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Posts

April 16, 2014

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1:47 PM | Looking for Bayesian expertise in India, for the purpose of analysis of sarcoma trials
Prakash Nayak writes: I work as a musculoskeletal oncologist (surgeon) in Mumbai, India and am keen on sarcoma research. Sarcomas are rare disorders, and conventional frequentist analysis falls short of providing meaningful results for clinical application. I am thus keen on applying Bayesian analysis to a lot of trials performed with small numbers in this […]The post Looking for Bayesian expertise in India, for the purpose of analysis of sarcoma trials appeared first on Statistical […]
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12:50 PM | Investigating infant formula’s possible role in preventing diabetes
Researchers at the University of Tampere are exploring whether early nutrition has an effect on the incidence of type 1 diabetes. The EDIA project explores ways of preventing childhood diabetes....
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7:53 AM | Why faith can’t – and shouldn’t – disentangle science and politics
I recently appeared as a panelist on the BBC debate show The Big Questions, debating the topic ‘should we have more faith in science?’. So here are some more extended thoughts on that topic. The programme ranged from climate change to homeopathy, … Continue reading →

April 15, 2014

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8:44 PM | Grey Literature at Wageningen UR, the Library, the Cloud(s) and Reporting
A while back I gave a presentation at the offices of SURF during a small scale seminar on Grey Literature in the Netherlands. The occasion was the visit of Amanda Lawrence to SURF to discuss Grey Literature in the Netherlands. I was invited to give a presentation of Grey Literature at Wageningen UR. The slides […] The post Grey Literature at Wageningen UR, the Library, the Cloud(s) and Reporting appeared first on WoW! Wouter on the Web.
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1:46 PM | When you believe in things that you don’t understand
This would make Karl Popper cry. And, at the very end: The present results indicate that under certain, theoretically predictable circumstances, female ovulation—long assumed to be hidden—is in fact associated with a distinct, objectively observable behavioral display. This statement is correct—if you interpret the word “predictable” to mean “predictable after looking at your data.” P.S. […]The post When you believe in things that you don’t […]

April 14, 2014

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2:50 PM | Transitioning to Stan
Kevin Cartier writes: I’ve been happily using R for a number of years now and recently came across Stan. Looks big and powerful, so I’d like to pick an appropriate project and try it out. I wondered if you could point me to a link or document that goes into the motivation for this tool […]The post Transitioning to Stan appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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2:07 PM | Microbial Misadventures: A Malaria Outbreak Without Mosquitoes
Microbial Misadventures is a recurring series on Body Horrors looking at instances and incidents where human meets microbe in novel and unusual circumstances that challenge our assumptions about how infections are spread.  Shout “fire” in a crowded room and watch the occupants fly for the exits. Speak the word “malaria” and watch as all within earshot […]The post Microbial Misadventures: A Malaria Outbreak Without Mosquitoes appeared first on Body […]
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1:01 PM | Is it possible to forge your own signature?
It’s true for everyone that no two signatures are identical, at least in the sense that no two periods on a page are identical. It’s a little more true for me. My signature is sloppy, but I’ve never been called out on it until now. I’ve been trying to get a credit card and the […]
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1:00 PM | On deck this week
Mon: Transitioning to Stan Tues: When you believe in things that you don’t understand Wed: Looking for Bayesian expertise in India, for the purpose of analysis of sarcoma trials Thurs: If you get to the point of asking, just do it. But some difficulties do arise . . . Fri: One-tailed or two-tailed? Sat: Index […]The post On deck this week appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

April 13, 2014

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8:37 PM | Karen Calhoun on digital libraries
Review of : Calhoun, K. 2014. Exploring digital libraries : Foundations, practices, prospects. Chicago: Neal-Schuman. 322p. As a library practitioner I am always a bit weary about the term digital libraries. I have had sincere doubts about the role of library practitioners in digital libraries “some would argue that digital libraries have very little to […] The post Karen Calhoun on digital libraries appeared first on WoW! Wouter on the Web.
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5:26 AM | Green Thumbery: The Seedlings are Coming!
Okay, it’s not Friday, but I owe you guys a Green Thumbery post. Plus I spent part of yesterday turning over the soil in the two beds I’ll be planting this spring, and I’m eager to... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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5:26 AM | Green Thumbery: The Seedlings are Coming!
Okay, it’s not Friday, but I owe you guys a Green Thumbery post. Plus I spent part of yesterday turning over the soil in the two beds I’ll be planting this spring, and I’m eager to... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

April 12, 2014

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6:17 PM | “If you are primarily motivated to make money, you . . . certainly don’t want to let people know how confused you are by something, or how shallow your knowledge is in certain areas. You want to project an image of mastery and omniscience.”
A reader writes in: This op-ed made me think of one your recent posts. Money quote: If you are primarily motivated to make money, you just need to get as much information as you need to do your job. You don’t have time for deep dives into abstract matters. You certainly don’t want to let […]The post “If you are primarily motivated to make money, you . . . certainly don’t want to let people know how confused you are by something, or how shallow your knowledge is in […]
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1:41 PM | “Schools of statistical thoughts are sometimes jokingly likened to religions. This analogy is not perfect—unlike religions, statistical methods have no supernatural content and make essentially no demands on our personal lives. Looking at the comparison from the other direction, it is possible to be agnostic, atheistic, or simply live one’s life without religion, but it is not really possible to do statistics without some philosophy.”
This bit is perhaps worth saying again, especially given the occasional trolling on the internet by people who disparage their ideological opponents by calling them “religious” . . . So here it is: Sometimes the choice of statistical philosophy is decided by convention or convenience. . . . In many settings, however, we have freedom […]The post “Schools of statistical thoughts are sometimes jokingly likened to religions. This analogy is not perfect—unlike […]
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9:40 AM | Your Inner Ant: How Popularity on the Web arises by Trail and Error
Every animal needs food and every animal likes food. Food is quite popular one could say. For foraging, some species like ants use the so-called trail-laying and trail-following behavior for finding the shortest path between a nest and a food source. The trail-laying and trail-following behavior consists of the following three basic principles: 1. Each time an ant moves, it lays a pheromone trail. 2. For finding its way, it senses its environment and a) follows existing trails, if there... Read […]

April 11, 2014

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7:01 PM | Cadets Contribute to Research at Raffles Institute in Singapore
#NetworkScience During Spring Break, Tyree Meadows and I were given the opportunity to participate in a social network research project in Singapore with the Raffles Institute. The Raffles Institute, which is an elite government funded school, educates children and young … Continue reading →
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1:16 PM | “More research from the lunatic fringe”
A linguist send me an email with the above title and a link to a paper, “The Effect of Language on Economic Behavior: Evidence from Savings Rates, Health Behaviors, and Retirement Assets,” by M. Keith Chen, which begins: Languages differ widely in the ways they encode time. I test the hypothesis that languages that grammatically […]The post “More research from the lunatic fringe” appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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12:09 PM | Exporting higher education management studies to Uganda
The School of Management at the University of Tampere is engaged in long-term cooperation with two Ugandan higher education institutions. These projects are funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs...

April 10, 2014

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1:46 PM | Small multiples of lineplots > maps (ok, not always, but yes in this case)
Kaiser Fung shares this graph from Ritchie King: Kaiser writes: What they did right: - Did not put the data on a map - Ordered the countries by the most recent data point rather than alphabetically - Scale labels are found only on outer edge of the chart area, rather than one set per panel […]The post Small multiples of lineplots > maps (ok, not always, but yes in this case) appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

April 09, 2014

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1:30 PM | People That Think Social Media Helps Their Work Are Probably Wrong
In an upcoming special issue of Social Science Computer Review, Landers and Callan[1] set out to understand how people actually use social media while at work and how it affects their job performance.  By polling workers across a wide variety of jobs (across at least 17 industries), they identified 8 broad ways that people use social […]Related articles from NeoAcademic:Textual Harassment at Work: Romance and Sexual Harassment on Social MediaGamification, Social Media, Mobile, […]
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1:00 PM | Advice: positive-sum, zero-sum, or negative-sum
There’s a lot of free advice out there. I offer some of it myself! As I’ve written before (see this post from 2008 reacting to this advice from Dan Goldstein for business school students, and this post from 2010 reacting to some general advice from Nassim Taleb), what we see is typically presented as advice […]The post Advice: positive-sum, zero-sum, or negative-sum appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

April 08, 2014

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6:40 PM | NetSci Cadets and Professor Present at University of Texas Africa Conference
#NetworkScience This past weekend two cadets and a professor affiliated with the Network Science Center presented their research at the 2014 University of Texas Africa Conference, “Diasporas, Old and New.”  The three presented as a panel named “Exiles, Rebels, and … Continue reading →
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1:04 PM | Understanding Simpson’s paradox using a graph
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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4:07 AM | 4 Reasons Not to Settle in a Relationship
Settling is an ugly, depressing word. Few people would suggest outright that you should settle for less than you want and deserve in a relationship. Even Lori Gottlieb, author of Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough, disapproved of the use of the word in her book title, a decision she said was made by her publisher.But the pressure to settle can be very real, even if it is not communicated […]

April 07, 2014

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5:30 PM | Is Suicide Ever "Rational"?
Last week, an 89-year-old woman went from her home in Sussex, England, to the clinic in Switzerland run by the group Dignitas, where she could receive a lethal dose of barbiturates. She was not terminally ill, just old and tired of living. Her death raises questions about end-of-life decision-making and the British group known as the Society for Old Age Rational Suicide.read more
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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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1:00 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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11:03 AM | PAP: March 2014
Is our attractiveness influenced by the rugs on our floors or the art on our walls? Are we more jealous when we're surrounded by people of the same or opposite sex? And we discover why younger fathers have better looking kids. Download the MP3Are people more attractive if they are photographed in a luxury apartment, rather than a standard $40 a week rat-hole with no functioning internet? New research by Michael Dunn of Cardiff Metropolitan University suggests the answer is yes: but only if […]

April 06, 2014

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4:52 PM | The selling out diaries: Surprising sources of pressure
I’m a behavioral scientist, pretty lefty, and I currently do research for a major media corporation. I predicted before taking on this job that I would feel some pressure to drift from deeper questions about society towards “business school” questions — questions that are less about human behavior and more about consumer behavior. What I […]
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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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