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Some quick disorganzed tips on classroom teaching

Below are a bunch of little things I typically mention at some point when I’m teaching my class on how to teach. But my new approach is to minimize lecturing, and certainly not to waste students’ time by standing in front of a groupShow More Summary

$100 Oil Is Here to Stay

$100-per-barrel oil is here to stay, as increased demand from emerging markets, combined with stagnating crude production, has led to higher prices.

On deck this week

Mon: Some quick disorganzed tips on classroom teaching Tues: Stroopy names Wed: “A hard case for Mister P” Thurs: The field is a fractal Fri: Replication Wiki for economics Sat, Sun: As Chris Hedges would say: Stop me if you’ve heard this one before The post On deck this week appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

My courses this fall at Columbia

Stat 6103, Bayesian Data Analysis, TuTh 1-2:30: We’ll be going through the book, section by section. Follow the link to see slides and lecture notes from when I taught this course a couple years ago. This course has a serious workload: each week we have three homework problems, one theoretical, one computational, and one applied. Show More Summary

Higher Gauge Theory in Edinburgh – Part III

Why Higher Geometric Quantization The largest single presentation was a pair of talks on “The Motivation for Higher Geometric Quantum Field Theory” by Urs Schreiber, running to about two and a half hours, based on these notes. This was probably the clearest introduction I’ve seen so far to the motivation for the program he’s been […]

Higher Gauge Theory in Edinburgh – Part II

Continuing from the previous post, we’ll take a detour in a different direction. The physics-oriented talks were by Martin Wolf, Sam Palmer, Thomas Strobl, and Patricia Ritter. Since my background in this subject isn’t particularly physics-y, I’ll do my best to summarize the ones that had obvious connections to other topics, but may be getting […]

Higher Gauge Theory in Edinburgh – Part I

The main thing happening in my end of the world is that it’s relocated from Europe back to North America. I’m taking up a teaching postdoc position in the Mathematics and Computer Science department at Mount Allison University starting this month. However, amidst all the preparations and moving, I was also recently in Edinburgh, Scotland […]

Statshot: Sovereign States, Car Problems and CrossFit

In a September referendum, Scottish voters will decide whether to split from the United Kingdom. New car owners are having more problems with their vehicles. The business of CrossFit is booming.

Which Cities Get the Most Sleep?

People in Melbourne sleep the most, people in Tokyo sleep the least, and Americans just need more sleep overall.

“Psychohistory” and the hype paradox

Lee Wilkinson writes: I thought you might be interested in this post. I was asked about this by someone at Skytree and replied with this link to Tyler Vigen’s Spurious Correlations. What’s most interesting about Vigen’s site is not his...Show More Summary

Upcoming books

As the summer vacations draw to a close, I’d like to point to two upcoming AMS books which might, hopefully, interest some readers… (1) My lecture notes on representation theory (expanded) will appear in September, published in the Graduate Studies in Mathematics series; the preview material contains Chapter 1, and a fair bit of Chapter […]

Most Electricity in U.S. Still Comes From Coal; Where Does Your State Stand?

Since the first quarter of 2001, overall electricity generation from all fuel sources has risen 13% in the U.S. The main sources of that electricity have changed slightly.

Many Communications Graduates Can’t Find Work, but Regrets Are Few

As the nation still struggles to revitalize the economy, the job market for journalism and communications graduates has stalled, according to a recent survey of 2013 graduates conducted by the University of Georgia. Despite the grimShow More Summary

Luck vs. skill in poker

The thread of our recent discussion of quantifying luck vs. skill in sports turned to poker, motivating the present post. 1. Can good poker players really “read” my cards and figure out what’s in my hand? For a couple years in grad school a group of us had a regular Thursday-night poker game, nickel-dime-quarter with […] The post Luck vs. Show More Summary


It appears that FIbonacci was the first person in Europe to represent a real number in a place value system: he wrote a root of the equation as    .

Khot, Osher, Griffiths

In addition to the Fields medallists mentioned in the previous post, the IMU also awarded the Nevanlinna prize to Subhash Khot, the Gauss prize to Stan Osher (my colleague here at UCLA!), and the Chern medal to Phillip Griffiths. Like I did in 2010, I’ll try to briefly discuss one result of each of the […]

Retail Sales Disappoint: What Did We Buy in July?

U.S. retail sales were basically flat last month, disappointing economists expecting a gain. What stores were Americans visiting in July?

This is what I call numeracy

From Vasily Grossman‘s notebooks published in A Writer at War, pp. 161-162, an entry about the Red Army infantry fighting off Luftwaffe in Stalingrad: The brains of the Red Army have finally turned to to the anti-tank rifle … [using] a cart wheel, fastened to a picket and rotating through 360 [degrees]. [...] Battalion Commander […]

Americans Have a Hard Time Covering Emergency Expenses

A recent Federal Reserve Board report aimed to paint a picture American household finance following the recession—and it's bleak, especially in situations that require cash.

Updike and O’Hara

I just read this review by Louis Menand of a biography of John Updike. Lots of interesting stuff here, with this, perhaps, being the saddest: When Updike received the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, in 1998, two of [his second wife's] children were present, but his were not invited. Show More Summary

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