Posts

February 16, 2015

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2:00 PM | On deck this week
Mon: James Watson sez: Cancer cure is coming in minus 14 years! Chris Rock (3) vs. Jean-Jacques Rousseau Tues: Bayesian survival analysis with horseshoe priors—in Stan! Larry David (4) vs. Thomas Hobbes Wed: VB-Stan: Black-box black-box variational Bayes Jesus (1) vs. Leo Tolstoy Thurs: Another example of why centering predictors can be good idea Mohandas […] The post On deck this week appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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10:31 AM | Network Science and Ungoverned Spaces, Part 2
#NetworkScience Threats from Ungoverned Spaces are nothing new.  From Robin Hood’s safe haven in the Sherwood Forest to Somali Pirates taking shelter in the poorly governed coast of Northeast Africa, these threats have been around as long as mankind.   Somali … Continue reading →

February 15, 2015

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11:39 PM | Stan Down Under
I (Bob, not Andrew) am in Australia until April 30. I’ll be giving some Stan-related and some data annotation talks, several of which have yet to be concretely scheduled. I’ll keep this page updated with what I’ll be up to. All of the talks other than summer school will be open to the public (the […] The post Stan Down Under appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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5:00 PM | Simone de Beauvoir (2) vs. Raymond Carver
Yesterday‘s match is the closest call we’ve had yet. The funniest comment was the very first, from Anonymous: Yoko. I’d go up to her after the seminar and give her a list of all the bands I hate, and ask her if she could break them up too. Similarly from Daniel: Alan Turing broke the […] The post Simone de Beauvoir (2) vs. Raymond Carver appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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2:04 PM | “Peer assessment enhances student learning”
Dennis Sun, Naftali Harris, Guenther Walther, and Michael Baiocchi write: Peer assessment has received attention lately as a way of providing personalized feedback that scales to large classes. . . . By conducting a randomized controlled trial in an introductory statistics class, we provide evidence that peer assessment causes significant gains in student achievement. The […] The post “Peer assessment enhances student learning” appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal […]

February 14, 2015

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6:37 PM | How To Make The Most Of Your Valentine’s Day!
Whether you’re single or partnered up this Valentine’s Day, psychology has all sorts of tips for you on how to find your next great love or improve your existing relationship with the one... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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5:00 PM | Alan Turing (2) vs. Yoko Ono
For yesterday‘s match, I’ll have to go with Ed Wood. Best argument came from Nick: I’d rather watch him talk than watch one of his movies. And, in all seriousness, I think Wood’s talk would be better. Schlafly must’ve given thousands of speeches by now, and I think whatever she has to say would just […] The post Alan Turing (2) vs. Yoko Ono appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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2:06 PM | Two Unrecognized Hall Of Fame Statisticians
To follow up on a recent post, I thought it would be amusing to consider the most important unrecognized statisticians. That is, those statisticians of the past who made important contributions which have been largely forgotten. Any suggestions? Dead people only, please. The post Two Unrecognized Hall Of Fame Statisticians appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

February 13, 2015

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5:00 PM | Ed Wood (3) vs. Phyllis Schlafly
No great arguments or killer quips on either side of yesterday‘s bout. Keith has a story where someone wrote a computer program to write a fake Levi-Strauss article which was so convincing that Levi-Strauss thought he (Levi-Strauss) had written it himself. But Aron too got a bit predictable in his old age, so I don’t […] The post Ed Wood (3) vs. Phyllis Schlafly appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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2:09 PM | Du badest darin – Dein Plastik-Meer
Sammelt Ihr Plastik? Das ist gut so. Aber vielleicht nicht gut genug. Forscher sind weltweit der Spur des Plastikmülls gefolgt. Ergebnis: Zwischen fünf bis 13 Millionen Tonnen davon landen pro Jahr in den Weltmeeren. Tendenz steigend! 192 Länder der Erde haben Strände und Küsten, die zum Fischen, Baden, Wandern oder Surfen einladen. Dass dort immer wieder auch viel Plastik angeschwemmt wird, habt Ihr vielleicht beim Badeurlaub schon selbst hautnah erlebt. Es sieht nicht […]
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2:08 PM | What to graph, not just how to graph it
Robin Gong writes: While we’re on the topic of visualization, I’ve been puzzled by a more general question and I’m unsure where it fits in actually. There seem to be two parts to a good visualization practice, and in our class we’ve been focusing more on one of them, that is “how to get my […] The post What to graph, not just how to graph it appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

February 12, 2015

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10:48 PM | Living in the Past
"In the fall of 1968, without at first realizing what was happening to me, I began living in the past," wrote Joseph Mitchell, who was 60 years old In 1968 -- almost exactly my age. Had he stumbled onto some truth about what it means to be in your 60s?
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5:00 PM | Claude Levi-Strauss (4) vs. Raymond Aron
Thanks for our bracket-maker Paul Davidson, here’s what we have so far (as of a few days ago): OK, yesterday‘s winner: what can you say? Leonardo da Vinci vs. The guy who did Piss Christ. The funniest argument in all the comments came from Anonymous, who wrote: Serrano. Any schmuck can paint the Mona Lisa, […] The post Claude Levi-Strauss (4) vs. Raymond Aron appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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2:20 PM | Two Unrecognized Hall Of Fame Shortstops
Michael Humphreys writes: Thought you might be interested in or might like to link to the following article. The statistical rigor is obviously not at a professional level, but pitched somewhere around the Bill Jamesian level. Here’s the link. This sort of thing makes me realize how out of it I am, when it comes […] The post Two Unrecognized Hall Of Fame Shortstops appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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12:54 PM | Strengthening Networks In East Africa
#NetworkScience I was recently invited to present at Theater Security Cooperation workshop hosted by Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) Regional Engagements Branch at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. The Task Force is attempting to better understand its relationships with partner … Continue reading →
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2:01 AM | Stan 2.6.0 Released
We’re happy to announce the release of Stan 2.6, including RStan, PyStan, CmdStan; it will also work with the existing Stan.jl and MatlabStan. Although there is some new functionality (hence the minor version bump), this is primarily a maintenance release. It fixes all of the known memory issues with Stan 2.5.0 and improves overall speed […] The post Stan 2.6.0 Released appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

February 11, 2015

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5:00 PM | Leonardo da Vinci (1) vs. The guy who did Piss Christ
Determining yesterday‘s winner turned out to be complicated. On the face of it, the decision should be easy. Bruno Latour is some postmodernist dude, whereas Albert Camus is one of the coolest men who’s ever lived. But, in comments, Kyle came in with a pretty powerful argument: I’m afraid you couldn’t get Camus to stay […] The post Leonardo da Vinci (1) vs. The guy who did Piss Christ appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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2:05 PM | When the evidence is unclear
A few months ago I posted on a paper by Bernard Tanguy et al. on a field experiment in Ethiopia where I couldn’t figure out, from the article, where was the empirical support for the claims being made. This was not the first time I’d had this feeling about a claim made in social science […] The post When the evidence is unclear appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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1:21 PM | The rock star of Greek economics is no stranger to Tampere
The economic ideas of Syriza – the party that has just won the general election in Greece – make sense and could lead to a deeper change in European economic...
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12:46 PM | Darwin the University Student and his Mentors
Darwin’s father Robert had a successful medical practice. When Charles was sixteen his father decided that medicine was to be his son’s calling. Charles arrived at Edinburgh University in the autumn of 1825. He was accompanied by his brother Erasmus, who was completing his medical course, also with some misgivings. Not surprisingly, he found the prospects grim. In fact, the Edinburgh medical course was anathema. Edinburgh “Dr Duncan’s lectures on Materia Medica at eight […]

February 10, 2015

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7:08 PM | “When Do Stories Work? Evidence and Illustration in the Social Sciences”: My talk in the Harvard sociology dept this Thurs noon
Stories are central to social science. It might be pleasant to consider stories as mere adornments and explications of theories that we develop and evaluate via formal data collection, but it seems that all of us—including statisticians!—rely on stories to develop our understanding of the social world. And therein lies a paradox: stories are valued […] The post “When Do Stories Work? Evidence and Illustration in the Social Sciences”: My talk in the Harvard […]
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5:00 PM | Albert Camus (1) vs. Bruno Latour
Yesterday‘s winner: Thomas Kinkade. It was a tough call. Duchamp is far more impressive both as an artist and as an intellectual, but, as Jonathan put it in the very first comment in the thread: Duchamp has nothing to teach in an academic seminar: epater les bourgeois, reconceptualize art in a time of technological change, […] The post Albert Camus (1) vs. Bruno Latour appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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2:46 PM | In search of the elusive loop of plagiarism
OK, here’s a research project for you. From this recent blog comment, I learned about Mustapha Marrouchi, a professor of literature who has plagiarized from various writers, including the noted academic entertainer Slavoj Zizek. Amusing, given that Zizek himself has been caught plagiarizing. Zizek copied from Stanley Hornbeck. Did Hornbeck plagiarize from anyone else? Probably […] The post In search of the elusive loop of plagiarism appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal […]
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10:54 AM | Hockett on open-mindedness in the language sciences
Charles F. Hockett (1916-2000) is well-known for his work on the design features of language. Many linguists will know his 1960 article in Scientific American1 — though Hockett himself preferred the more developed 1968 version co-authored with Altmann — in which sixteen design features are nicely illustrated. … Continue reading →

February 09, 2015

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5:00 PM | Marcel Duchamp (4) vs. Thomas Kinkade
The winner of yesterday‘s bout is Thoreau. The best pro-Thoreau argument came from JRC: “This one breaks down to to whose narrative on loneliness and solitude is more interesting: the guy who removed himself from society, or the guy forcibly removed from it. Lifetime probability of incarceration and homelessness seems in the same ballpark, so […] The post Marcel Duchamp (4) vs. Thomas Kinkade appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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3:00 PM | Discussion with Steven Pinker connecting cognitive psychology research to the difficulties of writing
Following up on my discussion of Steven Pinker’s writing advice, Pinker and I had an email exchange that cleared up some issues and raised some new ones. In particular, Pinker made a connection between the difficulty of writing and some research findings in cognitive psychology. I think this connection is really cool—I’ve been thinking and […] The post Discussion with Steven Pinker connecting cognitive psychology research to the difficulties of writing appeared first on […]
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2:00 PM | On deck this week
Mon: Discussion with Steven Pinker connecting cognitive psychology research to the difficulties of writing Marcel Duchamp (4) vs. Thomas Kinkade Tues: In search of the elusive loop of plagiarism Albert Camus (1) vs. Bruno Latour Wed: When the evidence is unclear Leonardo da Vinci (1) vs. The guy who did Piss Christ Thurs: Two Unrecognized […] The post On deck this week appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

February 08, 2015

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9:00 PM | Coder’s Little Time Saver
We all know the problem; it’s getting late in the office, all your colleagues left hours ago, and your eyes are watering from staring at the analysis output of a script that should have finished running ages ago. Yet for some inexplicable reason, it’s still not done. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just nip … Continue reading Coder’s Little Time Saver →
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5:00 PM | Henry David Thoreau (3) vs. Charles Manson
I’m sorry to announce that the winner from yesterday is Miguel de Cervantes. I was really really rooting for Joan Crawford on this one. For one thing, we’d have a packed house. I just think she’d be the best. Sure, Cervantes was a genius yah yah yah, and if the question were who to invite […] The post Henry David Thoreau (3) vs. Charles Manson appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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2:15 PM | Sorry, but I’m with Richard Ford on this one
I just read the new Colson Whitehead book, the one where he plays poker? I like it at first, he had some great bits, but then it got boring. And, really, is there any gimmick less appealing, at this point, than “author/journalist goes and tries his luck at the World Series of Poker”? I don’t […] The post Sorry, but I’m with Richard Ford on this one appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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