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Algebra: it matters

I’m looking at two different models for learning polynomial functions, and trying to determine if they are equivalent. After a couple days of thinking, I’ve reduced the question to the following: Can every symmetric polynomial of degree \(r\) in \(d\) variables that has no constant term be written as a sum of the \(r\)-th powers […]

Bagchi’s thesis

Despite everything, there is something to be said for the internet. Just a few days ago, I wanted to reference the work of Bagchi, who provided the probabilistic interpretation of Voronin’s Universality Theorem for the Riemann zeta function. However, the original was unpublished, and one of the few papers of Bagchi on this topic pointedly […]

More bad news for the buggy-whip manufacturers

In a news article regarding difficulties in using panel surveys to measure the unemployment rate, David Leonhardt writes: The main factor is technology. It’s a major cause of today’s response-rate problems – but it’s also the solution. Show More Summary

What Is the Most Efficient Source of Electricity?

The true cost of electricity is difficult to pin down. That's because a number of inputs comprise it: the cost of fuel itself, the cost of production, as well as the cost of dealing with the damage that fuel does to the environment.

On deck this week

Mon: More bad news for the buggy-whip manufacturers Tues: They know my email but they don’t know me Wed: What do you do to visualize uncertainty? Thurs: Sokal: “science is not merely a bag of clever tricks... Rather, the natural sciences...Show More Summary

Editorial board of “Journal of K-Theory” on strike, demanding Tony Bak hands over the journal to the K-Theory foundation.

Text of the announcement below: Dear Colleagues, We the undersigned announce that, as of today 15 September 2014, we’re starting an indefinite strike. We will decline all papers submitted to us at the Journal of K-Theory. Our demand is...Show More Summary

Six quotes from Kaiser Fung

You may think you have all of the data. You don’t. One of the biggest myth of Big Data is that data alone produce complete answers. Their “data” have done no arguing; it is the humans who are making this claim. Before getting into the methodological issues, one needs to ask the most basic question. Show More Summary

He just ordered a translation from Diederik Stapel

Fernando Martel Garcia writes: So I am applying for a DC driver’s license and needed a translation of my Spanish license to show to the DMV. I go to and as I prepare to pay I see a familiar face inShow More Summary

Statshot: Sea World, Losing Weight, Knee Injuries

This week in Statshot: Most theme parks saw revenue grow over the past year, but SeaWorld is losing attendees and money; a new study of overweight and obese middleaged people found that those who lost significant amounts of weight were more likely to experience depressive moods; and more.

Is iPhone 6 Apple’s Most Popular Model? Let’s Ask Google

How popular will the new, bigger iPhone model be? Apple posts overall iPhone sales but doesn't break out sales by model... so we turned to Google.

What is the purpose of a poem?

OK, let’s take a break from blogging about economics. OK, I haven’t actually been blogging so much about econ lately, but it just happens that I’m writing this on 19 July, a day after poking a stick into the hornet’s nest by postingShow More Summary

Levenshtein Distance

In a previous exercise we computed the edit distance between two strings where the allowable operations were insert or delete characters; we made the calculation by determining the longest common subsequence. A different definition of edit distance allows substitutions as well as insertions and deletions, and is called the Levenshtein distance, since it was studied […]

mysterious shiny things

(Disclaimer: I’m new to Shiny, and blog posts, but I know something about geography.)  In the Shiny gallery, take a look at 2001 versus 2002. Something funny happens to Switzerland (and other European countries), in terms of the legend, it moves from Europe to the Middle East. Show More Summary

Bayesian Cognitive Modeling  Examples Ported to Stan

There’s a new intro to Bayes in town. Michael Lee and Eric-Jan Wagenmaker. 2014. Bayesian Cognitive Modeling: A Practical Course. Cambridge Uni. Press. This book’s a wonderful introduction to applied Bayesian modeling. But don’t take...Show More Summary

One-tailed or two-tailed

This image of a two-tailed lizard (from here, I can’t find the name of the person who took the picture) never fails to amuse me. But let us get to the question at hand... Richard Rasiej writes: I’m currently teaching a summer session course in Elementary Statistics. Show More Summary

Quasistrict Symmetric Monoidal 2-Categories via Wire Diagrams

Guest post by Bruce Bartlett I recently put an article on the arXiv: Bruce Bartlett, Quasistrict symmetric monoidal 2-categories via wire diagrams. It's about Chris Schommer-Pries's recent strictification result from his updated thesis, that every symmetric monoidal bicategory is...

“It’s as if you went into a bathroom in a bar and saw a guy pissing on his shoes, and instead of thinking he has some problem with his aim, you suppose he has a positive utility for getting his shoes wet”

The notion of a geocentric universe has come under criticism from Copernican astronomy.... A couple months ago in a discussion of differences between econometrics and statistics, I alluded to the well-known fact that everyday uncertainty aversion can’t be explained by a declining marginal utility of money. Show More Summary

Which Colleges Have the Highest Paid Graduates?

Where you go to college can affect how much money you make when you leave, according to a new survey.

5 Things To Know About the Apple Watch

Here are five things you should know about the Apple Watch.

Buying a New iPhone? Here’s Who Pays the Most for Your Old One

Apple is expected to unveil a new iPhone today. Where can you get the most money for your old one?

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