Posts

March 07, 2015

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12:04 AM | Statistics job opening . . . at the NBA!
Jason Rosenfeld writes: I work for the NBA League Office headquarters in New York City. I’m the Director of Basketball Analytics here at the NBA, and I’m again recruiting analysts. More information on the roles I’m trying to fill can be found here: http://careers.peopleclick.com/careerscp/client_nba/external/jobDetails.do?functionName=getJobDetail&jobPostId=4954&localeCode=en-us I’m open to both undergraduate and graduate students. I’d be perfect […]

March 06, 2015

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11:30 PM | Jan 2014: Islamic veiling (hijab) and attractiveness
Do Muslim men find women more attractive when they wear a hijab, burqa, or none of the above? How does sexuality influence our preferences for tall or short partners? And what are the best things to look for in a partner if you’re planning to take them home to meet the parents?Download the MP3Pazhoohi and Hosseinchari reported this month that men find women who wear a full veil (chador) are less attractive than women who wear clothes that don't conceal the body. But does the effect depend […]
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5:00 PM | John Waters (1) vs. Bono; Garland advances
For yesterday‘s contest, Jonathan warns us what might happen if we invite Dorothy: Only downside: Liza might show up. And the best argument for the Rev come from Bruce: It would be interesting to hear The Rev Al explain . . . during any of his many meetings with the President, has Obama ever hit […] The post John Waters (1) vs. Bono; Garland advances appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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2:01 PM | “The Saturated Fat Studies: Set Up to Fail”
Russ Lyons points me to this recent magazine article by Martijn Katan and a research article, “Diet and Serum Cholesterol: Do zero correlations negate the relationship?” by David Jacobs, Joseph Anderson, and Henry Blackburn, and this video by Michael Greger. This is interesting stuff, especially as the ultimate truth is still very unknown. It’s good […] The post “The Saturated Fat Studies: Set Up to Fail” appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal […]

March 05, 2015

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5:00 PM | Judy Garland (4) vs. Al Sharpton; Derrida advances
WB calls yesterday‘s contest in the comments: Among French intellectuals, I’d rather hear from a corpse than an active public figure. My vote goes to Derrida. And, today, the woman who defined Hollywood stardom, up against a religious leader who dabbles in slander. How fabulous is that?? P.S. As always, here’s the background, and here […] The post Judy Garland (4) vs. Al Sharpton; Derrida advances appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social […]
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2:36 PM | Defaults, once set, are hard to change.
So. Farewell then Rainbow color scheme. You reigned in Matlab Far too long. But now that You are no longer The default, Will we miss you? We can only Visualize. E. T. Thribb (17 1/2) Here’s the background.  Brad Stiritz writes: I know you’re a creator and big proponent of open-source tools. Given your strong interest […] The post Defaults, once set, are hard to change. appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

March 04, 2015

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11:30 PM | My talk tomorrow (Thurs) at MIT political science: Recent challenges and developments in Bayesian modeling and computation (from a political and social science perspective)
It’s 1pm in room E53-482. I’ll talk about the usual stuff (and some of this too, I guess). The post My talk tomorrow (Thurs) at MIT political science: Recent challenges and developments in Bayesian modeling and computation (from a political and social science perspective) appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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5:00 PM | Bernard-Henry Levy (3) vs. Jacques Derrida; Carlin advances
There wasn’t much enthusiasm yesterday, but I do have to pick a winner, so I’ll go with Zbicylist’s comment: “Carlin. Are there 7 words you can’t say in a seminar? Let’s find out.” And today we have two more modern French intellectuals! I don’t have much of anything to say about either of these guys […] The post Bernard-Henry Levy (3) vs. Jacques Derrida; Carlin advances appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social […]
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2:02 PM | These are the statistics papers you just have to read
Here. And here. Just kidding. Here’s the real story. Susanna Makela writes: A few of us want to start a journal club for the statistics PhD students. The idea is to read important papers that we might not otherwise read, maybe because they’re not directly related to our area of research/we don’t have time/etc. What […] The post These are the statistics papers you just have to read appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

March 03, 2015

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5:00 PM | George Carlin (2) vs. Barbara Kruger
To decide yesterday‘s contest, I’ll have to point to Jeremy’s comment: Rembrandt in a walk: -He believes that “God is in every leaf on every tree”. Most of his greatest paintings are portraits of himself or regular people (as opposed to portraits of kings or Popes, or mythical battles, or etc.) Same for his etchings. […] The post George Carlin (2) vs. Barbara Kruger appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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2:15 PM | Number of sons contributes to inflammation in old age
The rate of inflammation increases in elderly individuals. This low-grade inflammation (inflammaging) is associated with many degenerative diseases, such as atherosclerosis, dementia, the frailty syndrome and even life expectancy. A...
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2:02 PM | One simple trick to make Stan run faster
Did you know that Stan automatically runs in parallel (and caches compiled models) from R if you do this: source(“http://mc-stan.org/rstan/stan.R”) It’s from Stan core developer Ben Goodrich. This simple line of code has changed my life. A factor-of-4 speedup might not sound like much, but, believe me, it is! The post One simple trick to make Stan run faster appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

March 02, 2015

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10:30 PM | Introducing shinyStan
As a project for Andrew’s Statistical Communication and Graphics graduate course at Columbia, a few of us (Michael Andreae, Yuanjun Gao, Dongying Song, and I) had the goal of giving RStan’s print and plot functions a makeover. We ended up getting a bit carried away and instead we designed a graphical user interface for interactively exploring virtually […] The post Introducing shinyStan appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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8:00 PM | Rembrandt van Rijn (2) vs. Bertrand Russell
For yesterday, the most perceptive comment came from Slugger: Rabbit Angstrom is a perfect example of the life that the Buddha warns against. He is a creature of animal passions who never gains any enlightenment. In any case, I think we can all agree that Buddha is a far more interesting person than Updike. But, […] The post Rembrandt van Rijn (2) vs. Bertrand Russell appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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6:49 PM | #NetworkScience and Ungoverned Spaces, Part 3
#NetworkScience Ungoverned spaces are complicated and difficult to understand.  Many of the various entities that compete to fill the power vacuum of that space are usually trying to conceal their identities, structures and relationships.  Even the ones who aren’t may … Continue reading →
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3:00 PM | What hypothesis testing is all about. (Hint: It’s not what you think.)
I’ve said it before but it’s worth saying again. The conventional view: Hyp testing is all about rejection. The idea is that if you reject the null hyp at the 5% level, you have a win, you have learned that a certain null model is false and science has progressed, either in the glamorous “scientific […] The post What hypothesis testing is all about. (Hint: It’s not what you think.) appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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2:00 PM | On deck this week
Mon: What hypothesis testing is all about. (Hint: It’s not what you think.) Rembrandt van Rijn (2) vs. Betrand Russell Tues: One simple trick to make Stan run faster George Carlin (2) vs. Barbara Kruger Wed: I actually think this infographic is ok Bernard-Henry Levy (3) vs. Jacques Derrida Thurs: Defaults, once set, are hard […] The post On deck this week appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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4:29 AM | SPSP 2015: Actually Predicting the Future
In regression (a common statistical practice used in social science research) we often attempt to predict the outcome of a given dependent measure (the DV) based on what we know about other measured variables theoretically related to the DV (the IVs). This common regression method has one problem though: We are predicting values for data that we have already collected. What if we were to engage in actual prediction? That is, what if we attempted to predict the values of a DV that is unknown? […]
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4:25 AM | SPSP 2015: Status Shapes Preferences for Redistribution
A lot of people think about political ideology as a powerful causal force that influences the structure of our society and our respective positions within it. In the politics and inequality symposium Jazmin Brown-Iannuzzi of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and her colleagues examined political ideology from a different perspective: Instead of shaping the structure of society, does political ideology arise from our position within that structure? That is, do we create our political […]

March 01, 2015

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5:00 PM | Buddha (3) vs. John Updike
Yesterday‘s winner is Friedrich Nietzsche. I don’t really have much to say here: there was lots of enthusiasm about the philosopher and none at all for the cozy comedian. Maybe Jonathan Miller would’ve been a better choice. Now for today’s battle. Buddha is seeded #3 among founders of religions. Updike is the unseeded author of […] The post Buddha (3) vs. John Updike appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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2:20 PM | “Precise Answers to the Wrong Questions”
Our friend K? (not to be confused with X) seeks pre-feedback on this talk: Can we get a mathematical framework for applying statistics that better facilitates communication with non-statisticians as well as helps statisticians avoid getting “precise answers to the wrong questions*”? Applying statistics involves communicating with non-statisticians so that we grasp their applied problems […] The post “Precise Answers to the Wrong Questions” appeared first on […]
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3:25 AM | When Cells Attack!
The cells of our immune system are the guardians of the human body, forever contending with various unwelcome intruders from viruses to drugs to lowly yet painful splinters. They are as industrious as they are indispensable. Each cell of the immune system has its own objective, its own do-or-die mission. Some of our guardians devour bacteria and fungi in a process known as phagocytosis. Others produce carefully tailored antibodies earmarked for the destruction of pathogenic […]

February 28, 2015

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5:00 PM | Friedrich Nietzsche (4) vs. Alan Bennett
William Shakespeare had the most support yesterday; for example, from David: “I vote for Shakespeare just to see who actually shows up.” The best argument of the serious variety came from Babar, who wrote, “I would vote for WS. Very little is known about the man. I care very little about Marx’s mannerisms but I’d […] The post Friedrich Nietzsche (4) vs. Alan Bennett appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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2:05 PM | Bertrand Russell goes to the IRB
Jonathan Falk points me to this genius idea from Eric Crampton: Here’s a fun one for those of you still based at a university. All of you put together a Human Ethics Review proposal for a field experiment on Human Ethics Review proposals. Here is the proposal within my proposal. Each of you would propose […] The post Bertrand Russell goes to the IRB appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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2:04 PM | Review of “Causation: A Very Short Introduction” by Mumford/Anjum
The social science literature is full of discussions about causation and what the best method for causal inference might be. However, a relatively small percentage of them draw on the philosophical debate about causation. Certainly, there is a great deal … Continue reading →
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