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Mortality rate trends by age, ethnicity, sex, and state

There continues to be a lot of discussion on the purported increase in mortality rates among middle-aged white people in America. Actually an increase among women and not much change among men but you don’t hear so much about this as...Show More Summary

Yves Meyer wins the 2017 Abel Prize

Just a short post to note that Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters has just announced that the 2017 Abel prize has been awarded to Yves Meyer, “for his pivotal role in the development of the mathematical theory of wavelets”.  The actual prize ceremony will be at Oslo in May. I am actually in Oslo […]

This could be a big deal: the overuse of psychotropic medications for advanced Alzheimer’s patients

I received the following email, entitled “A research lead (potentially bigger than the opioid epidemic,” from someone who wishes to remain anonymous: My research lead is related to the use of psychotropic medications in Alzheimer’s patients. Show More Summary

Some natural solutions to the p-value communication problem—and why they won’t work

Blake McShane and David Gal recently wrote two articles (“Blinding us to the obvious? The effect of statistical training on the evaluation of evidence” and “Statistical significance and the dichotomization of evidence”) on the misunderstandings of p-values that are common even among supposed experts in statistics and applied social research. Show More Summary

Environmental researchers win Mahathir Science Award

(University of Queensland) Work by a trio of University of Queensland researchers and their teams to help save tropical habitats has prompted government policy changes in Malaysia, Indonesia and around the world.The researchers' work advancing natural resource management knowledge in the tropics has won them Malaysia's 2016 Mahathir Science Award announced this week.

On the Operads of J. P. May

An introduction to Kelly's paper on the operads of J. P. May

New Twist on Sofa Problem That Stumped Mathematicians and Furniture Movers

(University of California - Davis) With some help from 3-D printing, a UC Davis mathematician is trying to crack a problem that frustrates both mathematicians and furniture movers: What's the largest sofa you can fit round a corner?

Clarke’s Law: Any sufficiently crappy research is indistinguishable from fraud (Pizzagate edition)

This recent Pizzagate post by Nick Brown reminds me of our discussion of Clarke’s Law last year. P.S. I watched a couple more episodes of Game of Thrones on the plane the other day. It was pretty good! And so I continue to think this...Show More Summary

Using virtual reality to catch a real ball

(Disney Research) Disney Research scientists have found innovative ways to enhance virtual experiences involving interactions with physical objects by showing how a person using a virtual reality system can use it to reliably catch a real ball.

Whassup, Pace investigators? You’re still hiding your data. C’mon dudes, loosen up. We’re getting chronic fatigue waiting for you already!

James Coyne writes: For those of you who have not heard of the struggle for release of the data from the publicly funded PACE trial of adaptive pacing therapy, cognitive behaviour therapy, graded exercise therapy, and specialist medical...Show More Summary

Noise and bias

Someone asked me about the distinction between bias and noise and I sent him some links. Then I thought this might interest some of you too, so here it is: Here’s a recent paper on election polling where we try to be explicit about what...Show More Summary

“A blog post that can help an industry”

Tim Bock writes: I understood how to address weights in statistical tests by reading Lu and Gelman (2003). Thanks. You may be disappointed to know that this knowledge allowed me to write software, which has been used to compute many billions of p-values. Show More Summary

Fatal Lady

Eric Loken writes: I guess they needed to add some drama to Hermine’s progress. [background here] P.S. The above post was pretty short. I guess I should give you some more material. So here’s this, from Alex Frankel: I [Frankel] am kind...Show More Summary

Empathy from the sick may be critical to halting disease outbreaks

(Georgia Institute of Technology) A little empathy can go a long way toward ending infectious disease outbreaks. That's a conclusion from researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology, who used a networked variation of game theory...Show More Summary

Dark Angel

Chris Kavanagh writes: I know you are all too frequently coming across defensive, special pleading-laced responses to failed replications so I thought I would just point out a recent a very admirable response from Will Gervais posted on his blog. Show More Summary

Deep learning and stock trading

(University of Erlangen-Nuremberg) A study undertaken by researchers at the School of Business and Economics at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) has shown that computer programs that algorithms based on artificial intelligence are able to make profitable investment decisions. Show More Summary

Ensemble Methods are Doomed to Fail in High Dimensions

Ensemble methods By ensemble methods, I (Bob, not Andrew) mean approaches that scatter points in space and then make moves by inteprolating or extrapolating among subsets of them. Two prominent examples are described in these papers:...Show More Summary

Cage match: Null-hypothesis-significance-testing meets incrementalism. Nobody comes out alive.

It goes like this. Null-hypothesis-significance-testing (NHST) only works when you have enough accuracy that you can confidently reject the null hypothesis. You get this accuracy from a large sample of measurements with low bias and low variance. Show More Summary

Functional Equations VI: Using Probability Theory to Solve Functional Equations

How the probabilistic theory of large deviations and the analytic tool of convex conjugacy combine to provide a tool for solving functional equations.

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