July 15, 2014

10:54 PM | Thoughts on TEDx
I gave a TED talk!  OK, not exactly — I gave a TEDx talk, which is the locally organized, non-branded version, but same idea.  18 minutes or less, somewhat sloganistic, a flavor of self-improvement and inspiration. I was skeptical of the format.  18 minutes!  How can you do anything?  You can really just say one thing. […]
10:14 PM | another R new trick [new for me!]
While working with Andrew and a student from Dauphine on importance sampling, we wanted to assess the distribution of the resulting sample via the Kolmogorov-Smirnov measure where F is the target.  This distance (times √n) has an asymptotic distribution that does not depend on n, called the Kolmogorov distribution. After searching for a little while, […]
9:48 PM | Abstract Structure
Draft of a paper, "Abstract Structure", cleverly called that because it aims to explicate the notion of "abstract structure", bringing together some things I mentioned a few times previously.
9:12 PM | First day
As I was telling you in my previous post (link) I was at Stuttgart, and the time-table was more intense than I had expected at the beginning, though I enjoyed it a lot… It was really interesting, and it will take … Continue reading →
4:40 PM | Cancun sunrise
Filed under: pictures, Running, Travel Tagged: Ḿéxico, Cancún, Caribean sea, ISBA 2014, sunrise
3:33 PM | Comets and Heliocentricity: A Rough Guide
In the standard mythologised history of astronomy of the Early Modern Period comets are only mentioned once. We get told, in classical hagiographical manner, how Tycho Brahe observed the great comet of 1577 and thus smashed the crystalline spheres of … Continue reading →
Editor's Pick
12:22 PM | Real analysis relative to a finite measure space
In the traditional foundations of probability theory, one selects a probability space , and makes a distinction between deterministic mathematical objects, which do not depend on the sampled state , and stochastic (or random) mathematical objects, which do depend (but in a measurable fashion) on the sampled state . For instance, a deterministic real number […]
11:06 AM | The Platform starts today
Hey my class starts today, I’m totally psyched! The syllabus is up on github here and I prepared an iPython notebook here showing how to do basic statistics in python, and culminating in an attempt to understand what a statistically significant but tiny difference means, in the context of the Facebook Emotion study. Here’s a useless […]
10:43 AM | Fair Play
It was such such an refreshing site to see Dilma Rousseff and Angela Merkel in the VIP box of World Cup final! No, I'm not a fan of either of them. But at least they brought some balance to the otherwise hopelessly male dominant gala fest of power, money and muscle! From players, to coaches, support stuffs, FIFA officials, even the vast majority of reporters and was such an
8:33 AM | Stan World Cup update
The other day I fit a simple model to estimate team abilities from World Cup outcomes. I fit the model to the signed square roots of the score differentials, using the square root on the theory that when the game is less close, it becomes more variable. 0. Background As you might recall, the estimated […] The post Stan World Cup update appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
2:45 AM | Thermopylae/Θερμοπύλες
Translation Honor to those who in their lives have defined and guard their Thermopylae. Never stirring from duty; just and upright in all their deeds, yet with pity and compassion too; generous when they are rich, and when they are … Continue reading →

July 14, 2014

10:14 PM | implementing reproducible research [short book review]
As promised, I got back to this book, Implementing reproducible research (after the pigeons had their say). I looked at it this morning while monitoring my students taking their last-chance R exam (definitely last chance as my undergraduate R course is not reconoduced next year). The book is in fact an edited collection of papers […]
7:33 PM | Calling a spade a spade: Mathematics in the new pattern of division of labour
My new preprint: Calling a spade a spade: Mathematics in the new pattern of division of labour. From Introduction: I argue that new patterns of division of labour have dramatically changed the nature and role of mathematical skills needed for the labour force and correspondingly changed the place of mathematics in popular culture and in […]
6:38 PM | Moving (again)
Moving (again) For (hopefully) the last time in the next three years, I’m moving! It’s only one city over, but I want to try and keep up a semblance of work productivity while I pack up and hop. So for the next … Continue reading → The post Moving (again) appeared first on The Physics Mill.
3:56 PM | “Building on theories used to describe magnets, scientists have put together a model that captures something very different . . .”
There’s a story that (some) physicists and science reporters seem to like, which is the idea that some clever mathematician or physicist can derive universal laws of social behavior. It’s time to tell you all: Hari Seldon never existed. Here’s what I think of these stories of physicists who discover the laws of society. I […] The post “Building on theories used to describe magnets, scientists have put together a model that captures something very different . . […]
2:25 PM | Surveillance in NYC
There’s a CNN video news story explaining how the NYC Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics is working with private start-up Placemeter to count and categorize New Yorkers, often with the help of private citizens who install cameras in their windows. Here’s a screenshot from the Placemeter website: You should watch the video and decide for yourself whether […]
2:18 PM | Beach sand for long cycle life batteries
#sand #battery #chemistry #energy This is the holy grail – a low cost, non-toxic, environmentally friendly way to produce high performance lithium ion battery anodesZachary FavorsSchematic of the heat scavenger-assisted Mg reduction process.Herein, porous nano-silicon has been synthesized via a highly scalable heat scavenger-assisted magnesiothermic reduction of beach sand. This environmentally benign, highly abundant, and low cost SiO2 source allows for production of nano-silicon at the […]
1:38 PM | Flash alla maniera di Ingmar Bergman
Jennifer Ouellette è uno dei blogger di Scientific American e ogni settimana propone una serie di link sulle novità riguardanti la fisica. Per la settimana del 12 luglio ci sono molte risorse interessanti, partendo da quelle dedicate al mondiale. Il lungo e ricco post si conclude con un video veramente interessante, così introdotto da Jennifer: In onore dell'imminente serie televisiva The Flash, il filmmaker newyorkese Patrick Willems ha reimmaginato il supereroe velocista […]
1:30 PM | arrived in Cancún
After an uneventful trip from Paris, we landed to the heat and humidity just a day before our ABC course. Much too hot and too humid for my taste, so I am looking forward spending my days in the conference centre. Hopefully, it will get cool enough to go running in the early morning…Filed under: […]
1:00 PM | On deck this week
Mon: “Building on theories used to describe magnets, scientists have put together a model that captures something very different . . .” Tues: Questions about “Too Good to Be True” Wed: “The Europeans and Australians were too eager to believe in renal denervation” Thurs: Ethics and statistics Fri: Differences between econometrics and statistics: From varying […] The post On deck this week appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and […]
11:28 AM | La banda degli invisibili
La banda degli invisibili è una banda di divertenti signore e signori anziani, che trascorrono il loro tempo a chiacchierare, bisticciare, leggere il giornale e commentare le notizie alla tv. Ed è proprio ascoltando le notizie che hanno questa idea: rapire Silvio Berlusconi! Ebbene sì, è proprio quello che vogliono fare!Per portare a termine l'operazione iniziano a 'fare palestra', ma in casa, perché con la loro pensione non possono permettersi certo una vera […]
7:30 AM | Stan London Meetup 16 July
Michael Betancourt announces: The Stan Development Team is happy to announce the first Stan London Meetup, Wednesday, July 16th, 6-8 PM Bentham House, Seminar Room 4 4-8 Endsleigh Gardens, London, WC1H 0EG Nominally the plan is to begin with a casual introduction to Stan and then break out into discussion based on the interests of […] The post Stan London Meetup 16 July appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

July 13, 2014

10:14 PM | adaptive equi-energy sampling
Today, I took part in the thesis defence of Amandine Shreck at Telecom-ParisTech. I had commented a while ago on the Langevin algorithm for discontinuous targets she developed with co-authors from that school towards variable selection. The thesis also contains material on the equi-energy sampler that is worth mentioning. The algorithm relates to the Wang-Landau […]
9:00 PM | Street numbers 1st month
The event Street Numbers had his first month. Really proud of everyone that participated and happy to say that there will be other 2 months of Street Numbers. Just take photos of the numbers around you: houses, buses, cars, prices in markets, … Continue reading →
9:44 AM | Stan goes to the World Cup
I thought it would be fun to fit a simple model in Stan to estimate the abilities of the teams in the World Cup, then I could post everything here on the blog, the whole story of the analysis from beginning to end, showing the results of spending a couple hours on a data analysis. […] The post Stan goes to the World Cup appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

July 12, 2014

10:14 PM | no ISBA 2016 in Banff…
Alas, thrice alas, the bid we made right after the Banff workshop with Scott Schmidler, and Steve Scott for holding the next World ISBA Conference in 2016 in Banff, Canada was unsuccessful. This is a sad and unforeseen item of news as we thought Banff had a heap of enticing features as a dream location […]
7:00 PM | D&D 5e: Probabilities for Advantage and Disadvantage
The new rules for D&D 5e (formerly known as D&D Next) are finally here: Dungeons & Dragons, 5th Edition: Basic Rules D&D 5e introduces a new game mechanic, advantage and disadvantage. Basic d20 Rules Usually, players roll a 20-sided die (d20) to resolve everyting from attempts at diplomacy to hitting someone with a sword. Each […] The post D&D 5e: Probabilities for Advantage and Disadvantage appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
5:14 PM | impressions, soleil couchant (#2)
Filed under: pictures, Travel Tagged: Charles de Gaulle, Paris suburbs, RER B, Roissy, summer, sunset, train, University of Warwick
4:33 PM | I numeri primi e la ricerca delle fondamenta
Nel momento in cui affermiamo che un dato numero è primo, ovvero nel momento in cui affermiamo matematicamente che $n$ è un numero primostiamo, in effetti, affermando che $n$ è un numero naturale divisibile solo per se stesso e per l'unità. Questa definizione può però essere ulteriormente ridotta come segue(1): $n$ è un numero naturale e, presi comunque due numeri naturali $h$ e $k$, se $n$ è $h \cdot k$, allora $h$ o $k$ è 1.E' […]

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1:05 PM | MathJax best practices: avoid display:none
At MathJax we often get questions about specific examples of content / web design. Most of the time, people will show up on the MathJax User Group (the preferred choice), StackOverflow (semi-officially supported), and through our contact form on …
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