated to get back to this paper, but here is the final part of my paper on axiomatizations of arithmetic and the first-order/second-order divide. Part I is here; Part II is here; Part III is here. As always, comments are welcome!)3. Logical foundations for mathematics? The first-order vs. second-order ‘dichotomy’?Given the (apparent) impossibility of tackling the descriptive and deductive projects at once with one and the same underlying […]

March 20, 2014

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11:14 PM | Pre-processing for approximate Bayesian computation in image analysis
With Matt Moores and Kerrie Mengersen, from QUT, we wrote this short paper just in time for the MCMSki IV Special Issue of Statistics & Computing. And arXived it, as well. The global idea is to cut down on the cost of running an ABC experiment by removing the simulation of a humongous state-space vector, […]
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10:45 PM | Homotopy Type Theory and Univalent Foundations I
In 2013, three dozens of today's brightest minds have just laid out new foundation of mathematics after a year of collective effort. This new paradigm better fits both informal and computationally-checkable mathematics. There is little doubt that it will fundamentally change our perspective on rigorous knowledge, and it could be that, in a few decades, the book they published turns out to be the bedrock of all mathematics, and, by extension, all human knowledge! Have a primer of this upcoming […]
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10:45 PM | Type Theory: A Modern Computable Paradigm for Math
In 2013, three dozens of today's brightest minds have just laid out new foundation of mathematics after a year of collective effort. This new paradigm better fits both informal and computationally-checkable mathematics. There is little doubt that it will fundamentally change our perspective on rigorous knowledge, and it could be that, in a few decades, the book they published turns out to be the bedrock of all mathematics, and, by extension, all human knowledge! Have a primer of this upcoming […]
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7:20 PM | Saint-Joseph pierres sèches
Filed under: Mountains, Wines Tagged: Côtes du Rhône, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, French wine, Saint-Joseph
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6:27 PM | Teaching Bayesian applied statistics to graduate students in political science, sociology, public health, education, economics, . . .
One of the most satisfying experiences for an academic is when someone asks a question that you’ve already answered. This happened in the comments today. Daniel Gotthardt wrote: So for applied stat courses like for sociologists, political scientists, psychologists and maybe also for economics, what do we actually want to accomplish with our intro courses? […]The post Teaching Bayesian applied statistics to graduate students in political science, sociology, public health, education, […]
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3:26 PM | Everyday Renaissance Astrology.
One of the joys of having run a moderately successful history of science blog for a number of years, and thus become somehow respectable, is that I occasionally get to review books; this is one of those reviews.  Regular readers … Continue reading →
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1:30 PM | land O links
Why it’s important to talk math with your children. “With practice, parents and children alike will find that math makes a very satisfying second language” On a related note, this The Atlantic article entitled “5 year olds can learn calculus” is going around and is worth reading. Can Bayesian statistics help find the missing Malaysian […]
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1:28 PM | The candy weighing demonstration, or, the unwisdom of crowds
From 2008: The candy weighing demonstration, or, the unwisdom of crowds My favorite statistics demonstration is the one with the bag of candies. I’ve elaborated upon it since including it in the Teaching Statistics book and I thought these tips might be useful to some of you. Preparation Buy 100 candies of different sizes and […]The post The candy weighing demonstration, or, the unwisdom of crowds appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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12:56 PM | Optimizing for Einstein and other homo-erotic theories
Jointly posted with Naked Capitalism. At 41, I’m a grown woman. I’ve had enough weird and bad experiences as a woman in the mathematics part of “STEM,” inside and outside of academia, that my skin is relatively thick, a fact I’m proud of. Most of the time I let stuff roll off of me. Even […]
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5:10 AM | Cages
The cages are a class of graphs that I think deserve to be more widely known, because they have a lot of interesting properties that make them useful as counterexamples in graph algorithms and graph theory. They're hard to construct and we don't have a lot of explicit descriptions of them, but that's not so important when you're using one as a counterexample. First, what is a cage? The cages are parameterized by two numbers, r and g. An (r,g)-cage is a graph that: is r-regular: each vertex is […]
Editor's Pick
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1:30 AM | Metric entropy analogues of sum set theory
A core foundation of the subject now known as arithmetic combinatorics (and particularly the subfield of additive combinatorics) are the elementary sum set estimates (sometimes known as “Ruzsa calculus”) that relate the cardinality of various sum sets and difference sets as well as iterated sumsets such as , , and so forth. Here, are finite […]

March 19, 2014

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11:14 PM | fine-sliced Poisson [a.k.a. sashimi]
As my student Kévin Guimard had not mailed me his own Poisson slice sampler of a Poisson distribution, I could not tell why the code was not working! My earlier post prompted him to do so and a somewhat optimised version is given below: As you can easily check by running the code, it does […]
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6:46 PM | Extraordinary people
Questo libro mi è stato regalato da una persona conosciuta tramite facebook, una delle poche persone che seppur conosciute prima virtualmente non hanno affatto deluso le mie aspettative, e che sono davvero felice di aver incontrato.Ritornando al libro... non è un romanzo, non è una novella, nemmeno un giallo o un noir, si tratta di storie vere, di testimonianze di vita vissuta. Sono donne e uomini che hanno vissuto in prima persona i disagi e le difficoltà che spesso […]
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5:06 PM | Ad lectorum: Expectation is a prison.
When I first started writing this blog almost five years ago I was happy with the feeling that maybe a handful of people looked in from time to time to find out what I had been scribbling about. I was … Continue reading →
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4:56 PM | The 8th Rimini Bayesian Econometrics Workshop
Just reporting the announcement for the 8th Rimini Bayesian Econometrics Workshop, June 9-10, 2014, in the very pleasant beach resort of Rimini, workshop that I attended a few years ago: This Workshop is organized by the Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis (RCEA) and will be run within the  RIMINI CONFERENCE in ECONOMICS and FINANCE RCEF-2014  […]
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1:53 PM | Let’s not replace the SAT with a big data approach
The big news about the SAT is that the College Boards, which makes the SAT, has admitted there is a problem, which is widespread test-prep and gaming. As I talked about in this post, the SAT mainly serves to sort people by income. It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone when a weak proxy gets […]
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1:09 PM | How Americans vote
An interview with me from 2012: You’re a statistician and wrote a book, Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State, looking at why Americans vote the way they do. In an election year I think it would be a good time to revisit that question, not just for people in the US, but anyone around […]The post How Americans vote appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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12:56 PM | roundup of march madness sports analytics articles
Evelyn Lamb at Scientific American blogs about the math behind a perfect bracket. Carl Bialik at FiveThirtyEight writes about the odds of getting a perfect bracket using analytical methods. It depends on how good those analytical methods are. Nate Silver claims it might be as high as 1 in 7.4 billion. Interesting. “Will a 16 […]
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3:45 AM | Why academics should blog and an update on readership
It’s that time again, TheEGG has passed a milestone — 150 posts under our belt!– and so I feel obliged to reflect on blogging plus update the curious on the readerships statistics. About a month ago, Nicholas Kristof bemoaned the lack of public intellectuals in the New York Times. Some people responded with defenses of […]

March 18, 2014

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11:14 PM | Annual Review of Statistics and its Application, vol. 1
Got this book in my mailbox the other day. It is somewhat a unique object in that it is a high quality book with solid bindings, glossy paper, colours on every page and a nice layout… And even my name (as well as all other authors’) on the cover! I am somewhat surprised there are […]
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9:14 PM | 20 anni
Un altro vi parlerebbe di questi vent'anni, dei ricordi e della musica. Un altro vi parlerebbe di quanto è invecchiato, o di quanto era brutta l'adolescenza. Queste cose non mi riescono poi tanto bene, e allora preferisco farvi ascoltare:
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9:01 PM | Red workbook, p11
Source Transcript Left page Bestanden bei: 60% Uebungen Korrektur d. Klausur mit SK Hindman & Strauss: 4.1.7: $A \in p \in \mathbb{N}^*+\mathbb{N}^*$ =$\exists k: |A \cap (A+k)| = \omega$ ?=$A$ kann nicht aufgezaehlt werden, so dass $a_{n+1} – …
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8:34 PM | What should mathematics majors know about computing, and when should they know it?
Computing is an essential component of a modern study of mathematics, but intentional training of students on concepts related to computing and programming are rarely built into mathematics degree programs in a systematic way. How might this be done, and what should we expect students to know at various stages of their careers?
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4:02 PM | Translating Grothendieck's Biography into English
Leila Schneps is raising funds for an English translation of volume 3 of a biography of Grothendieck.
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2:47 PM | creating a March Madness bracket using integer programming
An Associated Press article on ESPN outlines how the Division I men’s basketball committee wants to make bracket construction to be more fair [Link]. At present, there are 68 teams with no plans to expand the field. However, the committee has many decisions to make when it comes to who makes it in and who doesn’t as […]
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1:54 PM | Those wacky anti-Bayesians used to be intimidating, but now they’re just pathetic
From 2006: Eric Archer forwarded this document by Nick Freemantle, “The Reverend Bayes—was he really a prophet?”, in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine: Does [Bayes's] contribution merit the enthusiasms of his followers? Or is his legacy overhyped? . . . First, Bayesians appear to have an absolute right to disapprove of any […]The post Those wacky anti-Bayesians used to be intimidating, but now they’re just pathetic appeared first on Statistical […]
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1:23 PM | The endgame for PageRank
First there was Google Search, and then pretty quickly SEOs came into existence. SEOs are marketing people hired by businesses to bump up the organic rankings for that business in Google Search results. That means they pay people to make their website more attractive and central to Google Search so they don’t have to pay for […]
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7:04 AM | BICEP2, Primordial Gravity Waves, and Cosmic Inflation
BICEP2, Primordial Gravity Waves, and Cosmic Inflation “Like the microscopic strands of DNA that predetermine the identity of a macroscopic species and the unique properties of its members, the modern look and feel of the cosmos was writ in the fabric of its earliest moments, and carried … Continue reading → The post BICEP2, Primordial Gravity Waves, and Cosmic Inflation appeared first on The Physics Mill.
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6:10 AM | Math Bracket 2014
It’s that time of year again!  Presenting the 2014 math bracket.  School with the best math department wins every game.  As always, all rulings were made by a group, so don’t yell at me if your department loses to one you consider worse.  Also, this year the bracket team was entirely number theorists, so the […]
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