Posts

March 21, 2015

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1:02 PM | “How the Internet Scooped Science (and What Science Still Has to Offer)”
Brian Silver pointed me to this post from Andrew Lindner: This week, my manuscript, co-authored by Melissa Lindquist and Julie Arnold, “Million Dollar Maybe? The Effect of Female Presence in Movies on Box Office Returns” was published online by Sociological Inquiry. It will appear in print later this year. So far, no surprises. A researcher […] The post “How the Internet Scooped Science (and What Science Still Has to Offer)” appeared first on Statistical Modeling, […]
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4:55 AM | Shattered glass
A broken pane in the main stairwell of my department's building (maybe a bird strike?) gave me a chance to play with the geometry of shattered glass.( The rest of the photos )

March 20, 2015

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11:15 PM | Gray matters [not much, truly]
Through the blog of Andrew Jaffe, Leaves on the Lines, I became aware of John Gray‘s tribune in The Guardian, “What scares the new atheists“. Gray’s central points against “campaigning” or “evangelical” atheists are that their claim to scientific backup is baseless, that they mostly express a fear about the diminishing influence of the liberal […]
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7:20 PM | Nero d’Avolla
Filed under: Wines Tagged: Italian wine, Sicily
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4:00 PM | John Updike vs. Bertrand Russell; Nietzsche advances
In yesterday‘s bout, another founder of religion falls, thanks to this comment by Zbicyclist: Do we want an audience full of would-be Ubermensches, or an audience of the proletariat? Considering Columbia is an Ivy League school, I guess we have to go with the Ubermensches. And today’s contest features the eminently sane conservative vs. the […] The post John Updike vs. Bertrand Russell; Nietzsche advances appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social […]
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3:51 PM | Un sorriso nel cielo
Questa mattina, il più in fretta possibile, mi sono diretto all'Osservatorio Astronomico a Brera, sapendo che, nonostante il cielo coperto, ci sarebbero state un po' di persone pronte, in fila, per assistere alle varie fasi dell'eclissi parziale di Sole, prevista tra le 9:30 circa e le 11:45 circa.A gruppi di circa 40 persone, i visitatori sono stati fatti salire sul terrazzo della Cupola Fiore e, tra occhialini, filtri e telescopi, hanno tutti potuto osservare, anche solo per pochi […]
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3:18 PM | Calendrical confusion or just when did Newton die?
Today there is general agreement throughout the world that for commercial and international political purposes everybody uses the Gregorian calendar, first introduced into the Catholic countries of Europe in 1582. However Europeans should never forget that for other purposes other … Continue reading →
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1:01 PM | Bayesian models, causal inference, and time-varying exposures
Mollie Wood writes: I am a doctoral student in clinical and population health research. My dissertation research is on prenatal medication exposure and neurodevelopmental outcomes in children, and I’ve encountered a difficult problem that I hope you might be able to advise me on. I am working on a problem in which my main exposure […] The post Bayesian models, causal inference, and time-varying exposures appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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10:37 AM | Combinatorics of non-crossing partitions
The board is a result of of Bin Shu from East China Normal University visiting Iain Gordon at the University of Edinburgh. In Iain’s words: “We were discussing the combinatorics of non-crossing partitions, and its generalisations to a bunch of different finite groups. The two diagrams are Cayley graphs of symmetric groups where one calculates […]
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10:26 AM | On Quine's Arguments Against QML, Part 1: Modality and Analyticity
When teaching philosophical logic to undergraduates, I feel I have two responsibilities: (a) To teach them logic and (b) To teach them something of the historical development of the field. (Alas, given constraints arising from not enough time, (b) generally means saying something about 20th C developments, rather than what I'd really like to tell them about, namely, 13th and 14th C developments!) This means that when the part of the module where I teach quantified modal logic (QML) came […]

March 19, 2015

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11:15 PM | The synoptic problem and statistics [book review]
A book that came to me for review in CHANCE and that came completely unannounced is Andris Abakuks’ The Synoptic Problem and Statistics.  “Unannounced” in that I had not heard so far of the synoptic problem. This problem is one of ordering and connecting the gospels in the New Testament, more precisely the “synoptic” gospels […]
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11:08 PM | Il "ritorno" di Casty negli Stati Uniti
Ovviamente è un "ritorno" fumettistico, con l'uscita, sul primo numero della nuova serie di Mickey Mouse targata IDW (che prosegue con doppia numerazione dalla precedente), dove viene pubblicata Topolino e la spedizione perduta disegnata da Giorgio Cavazzano. Per l'occasione Casty ha anche disegnato la copertina regolare dell'albo: via Comic Book Resources
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5:28 PM | Board of pi
This board by David Cushing at Newcastle University attempts to calculate pi very crudely by counting how many squares a circle covers and using the formula Area = pi x r2 to get a value of 2.98. Can you do better? This exercise was part of a series of activities carried out to celebrate “Ultimate pi […]
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4:00 PM | Karl Marx vs. Friedrich Nietzsche (4); Austen advances
For yesterday, I was strongly rooting for Popper. I read several of his books about thirty years ago and they had a huge effect on me (and on a lot of social scientists, I think). But the best comment was about Austen. Here’s Dalton with the comment: “A woman, especially if she has the misfortune […] The post Karl Marx vs. Friedrich Nietzsche (4); Austen advances appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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3:57 PM | Eclissi di Sole parziale a Brera
Con un po' di ritardo, vi ricordo che domani, tra le 9:30 e le 11:45 si verificherà una eclissi parziale di Sole. Anche l'Osservatorio di Brera, in collaborazione con il Circolo Astrofili di Milano, si prepara per osservare l'eclissi rendendo disponibile l'ingresso (libero e senza prenotazione) presso le terrazze della Cupola a Fiore (che si trova al quinto piano di un edificio non provvisto di ascensore).I visitatori verranno accolti in turni di 20 minuti circa ciascuno. La capienza […]
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1:02 PM | March Madness!
Ummm . . . this one’s gonna really irritate all the subscription-cancelers . . . Paul Davidson updated the brackets (as of a couple days ago): And here’s a version showing the survivors among each of the eight categories. The artists are all gone, and only one religious leader is left, but the other categories […] The post March Madness! appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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12:58 PM | The continuing saga of io9’s history of science inanities.
I made a sort of deal with myself to, if possible, avoid io9 and above all the inane utterances of Esther Inglis-Arkell. Unfortunately I fell for a bit of history of science click bait on Twitter and stumbled into her … Continue reading →
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10:31 AM | Guest Post: A Discussion Of PARCC Testing
This is a guest post by Eugene Stern, who writes a blog at Sense Made Here, and Kristin Wald, who writes a blog at This Unique* Weblog. Crossposted on their blogs as well. Today’s post is a discussion of education reform, standardized testing, and PARCC with my friend Kristin Wald, who has been extremely kind […]
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9:23 AM | Apiological: mathematical speculations about bees (Part 3: Travelling Salesman)
This is part 3 of a three-part series of mathematical speculations about bees. Part 1 looked at honeycomb geometry, and part 2 looked at how bees estimate nest volumes. The sight of bumblebees roaming around British gardens, foraging for nectar, is common and comforting. The movement of these fuzzy bees between flowers and plants can often seem... Read more »

March 18, 2015

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11:15 PM | Significance and artificial intelligence
As my sorry excuse of an Internet provider has unable to fix my broken connection for several days, I had more time to read and enjoy the latest Significance I received last week. Plenty of interesting entries, once again! Even though, faithfull to my idiosyncrasies, I must definitely criticise the cover (but you may also […]
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10:02 PM | Math Bracket 2015
March Math Madness is here!  Presenting the 2015 math bracket, as usual prepared by our crack team of handicappers here at the UW math department.  As always, remember that the math bracket is for entertainment purposes only and you should not take offense if the group rated your department lower than the plainly inferior department […]
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7:00 PM | What do CERN, the ISS, and Stephen Fry have in Common?
You’ll have to read the New Yorker article on Richard M. Stallman and the The GNU Manifesto by Maria Bustillos to find out! And what’s up with Tim O’Reilly’s comments about the Old Testment vs. New Testament?   That’s an ad hominem attack of the highest order, guaranteed to get the Judeo-Christians even more riled […] The post What do CERN, the ISS, and Stephen Fry have in Common? appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social […]
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4:10 PM | Breve storia del pi greco - parte 3
Calvin & Hobbes di Bill WattersonLe tecniche di costruzione geometriche degli antichi greci erano dette "con riga e compasso". In questo modo è possibile costruire una gran quantità di poligoni regolari, per esempio, ma esistono tre problemi che risultano impossibili a meno di non utilizzare tecniche differenti: la trisecazione di un angolo, la duplicazione del cubo, la quadratura del cerchio.In particolare per la quadratura, è semplice vedere come, detto $r$ il raggio […]

Zielinski A. (1875). Quadrature of the Circle, The Analyst, 2 (3) 77. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2635871

Wildberger N.J. (2002). A New Proof of Cavalieri's Quadrature Formula, The American Mathematical Monthly, 109 (9) 843. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3072373

Young R.M. (1998). Probability, pi, and the Primes: Serendipity and Experimentation in Elementary Calculus, The Mathematical Gazette, 82 (495) 443. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3619891

Wästlund J. (2007). An Elementary Proof of the Wallis Product Formula for pi, The American Mathematical Monthly, 114 (10) 914-917. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/27642364

Kaschube M., S. Lowel, D. M. Coppola, L. E. White & F. Wolf (2010). Universality in the Evolution of Orientation Columns in the Visual Cortex, Science, 330 (6007) 1113-1116. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1194869

Cross M. & Hohenberg P. (1993). Pattern formation outside of equilibrium, Reviews of Modern Physics, 65 (3) 851-1112. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/revmodphys.65.851

Kaschube M., Schnabel M. & Wolf F. (2008). Self-organization and the selection of pinwheel density in visual cortical development, New Journal of Physics, 10 (1) 015009. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1367-2630/10/1/015009

Kaschube M, Wolf F, Geisel T & Löwel S (2002). Genetic influence on quantitative features of neocortical architecture., The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 22 (16) 7206-17. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12177215

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4:00 PM | Jane Austen vs. Karl Popper; Lee advances
For yesterday’s contest I’ll have to go with this comment by Nuthin: This series of posts is so tedious that I’m considering removing this blog from my RSS feed altogether. Stewart Lee is a master of hecklers. In a lot of his work he pretty much invites people to heckle, he antagonizes his audience, etc. […] The post Jane Austen vs. Karl Popper; Lee advances appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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1:59 PM | New time unit needed!
We need a time unit that’s bigger than a minute but smaller than an hour. I thought of it when writing this comment in which I referred to “2100 valuable minutes of classroom time” during the semester (that’s 75 minutes per class, twice a week, for 14 weeks). A minute of class time is pretty […] The post New time unit needed! appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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1:18 PM | the vim cheat sheet
Filed under: Kids, Linux, R, University life, Wines Tagged: An Evil Guest, editor, unix, vim
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1:00 PM | GTD for academics: The importance of review
In this ongoing series of using Getting Things Done (GTD) in an academic lifestyle, we look at the process of review on a weekly, daily, and quarterly basis.
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6:16 AM | An averaged form of Chowla’s conjecture
Kaisa Matomaki, Maksym Radziwill, and I have just uploaded to the arXiv our paper “An averaged form of Chowla’s conjecture“. This paper concerns a weaker variant of the famous conjecture of Chowla (discussed for instance in this previous post) that as for any distinct natural numbers , where denotes the Liouville function. (One could also […]
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2:33 AM | Strawberries and Cream
I discovered yesterday, three nested directories down in my math department account, that I still had a bunch of files from my last desktop Mac, which retired in about 2003. And among those files were backups from my college Mac Plus, and among those files were backups from 3 1/4″ discs I used on the […]
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12:16 AM | A boy’s first casserole
CJ had a vision for dinner. I don’t know where he came up with this. But he said he wanted mashed potatoes with green beans and chopped up hardboiled eggs. OK I said but you know what it needs, some Penzey’s toasted onions and we can put some chunks of gruyere in there and it’ll […]
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