Posts

July 27, 2014

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4:44 PM | Stan 2.4, New and Improved
We’re happy to announce that all three interfaces (CmdStan, PyStan, and RStan) are up and ready to go for Stan 2.4. As usual, you can find full instructions for installation on the Stan Home Page. Here are the release notes with a list of what’s new and improved: New Features ------------ * L-BFGS optimization (now […] The post Stan 2.4, New and Improved appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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8:17 AM | Stan found using directed search
X and I did some “Sampling Through Adaptive Neighborhoods” ourselves the other day and checked out the nearby grave of Stanislaw Ulam, who is buried with his wife, Françoise Ulam, and others of her family. The above image of Stanislaw and Françoise Ulam comes from this charming mini-biography from Roland Brasseur, which I found here. […] The post Stan found using directed search appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

July 26, 2014

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9:59 PM | NYC workshop 22 Aug on open source machine learning systems
The workshop is organized by John Langford (Microsoft Research NYC), along with Alekh Agarwal and Alina Beygelzimer, and it features Liblinear, Vowpal Wabbit, Torch, Theano, and . . . you guessed it . . . Stan! Here’s the current program: 8:55am: Introduction 9:00am: Liblinear by CJ Lin. 9:30am: Vowpal Wabbit and Learning to Search by […] The post NYC workshop 22 Aug on open source machine learning systems appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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5:07 PM | Quantum Angel
There has been much talk about science fiction turning from its themes and milieu from the outer space adventures of “classic science fiction” to the “inner spaces” of modern sci-fi — I prefer the “ontological dominant” thesis, put forward by … Continue reading →
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2:56 PM | Design for magical spherical dice (3D printed)
I designed a die. It’s special because it’s a sphere pretending to have six sides: each roll will end with one to six dots facing up. It’s also special because you can print a copy. The trick is a weight that falls into one of six pockets under each of the numbers. “Spherical dice” sounds […]

July 25, 2014

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1:52 PM | “An Experience with a Registered Replication Project”
Anne Pier Salverda writes: I came across this blog entry, “An Experience with a Registered Replication Project,” and thought that you would find this interesting. It’s written by Simone Schnall, a social psychologist who is the first author of an oft-cited Psych Science(!) paper (“Cleanliness reduces the severity of moral judgments”) that a group of […] The post “An Experience with a Registered Replication Project” appeared first on Statistical […]

July 24, 2014

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2:24 PM | If it was good enough for Martin Luther King and Laurence Tribe . . .
People keep pointing me to this. P.S. I miss the old days when people would point me to bad graphs. The post If it was good enough for Martin Luther King and Laurence Tribe . . . appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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1:42 PM | NFL players keep getting bigger and bigger
Aleks points us to this beautiful dynamic graph by Noah Veltman showing the heights and weights of NFL players over time. The color is pretty but I think I’d prefer something simpler, just one dot per player (with some jittering to handle the discrete reporting of heights and weights). In any case, it’s a great […] The post NFL players keep getting bigger and bigger appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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1:24 PM | July 2014: Criminals have more kids
This month, crime pays: we discover the link between criminal behaviour and reproduction, and find out why it makes sense to judge your criminal accomplices on their beauty. We also learn what a woman’s bank balance says about her attitude to promiscuity. Download the MP3New research shows that criminal offending might be part of an alternative reproductive strategy. That explains why the Godfather was the head of such a huge family, then.The articles covered in the show:Yao, S., […]
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9:55 AM | Guardian Political Science Blogs: The Politics of Science in Social Media
Cheating on my usual blog. But it was only to write a little report on an event I organised. It was just a one-off and everything will be back to normal and fine after this honest. http://www.theguardian.com/science/political-science/2014/jul/22/the-politics-of-science-in-social-media

July 23, 2014

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1:49 PM | A world without statistics
A reporter asked me for a quote regarding the importance of statistics. But, after thinking about it for a moment, I decided that statistics isn’t so important at all. A world without statistics wouldn’t be much different from the world we have now. What would be missing, in a world without statistics? Science would be […] The post A world without statistics appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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4:58 AM | Why is the grass always greener on social media?
Are you on social media? I’m willing to bet you’re on at least one channel (and it’s probably Facebook). In December 2013, 73% of adults online were using a social networking site... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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4:58 AM | Why is the grass always greener on social media?
Are you on social media? I’m willing to bet you’re on at least one channel (and it’s probably Facebook). In December 2013, 73% of adults online were using a social networking site... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

July 22, 2014

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1:41 PM | Battle of the cozy comedians: What’s Alan Bennett’s problem with Stewart Lee?
When in London awhile ago I picked up the book, “How I Escaped My Certain Fate: The Life and Deaths of a Stand-Up Comedian,” by Stewart Lee. I’d never heard of the guy but the book was sitting there, it had good blurbs, and from a quick flip-through it looked interesting. Now that I’ve read […] The post Battle of the cozy comedians: What’s Alan Bennett’s problem with Stewart Lee? appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social […]

July 21, 2014

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9:33 PM | Living in world without antibiotic drugs
The public lecture and panel discussion on anti-microbial resistance co-organized with the Biochemical Society, Society for General Microbiology, and Society of Biology sought to open debate about living in world without antibiotic drugs. The crux of the matter is that anti- microbial resistance is a continuous force that we must counteract. This is due to […]
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3:13 PM | Skepticism about a published claim regarding income inequality and happiness
Frank de Libero writes: I read your Chance article (disproving that no one reads Chance!) re communicating about flawed psychological research. And I know from your other writings of your continuing good fight against misleading quantitative work. I think you and your students might be interested on my recent critique of a 2011 paper published […] The post Skepticism about a published claim regarding income inequality and happiness appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal […]
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1:01 PM | #HIBAR: Why Using Age as a Proxy for Testosterone is a Bad Deal.
This is a post-publication peer review (HIBAR: “Had I Been A Reviewer”) of the following paper: Levi, M., Li, K., & Zhang, F. (2010). Deal or no deal: Hormones and the mergers and acquisitions game. Management Science 56, 1462 -1483. A citeable version of this post-publication peer review can be found at SSRN: Schönbrodt, Felix […]
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1:00 PM | On deck this week
Mon: Skepticism about a published claim regarding income inequality and happiness Tues: Battle of the cozy comedians: What’s Alan Bennett’s problem with Stewart Lee? Wed: A world without statistics Thurs: NFL players keep getting bigger and bigger Fri: “An Experience with a Registered Replication Project” Sat, Sun: As Chris Hedges would say: Don’t worry, baby The post On deck this week appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

July 20, 2014

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1:33 PM | On deck for the rest of the summer
Skepticism about a published claim regarding income inequality and happiness Battle of the cozy comedians: What’s Alan Bennett’s problem with Stewart Lee? A world without statistics NFL players keep getting bigger and bigger “An Experience with a Registered Replication Project” A linguist has a question about sampling when the goal is causal inference from observational […] The post On deck for the rest of the summer appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal […]

July 19, 2014

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6:32 PM | Green Thumbery: Water, Sunlight, and Data
All of those concerns I had at the beginning of the season have disappeared. My plants are healthy and flowering—and they’re slowly taking over the backyard, much to my delight. Now, if only I... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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6:32 PM | Green Thumbery: Water, Sunlight, and Data
All of those concerns I had at the beginning of the season have disappeared. My plants are healthy and flowering—and they’re slowly taking over the backyard, much to my delight. Now, if only I... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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5:11 PM | “No wang-wang zone”
My dad lives in the Philippines, and I was in the Manila airport on my way to visit him. I was in the part where you get in line and wait for them to glance at your passport when I saw a cheap computer printed sign taped to a column. This is a no wang-wang […]
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2:37 PM | Xeno’s paradox
There is probably some very deep psychology behind the age-old tradition of blaming problems on foreigners. These days I’m a foreigner, in Switzerland, and so I get to see how things are and how I affect them. I’ve found that I can trigger a change in norms even by going out of my way to […]

July 18, 2014

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1:03 PM | Differences between econometrics and statistics: From varying treatment effects to utilities, economists seem to like models that are fixed in stone, while statisticians tend to be more comfortable with variation
I had an interesting discussion with Peter Dorman (whose work on assessing the value of a life we discussed in this space a few years ago). The conversation started when Peter wrote me about his recent success using hierarchical modeling for risk analysis. He wrote, “Where have they [hierarchical models] been all my life? In […] The post Differences between econometrics and statistics: From varying treatment effects to utilities, economists seem to like models that are fixed in […]

July 17, 2014

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1:36 PM | Ethics and statistics
I spoke (remotely) recently at the University of Wisconsin, on the topic of ethics and statistics. Afterward, I received the following question from Fabrizzio Sanchez: As hard as it is to do, I thought it was good to try and define what exactly makes for an ethical violation. Your third point noted that it needed […] The post Ethics and statistics appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

July 16, 2014

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7:07 PM | What can teeth tell us about our prehistoric ancestors?
Our distant past is just that: the distant past. It’s this murky place that science is slowly filling in but the landscape still largely exists just on the periphery of our imagination, and... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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7:07 PM | What can teeth tell us about our prehistoric ancestors?
Our distant past is just that: the distant past. It’s this murky place that science is slowly filling in but the landscape still largely exists just on the periphery of our imagination, and... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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1:30 PM | How to Write a Publishable Social Scientific Research Article: Exploring Your “Process”
If you ever talk to an artist about how they create whatever it is they create, whether that is acting, pottery, or blog articles, you will eventually begin to talk about their “process.” The process is whatever technique people use to go from a default state (e.g., bored and watching TV) to a state of creation. […]Related articles from NeoAcademic:Grad School: How Do I Write a Personal Statement? Scientific Research in Organizations Psychology Research Laboratories on […]
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1:21 PM | “The Europeans and Australians were too eager to believe in renal denervation”
As you can see, I’m having a competition with myself for the most boring title ever. The story, though, is not boring. Paul Alper writes: I just came across this in the NYT. Here is the NEJM article itself: And here is the editorial in the NEJM: The gist is that on the basis of […] The post “The Europeans and Australians were too eager to believe in renal denervation” appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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12:12 PM | ‘Seeing Scientifically’ Masterclass Slides
Some slides I used to teach an introductory Science & Technology masterclass to visiting 16-18 year old students.  Feel free to use and disseminate, but please credit me and if you could drop me a note to tell me about … Continue reading →
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