Posts

September 26, 2014

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12:00 PM | Extrapolation Gone Wrong: the Case of the Fermat Primes
Samuel Arbesman recently wrote about incorrect mathematical conjectures. I wanted to add one of my favorites, which came up in my math history class a couple weeks ago. Unlike the disproven... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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10:37 AM | Women not represented in clinical trials
This recent NYTimes article entitled Health Researchers Will Get $10.1 Million to Counter Gender Bias in Studies spelled out a huge problem that kind of blows me away as a statistician (and as a woman!). Namely, they have recently decided over at the NIH, which funds medical research in this country, that we should probably check to see […]
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9:27 AM | La notte dei ricercatori 2014 a Milano
Come ormai saprete, oggi è la Notte Europea dei Ricercatori. Le iniziative si svolgono un po' in tutta Italia e qui vi segnalo solamente quelle per la città di Milano (anche se, come spiegherò più sotto, sono stato tentato di non farlo). Innanzitutto c'è l'open night al Museo delle Scienze, e in particolare ci sarà Marco Delmastro, che discorrerà di fisica delle particelle e, probabilmente, anche di Particelle familiari, il suo primo libro di […]

September 25, 2014

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10:14 PM | two, three, five, …, a million standard deviations!
I first spotted Peter Coles’ great post title “Frequentism: the art of probably answering the wrong question” (a very sensible piece by the way!, and mentioning a physicist’s view on the Jeffreys-Lindley paradox I had intended to comment) and from there the following site jumping occured: “I confess that in my early in my career […]
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8:55 PM | Free Stan T-shirt to the first “little twerp” who does a (good) Bayesian analysis of Jon Lee Anderson’s height
I’d like to see a Stan implementation of the analysis presented in this comment by Gary from a year and a half ago. The post Free Stan T-shirt to the first “little twerp” who does a (good) Bayesian analysis of Jon Lee Anderson’s height appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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7:56 PM | “Derek Jeter was OK”
Tom Scocca files a bizarrely sane column summarizing the famous shortstop’s accomplishments: Derek Jeter was an OK ballplayer. He was pretty good at playing baseball, overall, and he did it for a pretty long time. . . . You have to be good at baseball to last 20 seasons in the major leagues. . . […] The post “Derek Jeter was OK” appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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7:52 PM | The great reformulation of algebraic geometry
“Tate helped shape the great reformulation of arithmetic and geometry which has taken place since the 1950′s.” — Andrew Wiles At the Heidelberg Laureate Forum I has a chance to interview John Tate. In his remarks below, Tate briefly comments on his early work on number theory and cohomology. Most of the post consists of […]
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2:54 PM | If you’re going to pontificate about the history of science then at least get your facts right!
Recently, my attention was drawn to an article by Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, on The Week website, telling the world what the real meaning of ‘science’ is (h/t Peter Broks @peterbroks). According to Mr Gobry science is the process through which we … Continue reading →
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2:15 PM | Mental crypto footnotes
I spoke with Manuel Blum this afternoon about his password scheme described here. This post is a few footnotes based on that conversation. When I mentioned that some people had reacted to the original post saying the scheme was too hard, Blum said that he has taught the scheme to a couple children, 6 and […]
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1:24 PM | Waic for time series
Helen Steingroever writes: I’m currently working on a model comparison paper using WAIC, and would like to ask you the following question about the WAIC computation: I have data of one participant that consist of 100 sequential choices (you can think of these data as being a time series). I want to compute the WAIC […] The post Waic for time series appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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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 »
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