Posts

February 27, 2015

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2:18 PM | je suis Avijit Roy
আমরা শোকাহত কিন্তু আমরা অপরাজিত [“We mourn but we are not out”]Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: atheism, Bangladesh, blogging, Mukto-Mona
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2:01 PM | “The harm done by tests of significance” (article from 1994 in the journal, “Accident Analysis and Prevention”)
Ezra Hauer writes: In your January 2013 Commentary (Epidemiology) you say that “…misunderstanding persists even in high-stakes settings.” Attached is an older paper illustrating some such. “It is like trying to sink a battleship by firing lead shot at it for a long time”—well put! The post “The harm done by tests of significance” (article from 1994 in the journal, “Accident Analysis and Prevention”) appeared first on Statistical […]
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11:22 AM | For Profit Colleges Are The Real Villain
Scott Walker has recently made waves in Wisconsin by surreptitiously attempting to change the mission of the University of Wisconsin, and by threatening to remove $300 million of federal aid to the University of Wisconsin, citing the “laziness of professors” as a problem in need of a solution. On the one hand, he’s right to […]
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10:21 AM | Concepts of Sameness (Part 4)
Three approaches to defining equality.

February 26, 2015

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11:15 PM | Unbiased Bayes for Big Data: Path of partial posteriors [a reply from the authors]
[Here is a reply by Heiko Strathman to my post of yesterday. Along with the slides of a talk in Oxford mentioned in the discussion.] Thanks for putting this up, and thanks for the discussion. Christian, as already exchanged via email, here are some answers to the points you make. First of all, we don’t […]
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11:00 PM | Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension (Book Review)
Sometimes you want to learn a “new” multiplication algorithm from a general interest math book, sometimes you want to learn why voting systems are doomed to imperfection, and sometimes... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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10:47 PM | Monade 116
Nel futuro la società umana sarà suddivisa in due macro civiltà: quella delle monadi urbane, agglomerati di palazzoni gigantestchi, chiamati costellazioni al cui interno ad ogni piano, vengono stipati quantità di esseri umani da fare invidia a metropoli come New York; e quella delle campagne, dove quelli che oggi definiremmo contadini vivono coltivando la terra e preservando l'ambiente. Le due civiltà hanno pochissimi scambi, se non quelli strettamente […]
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6:49 PM | Highly abundant numbers are practical
A highly abundant number is a positive integer n that holds the record (among it and smaller numbers) for the biggest sum of divisors σ(n). While cleaning up some citations on the Wikipedia article, I ran across an unsolved problem concerning these numbers, posed by Jaycob Coleman and listed on the OEIS entry for them: are all sufficiently large highly abundant numbers practical?A practical number n has the property that all numbers up to n can be expressed as sums of distinct divisors of […]
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5:00 PM | Richard Pryor (1) vs. Karl Popper
The top-seeded comedian vs. an unseeded philosopher. Pryor would be much more entertaining, that’s for sure (“Arizona State Penitentiary population: 80 percent black people. But there are no black people in Arizona!”). But Karl Popper laid out the philosophy that is the foundation for modern science. His talk, even if it is dry, might ultimately […] The post Richard Pryor (1) vs. Karl Popper appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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2:02 PM | Psych journal bans significance tests; stat blogger inundated with emails
OK, it’s been a busy email day. From Brandon Nakawaki: I know your blog is perpetually backlogged by a few months, but I thought I’d forward this to you in case it hadn’t hit your inbox yet. A journal called Basic and Applied Social Psychology is banning null hypothesis significance testing in favor of descriptive […] The post Psych journal bans significance tests; stat blogger inundated with emails appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social […]
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12:49 PM | From astronomy to literature – Bridging the gap
Recent years have seen more and more people proclaiming a crisis in the humanities. In an age where politicians seem to have mutated into one-track worshippers of the Gods of Mammon anything, which can’t be measured in terms of the … Continue reading →
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11:48 AM | Big Data Is The New Phrenology
Have you ever heard of phrenology? It was, once upon a time, the “science” of measuring someone’s skull to understand their intellectual capabilities. This sounds totally idiotic but was a huge fucking deal in the mid-1800’s, and really didn’t stop getting some credit until much later. I know that because I happen to own the […]
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6:15 AM | Introduction to Synthetic Mathematics (part 1)
A draft of an introduction to synthetic mathematics
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4:45 AM | Operationalizing replicator dynamics and partitioning fitness functions
As you know, dear regular reader, I have a rather uneasy relationship with reductionism, especially when doing mathematical modeling in biology. In mathematical oncology, for example, it seems that there is a hope that through our models we can bring a more rigorous mechanistic understanding of cancer, but at the same time there is the […]

Archetti, M., Ferraro, D.A. & Christofori, G. (2015). Heterogeneity for IGF-II production maintained by public goods dynamics in neuroendocrine pancreatic cancer., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112 (6) 1833-8. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25624490

Citation

February 25, 2015

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11:15 PM | Unbiased Bayes for Big Data: Path of partial posteriors
“Data complexity is sub-linear in N, no bias is introduced, variance is finite.” Heiko Strathman, Dino Sejdinovic and Mark Girolami have arXived a few weeks ago a paper on the use of a telescoping estimator to achieve an unbiased estimator of a Bayes estimator relying on the entire dataset, while using only a small proportion […]
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10:30 PM | Psych journal bans hypothesis testing
The journal Basic and Applied Social Psychology is banning the NHSTP. (That’s the “null hypothesis statistical testing procedure” you might remember from an intro stats course.) This includes banning confidence intervals, thanks to the duality between confidence intervals and hypothesis … Continue reading →
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5:00 PM | Abraham (4) vs. Jane Austen
Yesterday’s is a super-tough call. I’d much rather hear Stewart Lee than Aristotle. I read one of Lee’s books, and he’s a fascinating explicator of performance. Lee gives off a charming David Owen vibe—Phil, you know what I’m saying here—he’s an everyman, nothing special, he’s just been thinking really hard lately and wants to share […] The post Abraham (4) vs. Jane Austen appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and […]
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4:35 PM | Student Debt Strikers Take On Corinthian College
Fifteen students have refused to pay back their student debt to Everest College, owned by the now disgraced for-profit company Corinthian College. They call themselves “the Corinthian 15″. Good for them. Corinthian College is a predatory and fraudulent company which was in the business of gaming the federal loan system while making false promises to its students. […]
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2:34 PM | The axes are labeled but I don’t know what the dots represent.
John Sukup writes: I came across a chart recently posted by Boston Consulting Group on LinkedIn and wondered what your take on it was. To me, it seems to fall into the “suspicious” category but thought you may have a different opinion. I replied that this one baffles me cos I don’t know what the […] The post The axes are labeled but I don’t know what the dots represent. appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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2:25 PM | Waldo e la strada verso la miniaturizzazione
Waldo E. Jones sembrava fluttuare nell'aria al centro di una stanza sferica. L'impressione derivava dal fatto che fluttuava davvero nell'aria. La sua casa era inserita in un'orbita libera, con un periodo di poco più di ventiquattro ore.(8)Waldo abita nello spazio. In orbita intorno alla Terra. Soffre di una malattia che gli impedisce di muoversi sotto l'azione della gravità terrestre. Questo impedimento, come si suol dire, gli ha aguzzato l'ingegno, permettendogli di diventare […]

Ashley S. (2001). Nanobot Construction Crews, Scientific American, 285 (3) 84-85. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/scientificamerican0901-84

Smalley R.E. (2001). Of Chemistry, Love and Nanobots, Scientific American, 285 (3) 76-77. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/scientificamerican0901-76

Ge J., Lei J. & Zare R.N. (2012). Protein–inorganic hybrid nanoflowers, Nature Nanotechnology, 7 (7) 428-432. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nnano.2012.80

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1:00 PM | Too easy
When people sneer at a technology for being too easy to use, it’s worth trying out. If the only criticism is that something is too easy or “OK for beginners” then maybe it’s a threat to people who invested a lot of work learning to do things the old way. The problem with the “OK […]
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7:20 AM | Clinical trial software
This week’s resource post lists some of the projects I managed or contributed to while working at MD Anderson Cancer Center. CRMSimulator is used to design CRM trials, dose-finding based only on toxicity outcomes. BMA-CRMSimulator is a variation on CRMSimulator using Bayesian model averaging. EffTox is used for dose-finding based on toxicity and efficacy outcomes. TTEConduct […]
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1:20 AM | Concepts of Sameness (Part 3)
What good is the equation x = x?

February 24, 2015

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11:15 PM | Bayesian filtering and smoothing [book review]
When in Warwick last October, I met Simo Särkkä, who told me he had published an IMS monograph on Bayesian filtering and smoothing the year before. I thought it would be an appropriate book to review for CHANCE and tried to get a copy from Oxford University Press, unsuccessfully. I thus bought my own book […]
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7:28 PM | 254A, Supplement 6: A cheap version of the theorems of Halasz and Matomaki-Radziwill (optional)
In analytic number theory, it is a well-known phenomenon that for many arithmetic functions of interest in number theory, it is significantly easier to estimate logarithmic sums such as than it is to estimate summatory functions such as (Here we are normalising to be roughly constant in size, e.g. as .) For instance, when is […]
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5:19 PM | Finding the best dose
In a dose-finding clinical trial, you have a small number of doses to test, and you hope find the one with the best response. Here “best” may mean most effective, least toxic, closest to a target toxicity, some combination of criteria, etc. Since your goal is to find the best dose, it seems natural to compare dose-finding […]
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5:00 PM | Aristotle (3) vs. Stewart Lee
Yesterday‘s winner is a tough one. Really, these two guys could’ve met in the final. Some arguments in the comments in favor of Freud: From Huw, “he has the smirks, knowing looks, and barely missed sidelong glances.” And Seth points out the statistical connection: “Some people might say that theory is getting lost in the […] The post Aristotle (3) vs. Stewart Lee appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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3:43 PM | How Big Philanthropy Undermines Democracy
I’m really looking forward to tonight’s panel on mega-foundations and democracy, organized by the Big Apple Coffee Party. I will be the moderator of the event, which takes place at 6:30 tonight at All Soul’s Church at 1157 Lexington Avenue and is open to the public. In preparation, I’m reading the article that inspired tonight’s discussion, […]
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3:31 PM | Upcoming Stan-related talks
If you’re in NYC or Sidney, there are some Stan-related talks in the next few weeks.   New York 25 February. Jonah Gabry: shinyStan: a graphical user interface for exploring Bayesian models after MCMC. Register Now: New York Open Statistical Programming Meetup. 12 March. Rob Trangucci: #5: Non-centered parameterization aka the “Matt trick.” Register Now: Stan […] The post Upcoming Stan-related talks appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and […]
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2:49 PM | “A small but growing collection of studies suggest X” . . . huh?
Lee Beck writes: I’m curious if you have any thoughts on the statistical meaning of sentences like “a small but growing collection of studies suggest [X].” That exact wording comes from this piece in the New Yorker, but I think it’s the sort of expression you often see in science journalism (“small but mounting”, “small […] The post “A small but growing collection of studies suggest X” . . . huh? appeared first on Statistical […]
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