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Theoretical Statistics is the Theory of Applied Statistics: How to Think About What We Do

Above is my talk at the 2017 New York R conference. Look, no slides! The talk went well. I think the video would be more appealing to listen to if they’d mixed in more of the crowd noise. Then you’d hear people laughing at all the right spots. Show More Summary

Higher credence for the masses: From a washed up Wonder Woman?

The Four Most Dangerous Words? A New Study Shows | Laura Arnold | TEDxPennsylvaniaAvenue I brought this link forward in some comments but wanted to promote it to a post as I think its important and I know many folks just do not read comments. Show More Summary

Stan without frontiers, Bayes without tears

This recent comment thread reminds me of a question that comes up from time to time, which is how to teach Bayesian statistics to students who aren’t comfortable with calculus. For continuous models, probabilities are integrals. AndShow More Summary

Organizations that defend junk science are pitiful suckers get conned and conned again

So. Cornell stands behind Wansink, and Ohio State stands behind Croce. George Mason University bestows honors on Weggy. Penn State trustee disses “so-called victims.” Local religious leaders aggressively defend child abusers in their communities. Show More Summary

My interview on EconTalk, and some other podcasts and videos

Russ Roberts recently interviewed me for his EconTalk podcast. We talked about social science and the garden of forking paths. Roberts was also going to talk with me about Case and Deaton, but we ran out of time. Whenever I announce a talk, people ask in comments if it will be streamed or recorded. 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 […]

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

The subway singularity

The Boston subway is a complex system, spreading out from a focus at Park Street. On March 3rd, the Boylston shuttle went into service, tying together the seven principal lines, on four different levels. A day later, train 86 went missing on the Cambridge-Dorchester line. The Harvard algebraist R. Tupelo suggested the train might have... Continue reading ?

Pizzagate and Kahneman, two great flavors etc.

1. The pizzagate story (of Brian Wansink is a Cornell University business school professor and self-described “world-renowned eating behavior expert for over 25 years”) keeps developing. Last week someone forwarded me an email from the deputy dean of the Cornell business school regarding concerns about some of Wansink’s work. Show More Summary

I was gonna write a post entitled, “Unlocking past collaboration: student use affects mood and happiness,” but it didn’t seem worth the bother

Ivan Oransky points us to this hilarious story of a retracted paper in Psychological Science. The hilarious part is not the article itself (a dry-as-dust collection of small-N experiments with open-ended data-exclusion and data-analysis...Show More Summary

No guru, no method, no teacher, Just you and I and nature . . . in the garden. Of forking paths.

Here’s a quote: Instead of focusing on theory, the focus is on asking and answering practical research questions. It sounds eminently reasonable, yet in context I think it’s completely wrong. I will explain. But first some background. Show More Summary

Addressing Pieces of State with Profunctors

Attempted segue Since I first wrote about profunctors there has been quite a bit of activity in the area so I think it's about time I revisited them. I could just carry on from where I left off 5 years ago but there have been so many tutorials on the subject that I think I'll have to assume you've looked at them. Show More Summary

Hark, hark! the p-value at heaven’s gate sings

Three different people pointed me to this post, in which food researcher and business school professor Brian Wansink advises Ph.D. students to “never say no”: When a research idea comes up, check it out, put some time into it and you might get some success. Show More Summary

Avoiding only the shadow knowing the motivating problem of a post.

Graphic From Given I am starting to make some posts to this blog (again) I was pleased to run across a youtube of Xiao-Li Meng being interviewed on the same topic by Suzanne Smith the Director of the Center for Writing and Communicating Ideas. Show More Summary

“Dear Major Textbook Publisher”: A Rant

Dear Major Academic Publisher, You just sent me, unsolicited, an introductory statistics textbook that is 800 pages and weighs about 5 pounds. It’s the 3rd edition of a book by someone I’ve never heard of. That’s fine—a newcomer can write a good book. Show More Summary

Gitte solo in Ghent

Gitte shows hundreds of stills from her animation projects. She has a laborious working method: for every motion she needs about 30 aquarel paintings which she then scans and turns into an animation movie. Here’s the result of all that work: Space Communication Previously she made oil paintings on a glass plate and turned photographs... Continue reading ?

Math 246A, Notes 4: singularities of holomorphic functions

In the previous set of notes we saw that functions that were holomorphic on an open set enjoyed a large number of useful properties, particularly if the domain was simply connected. In many situations, though, we need to consider functions that are only holomorphic (or even well-defined) on most of a domain, thus they […]

Toposes alive and kicking at IHES

At the meeting, Celine Loozen filmed a documentary which is supposed to have as its title “Unifying Worlds”. Its very classy trailer is now on YouTube (via +David Roberts). How did topos theory, a topic considered by most to be far too abstract to be useful to main stream mathematics, suddenly return in such force?... Continue reading ?

Let’s play Twister, let’s play Risk

Alex Terenin, Dan Simpson, and David Draper write: Some months ago we shared with you an arxiv draft of our paper, Asynchronous Distributed Gibbs Sampling.? Through comments we’ve received, for which we’re highly grateful, we came to...Show More Summary

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