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Just Filling in the Bubbles

Collin Hitt writes: I study wrong answers, per your blog post today. My research focuses mostly on surveys of schoolchildren. I study the kids who appear to be just filling in the bubbles, who by accident actually reveal something of use for education researchers. Show More Summary

Pathological liars I have known

There was this guy in college who just made stuff up. It was weird, then funny, then sad. He was clearly an intelligent guy and but for some reason felt the need to fabricate. One thing I remember was something about being a studentShow More Summary

Solution to Stan Puzzle 1: Inferring Ability from Streaks

If you missed it the first time around, here’s a link to: Stan Puzzle 1: Inferring Ability from Streaks First, a hat-tip to Mike, who posted the correct answer as a comment. So as not to spoil the surprise for everyone else, MichaelShow More Summary

Stan at JSM2015

In addition to Jigiang’s talk on Stan, 11:25 AM on Wednesday, I’ll also be giving a talk about Hamiltonian Monte Carlo today at 3:20 PM.  Stanimals in attendance can come find me to score a sweet Stan sticker. And everyone should check...Show More Summary

What’s the stupidest thing the NYC Department of Education and Columbia University Teachers College did in the past decade?

Ummm, how bout this: The principal of a popular elementary school in Harlem acknowledged that she forged answers on students’ state English exams in April because the students had not finished the tests... As a result of the cheating, the city invalidated several dozen English test results for the school’s third grade. Show More Summary

Statistics Be

This modern statistics got me confused, To tell you friends I’m quite unenthused. This modern statistics got me confused, To tell you friends I’m quite unenthused. I like Pee Wee Fisher or the great Jerzy But can’t make head nor tail...Show More Summary

The round of 8 begins: Mark Twain (4) vs. Miguel de Cervantes (2); Carlin advances

For yesterday‘s contest I really really really wanted to pick John Waters. For one thing, of all the 64 people in the bracket, he’s the one I think I’d like to hear the most. For another, he’s still alive and just might conceivably be...Show More Summary

The 1980 Math Olympiad Program: Where are they now?

Brian Hunt: He was the #1 math team kid in our team (Montgomery County, Maryland). I think he came in first place in the international olympiad the next year (yup, here’s the announcement). We carpooled once or twice to county math team...Show More Summary

Soil Scientists Seeking Super Model

I (Bob) spent last weekend at Biosphere 2, collaborating with soil carbon biogeochemists on a “super model.” Model combination and expansion The biogeochemists (three sciences in one!) have developed hundreds of competing models andShow More Summary

Rational != Self-interested

I’ve said it before (along with Aaron Edlin and Noah Kaplan) and I’ll say it again. Rationality and self-interest are two dimensions of behavior. An action can be: 1. Rational and self-interested 2. Irrational and self-interested 3. Rational and altruistic 4. Show More Summary

G-spots : Saint-Girons

Roy Lisker (remember him from the Mormoiron post?) has written up his Grothendieck-quest(s), available for just 23$, and with this strange blurb-text: “The author organized a committee to search for him that led to his discovery, in good health and busily at work, in September, 1996. This committee has since become the Grothendieck Biography Project. […]

Poker math showdown!

In comments, Rick Schoenberg wrote: One thing I tried to say as politely as I could in [the book, "Probability with Texas Holdem Applications"] on p146 is that there’s a huge error in Chen and Ankenman’s “The Mathematics of Poker” which...Show More Summary

Large gaps between consecutive prime numbers

Kevin Ford, Ben Green, Sergei Konyagin, and myself have just posted to the arXiv our preprint “Large gaps between consecutive prime numbers“. This paper concerns the “opposite” problem to that considered by the recently concluded Polymath8 project, which was concerned with very small values of the prime gap. Here, we wish to consider the […]

Visualizing sampling error and dynamic graphics

Robert Grant writes: What do you think of this visualisation from the NYT [in an article by Neil Irwin and Kevin Quealy but I'm not sure if they're the designers of the visualization]? I’m pretty impressed as a method of showing sampling error to a general audience! I agree. Show More Summary

Hurricanes/himmicanes extra: Again with the problematic nature of the scientific publication process

Jeremy Freese has the story. To me, the sad thing is not that people who don’t understand statistics are doing research. After all, statistics is hard, and to require statistical understanding of all quantitative researchers would be impossible to enforce in any case. Show More Summary

Cofree meets Free

> {-# LANGUAGE RankNTypes, MultiParamTypeClasses, TypeOperators #-} Introduction After I spoke at BayHac 2014 about free monads I was asked about cofree comonads. So this is intended as a sequel to that talk. Not only am I going to try to explain what cofree comonads are. Show More Summary

Factoring With Bicycle Chains

As penance for teasing you on April Fool’s Day, I have another exercise on factoring. Today we will simulate a machine invented by Derrick H Lehmer (the son of the famous father-son-daughter-in-law trio of mathematicians named Lehmer) that uses bicycle chains to factor integers. Unlike the previous exercise, this factoring method is real; in fact, […]

Finite time blowup for an averaged three-dimensional Navier-Stokes equation

I’ve just uploaded to the arXiv the paper “Finite time blowup for an averaged three-dimensional Navier-Stokes equation“, submitted to J. Amer. Math. Soc.. The main purpose of this paper is to formalise the “supercriticality barrier” for the global regularity problem for the Navier-Stokes equation, which roughly speaking asserts that it is not possible to establish […]

The many stages of writing a paper, and how to close the deal.

[tl;dr] Producing a piece of research for publication has many stages, and each stage has different needs, requiring different ways of operating. Learning these stages is a key developmental step for a graduate student. In what follows,...Show More Summary

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