A student writes in: Dear Sherri: I am , a PhD student in in University. I am trying to work productively. For example, I tried to use some todo list software, such as, remember the milk and omnifocus, and read related books. But feeling...Show More Summary

The other day at the library I noticed a pink-covered book, “We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy.” It was filled with interviews. Cool! I checked it out and... jeez was it boring. It’s hard to imagine you could interviewShow More Summary

Columbia University’s Data Science Institute is releasing some mooks, and I’m part of it. I’ll first give the official announcement and then share some of my thoughts. The official announcement: The Data Science Institute at Columbia...Show More Summary

Arber Tasimi heard about our statistics diaries and decided to try it out in the psychology class he was teaching. The students liked his class but a couple of them pushed back against the diaries, describing the assignment as pointless or unhelpful in their learning. Show More Summary

There will be no exercise today. To all my readers in the United States: Happy Thanksgiving!

Richard Barker points us to an update on ipredict, the New Zealand political prediction market. From the news article by Hamish Rutherford: The site, run by Victoria University of Wellington’s commercialisation arm, VicLink, issued a statement to its website and on Twitter on Thursday. Show More Summary

Here’s the announcement: Using Stan for variational inference, plus a couple lightning talks Dustin Tran will give a talk on using Stan for variational inference, then we’ll have a couple lightening (5 minute-ish) talks on projects. David Sparks will talk, I will talk about some of my work and we’re looking for 1-2 more volunteers. Show More Summary

In response to some of the discussion that inspired yesterday’s post, Gary McClelland writes: I remain convinced that discretizing a continuous variable, especially for multiple regression, is the road to perdition. Here I explain my concerns. Show More Summary

Carol Nickerson pointed me to a series of papers in the journal Consumer Psychology, first one by Dawn Iacobucci et al. arguing in favor of the “median split” (replacing a continuous variable by a 0/1 variable split at the median) “to facilitate analytic ease and communication clarity,” then a response by Gary McClelland et al. Show More Summary

Some applications of random number generators. games, for instance, require that the random sequence be available to run in reverse. This is easy to do with a simple linear congruential random number generator, which is characterized by the formula next = a prev + c (mod m). With a little bit of algebra, that […]

A basic estimate in multiplicative number theory (particularly if one is using the Granville-Soundararajan “pretentious” approach to this subject) is the following inequality of Halasz (formulated here in a quantitative form introduced by Montgomery and Tenenbaum. Theorem 1 (Halasz inequality) Let be a multiplicative function bounded in magnitude by, and suppose that,, […]

Nadia Hassan writes: One debate in political science right now concerns how the economy influences voters. Larry Bartels argues that Q14 and Q15 impact election outcomes the most. Doug Hibbs argues that all 4 years matter, with later growth being more important. Show More Summary

Someone writes in: I am a student at... We have been given an assignment that requires us to interview a professional in the criminal justice field who performs, or has performed, statistical analyses on social science related data.... Show More Summary

Gur Huberman points to this op-ed entitled “Are Good Doctors Bad for Your Health?” and writes: Can’t the NYT provide a link or an explicit reference to the JAMA Internal Medicine article underlying this OpEd? A reader could then access...Show More Summary

Philipp Hennig, Michael Osborne, and Mark Girolami write: We deliver a call to arms for probabilistic numerical methods: algorithms for numerical tasks, including linear algebra, integration, optimization and solving differential equations, that return uncertainties in their calculations.... Show More Summary

A few months ago I received in the mail a book called An Introduction to Benford’s Law by Arno Berger and Theodore Hill. I eagerly opened it but I lost interest once I realized it was essentially a pure math book. Not that there’s anything...Show More Summary

When it comes to commercial poultry and livestock, bigger appears to be better.

This is really cool. The announcement comes from Joe Cummins: The University of California at Riverside is hiring 4 open rank positions in Design-Based Statistical Inference in the Social Sciences. I [Cummins] think this is a reallyShow More Summary

This puzzle comes in three parts. There are some hints at the end. Part I: Constrained Parameter Definition Define a Stan program with a transformed matrix parameter d that is constrained to be a K by K distance matrix. Recall that a...Show More Summary

Paul Alper writes: The Washington Post ran this article by Fred Barbas with an interesting quotation: “Every day, on average, a scientific paper is retracted because of misconduct,” Ivan Oransky and Adam Marcus, who run Retraction Watch, wrote in a New York Times op-ed in May. Show More Summary

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