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My final post on this Tony Blair thing

Gur Huberman writes on the recent fraud in experiments in polisci: This comment is a reaction to the little of the discussion which I [Gur] followed, mostly in the NYTimes. What I didn’t see anybody say is that the system actually worked. Show More Summary

All the things that don’t make it into the news

I got buzzed last week by a couple of NY journalists about this recent political science fraud case. My responses were pretty undramatic so I don’t think they made their way into the news stories. Which is fine. As a reader of the news,...Show More Summary

On deck this week

Mon: All the things that don’t make it into the news Tues: Cross-validation != magic Wed: Of buggy whips and moral hazards; or, Sympathy for the Aapor Thurs: Low-power pose Fri: Should you get the blood transfusion? Sat: “History isShow More Summary

The greatest impediment to research progress is not impediments to research progress, it is scientists reading about impediments to research progress

My short answer is that I think twitter is destructive of clear communication. Now I’ll give the question, and I’ll give my long answer. Here’s the question provided by a reader: Just wondering what you thought of Brian Nosek’s recent...Show More Summary

A differentiation identity

Here’s a cute identity I discovered by accident recently. Observe that and so one can conjecture that one has when is even, and when is odd. This is obvious in the even case since is a polynomial of degree, but I struggled for a while with the odd case before finding a slick three-line […]

“With that assurance, a scientist can report his or her work to the public, and the public can trust the work.”

Dan Wright writes: Given your healthy skepticism of findings/conclusions from post-peer-reviewed papers, I thought I would forward the following from Institute of Educational Sciences. Here is a sample quote: Simply put, peer reviewShow More Summary

Behind The Numbers: Branch Out, Introverts

The social networks of introverts tend to be smaller than the networks of extroverts, which could affect their careers, according to new research by two Dartmouth professors.

John Bohannon’s chocolate-and-weight-loss hoax study actually understates the problems with standard p-value scientific practice

Several people pointed me to this awesome story by John Bohannon: “Slim by Chocolate!” the headlines blared. A team of German researchers had found that people on a low-carb diet lost weight 10 percent faster if they ate a chocolate bar every day. Show More Summary

Perrin Pseudoprimes

The Perrin Numbers Pn are defined as P0 = 3, P1 = 2, P2 = 2, and Pn+3 = Pn+1 + Pn for n > 2. If Pn (mod n) ? 0, then n is most likely prime. Perrin’s formula always reports that a prime number is prime, but sometimes reports a composite number is […]

Big Jackpots, Mega Long Odds and Office Pools

With the Mega Millions lottery jackpot at $233 million for Friday's drawing, workplace office pools are quite likely cropping up like wild mushrooms after a rainfall. At least they have here at Numbers HQ. > Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal, New York Times

David Christopher Bell goes to the trouble (link from Palko) to explain why “Every Map of ‘The Most Popular _________ by State’ Is Bullshit.” As long as enterprising P.R. firms are willing to supply unsourced data, lazy journalists (or whatever you call these people) will promote it. Show More Summary

What’s the worst joke you’ve ever heard?

When I say worst, I mean worst. A joke with no redeeming qualities. Here’s my contender, from the book “1000 Knock-Knock Jokes for Kids”: – Knock Knock. – Who’s there? – Ann – Ann who? – An apple fell on my head. There’s something beautiful about this one. Show More Summary

A 2-Categorical Approach to the Pi Calculus

Greg Meredith and Mike Stay have a new paper on modeling the pi calculus with 2-categories.

Cancellation for the multilinear Hilbert transform

I’ve just uploaded to the arXiv my paper “Cancellation for the multilinear Hilbert transform“, submitted to Collectanea Mathematica. This paper uses methods from additive combinatorics (and more specifically, the arithmetic regularity and counting lemmas from this paper of Ben Green and myself) to obtain a slight amount of progress towards the open problem of obtaining […]

Stock, flow, and two smoking regressions

In a comment on our recent discussion of stock and flow, Tom Fiddaman writes: Here’s an egregious example of statistical stock-flow confusion that got published. Fiddaman is pointing to a post of his from 2011 discussing a paper that...Show More Summary

Vietnam Snake

Today’s task is to solve a current exercise in recreational mathematics. The Guardian recently published a math puzzle that is apparently given to third-grade students (eight-year old children) in Vietnam. The puzzle is a graphic in the form of a snake, and the digits 1 through 9 are to be inserted in the nine empty […]

A quick thought on Supernatural and some other tv shows

Just finished season 9 of Supernatural. You’ve got to give that show credit for being one of the few that demands a deus ex machina ending. Anything less, after all this fighting over who’s going to take God’s place and Castiel’s moments of mysterious grace, would be a let down. I can’t wait to see […]

An inundation of significance tests

Jan Vanhove writes: The last three research papers I’ve read contained 51, 49 and 70 significance tests (counting conservatively), and to the extent that I’m able to see the forest for the trees, mostly poorly motivated ones. I wonder what the motivation behind this deluge of tests is. Show More Summary

On deck this week

Mon: An inundation of significance tests Tues: Stock, flow, and two smoking regressions Wed: What’s the worst joke you’ve ever heard? Thurs: > Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal, New York Times Fri: Measurement is partShow More Summary

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