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The meta-hype algorithm

Kevin Lewis pointed me to this article: There are several methods for building hype. The wealth of currently available public relations techniques usually forces the promoter to judge, a priori, what will likely be the best method. Meta-hype...Show More Summary

Would you prefer three N=300 studies or one N=900 study?

Stephen Martin started off with a question: I’ve been thinking about this thought experiment: — Imagine you’re given two papers. Both papers explore the same topic and use the same methodology. Both were preregistered. Paper A has a novel study (n1=300) with confirmed hypotheses, followed by two successful direct replications (n2=300, n3=300). Show More Summary

Drug-funded profs push drugs

Someone who wishes to remain anonymous writes: I just read a long ProPublica article that I think your blog commenters might be interested in. It’s from February, but was linked to by the Mad Biologist today ( Show More Summary

Wrong in Public: the Paris Streets Edition

Rue Sophie Germain is not the only Paris street named for a mathématicienne -- Read more on

Saarland University professor receives top research award for improved image compression

(Saarland University) Digital images and videos require enormous amounts of storage. Researchers are constantly working to improve data compression techniques. One of these researchers is Joachim Weickert, who has recently been awarded an ERC Advanced Grant -- the most lucrative and prestigious research prize bestowed by the European Union. Show More Summary

Journals for insignificant results

Tom Daula writes: I know you’re not a fan of hypothesis testing, but the journals in this blog post are an interesting approach to the file drawer problem. I’ve never heard of them or their like. An alternative take (given academia standard...Show More Summary

Fecal microbiota transplants improve cognitive impairment caused by severe liver disease

(European Association for the Study of the Liver) A study presented today found that fecal transplantation of bacteria from one healthy donor into patients that suffer from hepatic encephalopathy, is safe and improves cognitive function compared with standard of care treatment for the condition. Show More Summary

New statistical analysis reveals thousands of rare mutations linked with cancer

(PLOS) Scientists have identified thousands of previously ignored genetic mutations that, although rare, likely contribute to cancer growth. The findings, which could help pave the way to new treatments, are published in PLOS Computational Biology.

Scientists ID two molecules that inhibit proteins involved in chronic inflammatory disease

(PLOS) Scientists have identified two small molecules that could be pursued as potential treatments for chronic inflammatory diseases. According to a paper published in PLOS Computational Biology, the researchers singled out the molecules using a new drug screening approach they developed.

Teaching Statistics: A Bag of Tricks (second edition)

Hey! Deb Nolan and I finished the second edition of our book, Teaching Statistics: A Bag of Tricks. You can pre-order it here. I love love love this book. As William Goldman would say, it’s the “good parts version”: all the fun stuff without the standard boring examples (counting colors of M&M’s, etc.). Show More Summary

Periodic model predicts the spread of Lyme disease

(Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics) Lyme disease is among the most common vector-borne illnesses in North America, Europe, and some parts of Asia. A spirochete bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi causes the disease, and blacklegged ticks are responsible for the majority of North American transmissions. Show More Summary

NASA engages the next generation with HUNCH

(NASA/Johnson Space Center) NASA is making sure the next generation of high school graduates understand the variety of career paths that can lead to missions exploring space. In fact, hundreds of students are already helping NASA's astronauts...Show More Summary

Representists versus Propertyists: RabbitDucks – being good for what?

It is not that unusual in statistics to get the same statistical output (uncertainty interval, estimate, tail probability,etc.) for every sample, or some samples or the same distribution of outputs or the same expectations of outputs or just close enough expectations of outputs. Show More Summary

The Diversity of a Metacommunity

Conditional entropy, joint entropy and mutual information all have something important to say about the biological diversity of a metacommunity.

Evolution of cooperation through longer memory

(Institute of Science and Technology Austria) When we make a decision about whether or not to cooperate with someone, we usually base our decision on past experiences. However, when analyzing strategies for repeated dilemmas, modeling long-term memory in cooperative strategies quickly becomes computationally intractable. Show More Summary

My proposal for JASA

Whenever they’ve asked me to edit a statistics journal, I say no thank you because I think I can make more of a contribution through this blog. I’ve said no enough times that they’ve stopped asking me. But I’ve had an idea for awhile and now I want to do it. Show More Summary

TheoryFest at STOC 2017.

(ed: I can't believe it's been four months since my last post. Granted, I've been posting over at, but still. Time to turn in my theory card...)One of the things I've been doing is helping out with the STOC TheoryFest this summer. Show More Summary

My talk this Friday in the Machine Learning in Finance workshop

This is kinda weird because I don’t know anything about machine learning in finance. I guess the assumption is that statistical ideas are not domain specific. Anyway, here it is: What can we learn from data? Andrew Gelman, Department...Show More Summary

Taxes to reduce obesity and diabetes: The sweet spot in Berkeley, Calif.

(PLOS) Many countries are considering or already implementing taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) in an effort to curb increasing levels of obesity and type 2 diabetes. The effects of these taxes on purchasing decisions of these...Show More Summary

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