# Posts

### April 08, 2014

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7:09 PM | Eternal sunshine of the progressive mind

Every now and then, I’m instructed to have more faith in the progressive tendencies of humanity. Racism and sexism, I’m told, are relics of the past, and especially so in science and tech. Progressive, open minded people are against discrimination. … Continue reading →

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6:58 PM | The problem is not the students.

Education is about students. It is about caring for them, pushing them, helping them, working with them rather than against them. Take a good long look at your reasons for being in higher ed. If students are not at the center, you are doing it wrong.

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3:27 PM | UCL Big Data Symposium

The Computational Life and Medical Sciences network at UCL hosted a Big Data Symposium in partnership with the UCL Big Data Institute. The event explored the role of Big Data analytics in a broad range of sectors from innovations in scientific research to medical and health innovation to driving business innovation. The world of Big Data is a defining theme of human civilisation in the 21st century, and it opens up new possibilities in how we shape human civilisation... Read more

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3:14 PM | Waiting for the beginning

Following a draft published on arXiv a couple of weeks ago, the BICEP2's observations could be explained not only with the cosmic inflation, but also with another mechanism: The recent claimed observation of primordial gravitational waves provides a dramatic new empirical window on the early universe. In particular, it provides the opportunity, in principle, to de nitively test the inflationary paradigm, and to explore the speci c physics of inflationary models. However, while there is little
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On Monday, Professor Bill Cook, Professor in Combinatorics and Optimization at the University of Waterloo gave the Hilldale Lecture at the University of Wisconsin. See my earlier blog post about this here. Bill’s talk on the Traveling Salesman Problem (“One NP-hard problem to rule them all“) was terrific! Bill is a master multi-tasker as evidence by how […]

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Joshua Vogelstein pointed me to this post by Michael Nielsen on how to teach Simpson’s paradox. I don’t know if Neilsen (and others) are aware that people have developed some snappy graphical methods for displaying Simpson’s paradox (and, more generally, aggregation issues). We do some this in our Red State Blue State book, but before […]The post Understanding Simpson’s paradox using a graph appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social
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10:24 AM | Leuven snapshot [#2]

Filed under: pictures, Running, Travel Tagged: Belgium, brick houses, Leuven, MCQMC2014

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10:05 AM | An Interview And A Notebook

Interview on Junk Charts Yesterday I was featured on Kaiser Fung’s Junk Charts blog in an interview where he kindly refers to me as a “Numbersense Pro”. Previous to this week, my strongest connection with Kaiser Fung was through Andrew Gelman’s meta-review of my review and Kaiser’s review of Nate Silver’s book The Signal And The […]

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My friend Daria Roithmayr alerted me to a working paper of Brian Arthur laying out a vision for a new approach to studying economics. Brian Arthur is one of the pioneers of complex systems thought, and has devoted his life to understanding what really happens in our economy, and why this behavior is so different from what classical economics predicts.Classical economics is a theory based on the concept of equilibrium. Equilibrium, in economics, is a state in which everyone is doing
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My friend Daria Roithmayr alerted me to a working paper of Brian Arthur laying out a vision for a new approach to studying economics. Brian Arthur is one of the pioneers of complex systems thought, and has devoted his life to understanding what really happens in our economy, and why this behavior is so different from what classical economics predicts.Classical economics is a theory based on the concept of equilibrium. Equilibrium, in economics, is a state in which everyone is doing
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### April 07, 2014

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10:14 PM | data scientist position

Our newly created Chaire “Economie et gestion des nouvelles données” in Paris-Dauphine, ENS Ulm, École Polytechnique and ENSAE is recruiting a data scientist starting as early as May 1, the call remaining open till the position is filled. The location is in one of the above labs in Paris, the duration for at least one […]

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2:32 PM | Il terzo piano

Non nascondo che ho fatto fatica a leggere questo libro. Eppure scritto bene, scorrevole, ma finché non sono arrivata circa a metà, andando anche a 'spiare' qualche riga della fine, facevo un po' fatica ad andare avanti. Adesso che l'ho finito posso dire che ne è valsa la pena. Sì, vale davvero la pena sforzarsi e andare avanti, leggerlo fino all'ultima riga, perché è una bella storia, semplice, commovente, che riesce a strappare un sorriso e allo […]

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2:30 PM | How literature is like statistical reasoning: Kosara on stories. Gelman and Basbøll on stories.

In “Story: A Definition,” visual analysis researcher Robert Kosara writes: A story ties facts together. There is a reason why this particular collection of facts is in this story, and the story gives you that reason. provides a narrative path through those facts. In other words, it guides the viewer/reader through the world, rather than just throwing […]The post How literature is like statistical reasoning: Kosara on stories. Gelman and Basbøll on stories.
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1:30 PM | land O links

An except from the forthcoming book Why we all love numbers by Alex Bellos (HT @wjcook) Life was not boring before the Internet by Jordan Ellenberg (@JSEllenberg) Delta Airlines is using data analytics to predict which parts will fail to schedule maintenance (HT @scianalytics) The art of live tweeting. A new paper by Brett Green and Jeffrey Zwiebel find […]

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1:00 PM | On deck this week

Mon: How literature is like statistical reasoning: Kosara on stories. Gelman and Basbøll on stories. Tues: Understanding Simpson’s paradox using a graph Wed: Advice: positive-sum, zero-sum, or negative-sum Thurs: Small multiples of lineplots > maps (ok, not always, but yes in this case) Fri: “More research from the lunatic fringe” Sat: “Schools of statistical thoughts […]The post On deck this week appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference,
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12:30 PM | The Slowest Way to Draw a Lute

Last month, I went to a talk by mathematician Annalisa Crannell of Franklin and Marshall College called Math and Art: the good, the bad, and the pretty. She talked about how mathematical ideas of...
-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

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This is the third in a series of three posts in which I rehearse what I hope to say at the Author Meets Critics session for Lara Buchak's tremendous new book Risk and Rationality at the Pacific APA in a couple of weeks. The previous two posts are here and here. In the first post, I gave an overview of risk-weighted expected utility theory, Buchak's alternative to expected utility theory. In the second post, I gave a prima facie reason for worrying about any departure from […]

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11:13 AM | Defining poverty #OWS

I am always amazed by my Occupy group, and yesterday’s meeting is no exception. Yesterday we decided to look into redefining the poverty line, and although the conversation took a moving and deeply philosophical turn, I’ll probably only have time to talk about the nuts and bolts of formulas this morning. The poverty line, or […]

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10:24 AM | Leuven snapshot [#1]

Filed under: pictures, Running, Statistics, Travel, University life Tagged: Belgium, Leuven, Louvain, MCQMC2014, sunrise

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In 1936, Alonzo Church, Alan Turing, and Emil Post each published independent papers on the Entscheidungsproblem and introducing the lambda calculus, Turing machines, and Post-Turing machines as mathematical models of computation. A myriad of other models followed, many of them taking seemingly unrelated approaches to the computable: algebraic, combinatorial, linguistic, logical, mechanistic, etc. Of course, […]

Dershowitz, N. & Gurevich, Y. (2008). A natural axiomatization of computability and proof of Church's Thesis, Bulletin of Symbolic Logic, 14 (3) 299-350. DOI: 10.2178/bsl/1231081370

Citation

### April 06, 2014

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¨The idea is to calculate multiple likelihoods ahead of time (“pre-fetching”), and only use the ones which are needed.” A. Brockwell, 2006 Yet another paper on parallel MCMC, just arXived by Elaine Angelino, Eddie Kohler, Amos Waterland, Margo Seltzer, and Ryan P. Adams. Now, besides “prefetching” found in the title, I spotted “speculative execution”, “slapdash […]

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In this second episode on homotopy type theory, we explore the possibilities allowed by higher inductive types. We use these to re-formalize integer numbers in a much more intuitive way, and we gaze at the homotopical structures that emerge out of such formalizations. We conclude by giving the new mind-blowing definitions of the (homotopical) circle and sphere.

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4:54 PM | in the time of cholera

Filed under: Books, Kids, pictures, Travel Tagged: beautiful science, cholera, coxcomb, Florence Nightingale, John Snow, London, mortality chart, Pierre Jacob, Statisfaction, statistical graphics

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1:35 PM | Orange Juice

about #RichardFeynman playing #bongo Here, after a lecture, Richard Feynman plays his signature "Orange Juice" theme with his friend and fellow drum player, Ralph Leighton.

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1:15 PM | An old discussion of food deserts

I happened to be reading an old comment thread from 2012 (follow the link from here) and came across this amusing exchange: Perhaps this is the paper Jonathan was talking about? Here’s more from the thread: Anyway, I don’t have anything to add right now, I just thought it was an interesting discussion.The post An old discussion of food deserts appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

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Many of my more recent readers will not be aware that I lost a good Internet friend last year with the unexpected demise of the history of art blogger, Hasan Niyazi. If you want to know more about my relationship … Continue reading →

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Founder of the WCMB, James Murray, visited Oxford last month to give the inaugural Hooke lecture, "Why there are no three-headed monsters, resolving some problems with brain tumours, divorce prediction and how to save marriages". While he was here, he was interviewed by his former student and our current director Prof. Philip Maini, featuring questions from various members of the WCMB. You can watch the interview here as part of the podcast series The Secrets of Mathematics.

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4:14 AM | Post Delayed

Post Delayed
This week I’m in Savannah Georgia for the April APS meeting. So far, it’s been a blast! I met fellow blogger +Hamilton Carter, who writes at Copasetic Flow. If you’re interested in relativity or the history of physics, you should … Continue reading →
The post Post Delayed appeared first on The Physics Mill.