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Some questions from our Ph.D. statistics qualifying exam

In the in-class applied statistics qualifying exam, students had 4 hours to do 6 problems. Here were the 3 problems I submitted: In the helicopter activity, pairs of students design paper ”helicopters” and compete to create the copter that takes longest to reach the ground when dropped from a fixed height. The two parameters of the […]

Sailing between the Scylla of hyping of sexy research and the Charybdis of reflexive skepticism

Recently I had a disagreement with Larry Bartels which I think is worth sharing with you. Larry and I took opposite positions on the hot topic of science criticism. To put things in a positive way, Larry was writing about some interesting recent research which I then constructively criticized. To be more negative, Larry was […]

Try a spaghetti plot

Joe Simmons writes: I asked MTurk NFL fans to consider an NFL game in which the favorite was expected to beat the underdog by 7 points in a full-length game. I elicited their beliefs about sample size in a few different ways (materials .pdf; data .xls). Some were asked to give the probability that the better […]

Three ways to present a probability forecast, and I only like one of them

To the nearest 10%: To the nearest 1%: To the nearest 0.1%: I think the National Weather Service knows what they’re doing on this one.

On deck this week

Mon: Three ways to present a probability forecast, and I only like one of them Tues: Try a spaghetti plot Wed: I ain’t got no watch and you keep asking me what time it is Thurs: Some questions from our Ph.D. statistics qualifying exam Fri: Solution to the helicopter design problem Sat: Solution to the […]

“Your Paper Makes SSRN Top Ten List”

I received the following email from the Social Science Research Network, which is a (legitimate) preprint server for research papers: Dear Andrew Gelman: Your paper, “WHY HIGH-ORDER POLYNOMIALS SHOULD NOT BE USED IN REGRESSION DISCONTINUITY DESIGNS”, was recently listed on SSRN’s Top Ten download list for: PSN: Econometrics, Polimetrics, & Statistics (Topic) and Political Methods: […]

Hoe noem je?

Haynes Goddard writes: Reviewing my notes and books on categorical data analysis, the term “nominal” is widely employed to refer to variables without any natural ordering. I was a language major in UG school and knew that the etymology of nominal is the Latin word nomen (from the Online Etymological Dictionary: early 15c., “pertaining to […]

How do companies use Bayesian methods?

Jason May writes: I’m in Northwestern’s Predictive Analytics grad program. I’m working on a project providing Case Studies of how companies use certain analytic processes and want to use Bayesian Analysis as my focus. The problem: I can find tons of work on how one might apply Bayesian Statistics to different industries but very little […]

Prediction Market Project for the Reproducibility of Psychological Science

Anna Dreber Almenberg writes: The second prediction market project for the reproducibility project will soon be up and running – please participate! There will be around 25 prediction markets, each representing a particular study that is currently being replicated. Each study (and thus market) can be summarized by a key hypothesis that is being tested, which […]

Statistical Communication and Graphics Manifesto

Statistical communication includes graphing data and fitted models, programming, writing for specialized and general audiences, lecturing, working with students, and combining words and pictures in different ways. The common theme of all these interactions is that we need to consider our statistical tools in the context of our goals. Communication is not just about conveying […]