Posts

July 24, 2014

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3:28 PM | Notes on Gone Girl
It reminds me of Martin Amis’s The Information, in that it is a really well-made thing, but one which I think probably shouldn’t have been made, and which I’m probably sorry I read, because it’s sick in its heart. Everything else I can say is a spoiler so I’ll put it below a tab. 1.  I […]
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2:24 PM | If it was good enough for Martin Luther King and Laurence Tribe . . .
People keep pointing me to this. P.S. I miss the old days when people would point me to bad graphs. The post If it was good enough for Martin Luther King and Laurence Tribe . . . appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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1:42 PM | NFL players keep getting bigger and bigger
Aleks points us to this beautiful dynamic graph by Noah Veltman showing the heights and weights of NFL players over time. The color is pretty but I think I’d prefer something simpler, just one dot per player (with some jittering to handle the discrete reporting of heights and weights). In any case, it’s a great […] The post NFL players keep getting bigger and bigger appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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9:47 AM | Mathematicians' intuitions - a survey
I'm passing this on from Mark Zelcer (CUNY): A group of researchers in philosophy, psychology and mathematics are requesting the assistance of the mathematical community by participating in a survey about mathematicians' philosophical intuitions. The survey is here: http://goo.gl/Gu5S4E. It would really help them if many mathematicians participated. Thanks!
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7:48 AM | No uniform ultrafilters
Earlier this morning I received an email question from Yair Hayut. Is it consistent without the axiom of choice, of course, that there are free ultrafilters on the natural numbers but none on the real numbers? Well, of course that the answer is negative. If $\cal U$ is a free ultrafilter on $\omega$ then $\{X\subseteq\mathcal […]
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12:50 AM | Big grids in outerplanar strict confluent graphs
I was wondering whether the outerplanar strict confluent drawings I studied in a Graph Drawing paper last year had underlying diagrams whose treewidth is bounded, similarly to the treewidth bound for the usual outerplanar graphs. The confluent graphs themselves can't have low treewidth, because they include large complete bipartite graphs, but I was hoping that a treewidth bound for the diagram could be used to prove that the graphs themselves have low clique-width. Sadly, it turns out not to […]

July 23, 2014

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10:14 PM | ABC in Sydney [guest post #2]
[Here is a second guest post on the ABC in Sydney workshop, written by Chris Drovandi] First up Dennis Prangle presented his recent work on “Lazy ABC”, which can speed up ABC by potentially abandoning model simulations early that do not look promising. Dennis introduces a continuation probability to ensure that the target distribution of […]
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4:20 PM | Fifty years of CP violation
via @CERN http://t.co/9Rac42mBVh #CPviolation #CPsymmetry #matter #antimatter The CP violation is a violation of the CP-symmetry, a combination between the charge conjugation symmetry (C) and the parity symmetry (P). CP-symmetry states that the laws of physics should be the same if a particle is interchanged with its antiparticle, and then its spatial coordinates are inverted.The CP violation is discovered in 1964 by Christenson, Cronin, Fitch, and Turlay (Cronin and Fitch awarded the Nobel […]
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1:49 PM | A world without statistics
A reporter asked me for a quote regarding the importance of statistics. But, after thinking about it for a moment, I decided that statistics isn’t so important at all. A world without statistics wouldn’t be much different from the world we have now. What would be missing, in a world without statistics? Science would be […] The post A world without statistics appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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12:00 PM | The Shocking Failure of British Rail Travel to Respect the Triangle Inequality
I spent about a month in the UK earlier this summer, and that meant I took a lot of train trips. I love riding trains: the feeling of endless possibility I get when I look at the departure boards,... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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11:29 AM | How to think like a microeconomist
Yesterday we were pleased to have Suresh Naidu guest lecture in The Platform. He came in and explained, very efficiently because he was leaving at 11am for a flight at noon at LGA (which he made!!) how to think like an economist. Or at least an applied microeconomist. Here are his notes: Applied microeconomics is basically […]
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3:19 AM | The human factor
A recent Telegraph article suggests that “females, as a whole, are not hugely engaged by science.” Emphasis mine: The problem with science is that, for all its wonders, it lacks narrative and story-line. Science (and maths) is about facts, and … Continue reading →

July 22, 2014

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10:14 PM | Cancún, ISBA 2014 [day #3]
…already Thursday, our [early] departure day!, with an nth (!) non-parametric session that saw [the newly elected ISBA Fellow!] Judith Rousseau present an ongoing work with Chris Holmes on the convergence or non-convergence conditions for a Bayes factor of a non-parametric hypothesis against another non-parametric. I wondered at the applicability of this test as the […]
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9:25 PM | Haskell analog of Sweave and Pweave
Sweave and Pweave are programs that let you embed R and Python code respectively into LaTeX files. You can display the source code, the result of running the code, or both. lhs2TeX is roughly the Haskell analog of Sweave and Pweave.  This post takes the sample code I wrote for Sweave and Pweave before and […]
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2:43 PM | Gods, phylosophy and computers
by @ulaulaman http://t.co/Q3AODpvKAs #Godel #ontologicalproof #god #computer The ontological arguments for the existence of God was introduced for the first time by St. Anselm in 1078: God, by definition, is that for which no greater can be conceived. God exists in the understanding. If God exists in the understanding, we could imagine Him to be greater by existing in reality. Therefore, God must exist.There are a lot of phylosophies, mathematics and logicians that proposed their ontological […]
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1:41 PM | Battle of the cozy comedians: What’s Alan Bennett’s problem with Stewart Lee?
When in London awhile ago I picked up the book, “How I Escaped My Certain Fate: The Life and Deaths of a Stand-Up Comedian,” by Stewart Lee. I’d never heard of the guy but the book was sitting there, it had good blurbs, and from a quick flip-through it looked interesting. Now that I’ve read […] The post Battle of the cozy comedians: What’s Alan Bennett’s problem with Stewart Lee? appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social […]
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1:20 PM | A subway topologist
One of my favorite books when I was growing up was the Mathematics volume in the LIFE Science Library. I didn’t own the book, but my uncle did, and I’d browse through the book whenever I visited him. I was too young at the time to understand much of what I was reading. One of […]
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1:11 PM | Crime and punishment
When I was prepping for my Slate Money podcast last week I read this column by Matt Levine at Bloomberg on the Citigroup settlement. In it he raises the important question of how the fine amount of $7 billion was determined. Here’s the key part:  Citi’s and the Justice Department’s approaches both leave something to […]
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11:42 AM | I sotterranei
Devo dire che con questo libro Jack mi ha un po' sfidata, non per i contenuti ma per come è scritto: soprattutto nella prima parte si poteva incontrare un punto (in senso di punteggiatura) anche dopo una pagina e mezza, e in quella pagina e mezza passare da diversi eventi, incontri, situazioni. Una sfida che ho accolto e apprezzato, perché è una bella storia d'amore ma senza troppi fronzoli (forse è proprio l'assenza di fronzoli che ai tempi questo libro non fu ben […]
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11:29 AM | It's collaboration, not competetion
No ones knows who invented the wheel...but we always try not to re-invent it! Somebody in ancient China was clever enough to invent the printing machine while another discovered the formula for gun powder. But they didn't file any patent for that!. Some brilliant mathematician in India came up with the idea of using zero and built the foundation of mathematics; yet s/he fell short of
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11:02 AM | The Ten-Fold Way (Part 2)
Algebraic thoughts on the threefold way and ten-fold way.

July 21, 2014

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11:54 PM | Using finite automata to draw graphs
The diagram below describes a finite state machine that takes as input a description of an indifference graph, and produces as output a 1-planar drawing of it (that is, a drawing with each edge crossed at most once).Indifference graphs are the graphs that can be constructed by the following process. Initialize an active set of vertices to be the empty set, and then perform a sequence of steps of two types: either add a new vertex to the active set and make it adjacent to all previous active […]
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11:03 PM | Pullbacks That Preserve Weak Equivalences
On morphisms pullback along which preserves weak equivalences, and their name(s).
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10:14 PM | Off from Cancun [los scientificos Maya]
The flight back from ISBA 2014 was not as smooth as the flight in: it took one hour for the shuttle to take us to the airport thanks to a driver posing as a touristic guide [who needs a guide when going home?!] and droning on and on about Cancún and the Maya heritage [as […]
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8:21 PM | Thoughts on QED+20
The potential of the comprehensive formalization of mathematics has fascinated me for quite some time - even though I am a working mathematician whose research is not part of the area conventionally known as “formal methods”. Last week, I took the opportunity to attend the QED+20 workshop which was part of the Vienna Summer of Logic and which celebrates anniversary of the original QED workshops and manifesto. 20 years ago, the QED project set out to create “a computer system […]
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3:13 PM | Skepticism about a published claim regarding income inequality and happiness
Frank de Libero writes: I read your Chance article (disproving that no one reads Chance!) re communicating about flawed psychological research. And I know from your other writings of your continuing good fight against misleading quantitative work. I think you and your students might be interested on my recent critique of a 2011 paper published […] The post Skepticism about a published claim regarding income inequality and happiness appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal […]
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1:49 PM | Everyone has a crush on me
So I have been getting some feedback lately on how I always assume everyone has a crush  on me. People know this is my typical assumption because I say things like, “oh yeah that guy totally has a crush on me.” And when I say “feedback,” what I mean is people joyfully accusing me of […]
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1:00 PM | On deck this week
Mon: Skepticism about a published claim regarding income inequality and happiness Tues: Battle of the cozy comedians: What’s Alan Bennett’s problem with Stewart Lee? Wed: A world without statistics Thurs: NFL players keep getting bigger and bigger Fri: “An Experience with a Registered Replication Project” Sat, Sun: As Chris Hedges would say: Don’t worry, baby The post On deck this week appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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12:59 PM | Bringing bash and PowerShell a little closer together
I recently ran across PSReadLine, a project that makes the PowerShell console act more like a bash shell. I’ve just started using it, but it seems promising. I’m switching between Linux and Windows frequently these days and it’s nice to have a little more in common between the two. I’d rather write a PowerShell script […]
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5:41 AM | Variants of the Selberg sieve, and bounded intervals containing many primes
I’ve just uploaded to the arXiv the D.H.J. Polymath paper “Variants of the Selberg sieve, and bounded intervals containing many primes“, which is the second paper to be produced from the Polymath8 project (the first one being discussed here). We’ll refer to this latter paper here as the Polymath8b paper, and the former as the […]
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