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Controlling for variation in the weather in a regression analysis: Joe and Uri should learn about multilevel models and then they could give even better advice

Joe Simmons and Uri Simonsohn have an interesting post here. Unfortunately their blog doesn’t have a comment section so I’m commenting here. They write this at the end of their post: Another is to use daily dummies. This option can easily be worse. It can lower statistical power by throwing away data. First, one can […]

Some folks like to get away, take a holiday from the neighborhood

Saw a couple of plays, both excellent. Fun Home. Compared to what I remembered of the book (which I also thought was excellent), the play seemed to be more about her family and less about Bechdel herself. But that worked for me. Bechdel’s story won’t be shared by everybody, but we all have families. The […]

Gary Venter’s age-period-cohort decomposition of US male mortality trends

Following up on yesterday’s post on mortality trends, I wanted to share with you a research note by actuary Gary Venter, “A Quick Look at Cohort Effects in US Male Mortality.” Venter produces this graph: And he writes: Cohort effects in mortality tend to be difficult to explain. Often strings of coincidences are invoked – […]

Lots of buzz regarding this postdoc position in London

Tom Churcher writes: We are currently advertising for an infectious disease modeller to investigate the impact of insecticide resistance on malaria control in Africa. The position is for 3 years in the first instance and is funded by the Wellcome Trust. No previous malaria or mosi experience required. Please circulate to anyone who might be […]

Integrating graphs into your workflow

Discussion of statistical graphics typically focuses on individual graphs (for example here). But the real gain in your research comes from integrating graphs into your workflow. You want to be able to make the graphs you want, when you want them. At the same time, the graph have to be good enough that you can […]

“Kasparov To Face Caruana, Nakamura, So In Ultimate Blitz Challenge”

E. J. pointed me to this announcement: For the first time since his retirement in 2005 Garry Kasparov will play chess against some of the best players on the planet. The 13th world champion agreed to meet the top three finishers of the 2016 U.S. Championship in a blitz tournament. That turned out to be […]

64 Shades of Gray: The subtle effect of chessboard images on foreign policy polarization

Brian Nosek pointed me to this 2013 paper by Theodora Zarkadi and Simone Schnall, “‘Black and White’ thinking: Visual contrast polarizes moral judgment,” which begins: Recent research has emphasized the role of intuitive processes in morality by documenting the link between affect and moral judgment. The present research tested whether incidental visual cues without any […]

If Yogi Berra could see this one, he’d spin in his grave: Regression modeling using a convenience sample

Kelvin Leshabari writes: We are currently planning to publish some few manuscripts on the outcome of treatment of some selected cancers occuring in children. The current dataset was derived from the natural admission process of those children with cancer found at a selected tertiary cancer centre. To the best of our understanding, our data are […]

I owe it all to my Neanderthal genes

Yesterday I posted a methods-focused item at the Monkey Cage, a follow-up of a post from a couple years ago arguing against some dramatic claims by economists Ashraf and Galor regarding the wealth of nations. No big deal, just some standard-issue skepticism. But for some reason this one caught fire—maybe somebody important linked to it, […]

On deck this week

Mon: I owe it all to my Neanderthal genes Tues: If Yogi Berra could see this one, he’d spin in his grave: Regression modeling using a convenience sample Wed: 64 Shades of Gray: The subtle effect of chessboard images on foreign policy polarization Thurs: Integrating graphs into your workflow Fri: Gary Venter’s age-period-cohort decomposition of […]

Risk aversion is a two-way street

“Risk aversion” comes up a lot in microeconomics, but I think that it’s too broad a concept to do much for us. In many many cases, it seems to me that, when there is a decision option, either behavior X or behavior not-X can be thought as risk averse, depending on the framing. Thus, when […]

What is the “true prior distribution”? A hard-nosed answer.

The traditional answer is that the prior distribution represents your state of knowledge, that there is no “true” prior. Or, conversely, that the true prior is an expression of your beliefs, so that different statisticians can have different true priors. Or even that any prior is true by definition, in representing a subjective state of […]

Stochastic natural-gradient EP

Yee Whye Teh sends along this paper with Leonard Hasenclever, Thibaut Lienart, Sebastian Vollmer, Stefan Webb, Balaji Lakshminarayanan, and Charles Blundell. I haven’t read it in detail but they not similarities to our “expectation propagation as a way of life” paper. But their work is much more advanced than ours.

The causal inference competition you’ve all been waiting for!

Jennifer Hill announces “the first-ever ACIC causal inference data analysis competition”: Is your SATT where it’s at? Participate by submitting treatment effect estimates across a range of datasets OR by submitting a function (in any of a variety of programming languages) that will take input (covariate, treatment assignment, and response) and generate a treatment effect […]

A new idea for a science core course based entirely on computer simulation

I happen to come across this post from 2011 that I like so much, I thought I’d say it again: Columbia College has for many years had a Core Curriculum, in which students read classics such as Plato (in translation) etc. A few years ago they created a Science core course. There was always some […]

“Cancer Research Is Broken”

Michael Oakes pointed me to this excellent news article by Daniel Engber, subtitled, “There’s a replication crisis in biomedicine—and no one even knows how deep it runs.” Engber suggests that the replication problem in biomedical research is worse than the much-publicized replication problem in psychology. One reason, which I didn’t see Engber discussing, is financial […]

“if you add a few more variables, you can do a better job at predictions”

Ethan Bolker points me to this news article by Neil Irwin: Robert J. Gordon, an economist at Northwestern University, has his own version that he argues explains inflation levels throughout recent decades. But it is hardly simple. Its prediction for inflation relies not just on joblessness but also on measures of productivity growth, six shifts […]

DG XXXVII: Lumosity fined $2 million for deceiving customers about its “brain training” programs

Paul Alper writes: Because you went to MIT and are a chess enthusiast, you probably know a lot more about Claude Shannon than I do. However, did you know that as intellectually brilliant as he was, he died of “after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease”? I bring up this factoid because it sort of […]

On deck this week

Mon: DG XXXVII: Lumosity fined $2 million for deceiving customers about its “brain training” programs Tues: “if you add a few more variables, you can do a better job at predictions” Wed: Stochastic natural-gradient EP Thurs: A new idea for a science core course based entirely on computer simulation Fri: Oooh, it burns me up […]

David MacKay

I learned from this comment that David MacKay has passed away. Here’s an obituary, which has a lot of information, really much more than I could give because I only met MacKay a couple of times. The first time was when I was in Cambridge, England, for a conference, and I got there a day […]