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Stan 2.7 (CRAN, variational inference, and much much more)

Stan 2.7 is now available for all interfaces. As usual, everything you need can be found starting from the Stan home page: Highlights RStan is on CRAN!(1) Variational Inference in CmdStan!!(2) Two new Stan developers!!!  A whole new logo!!!!  Math library with autodiff now available in its own repo!!!!!  (1) Just doing install.packages(“rstan”) isn’t […]

Don’t put your whiteboard behind your projection screen

Daniel, Andrew, and I are on our second day of teaching, and like many places, Memorial Sloan-Kettering has all their classrooms set up with a whiteboard placed directly behind a projection screen. This gives us a sliver of space to write on without pulling the screen up and down. If you have any say in […]

Introducing StataStan

Thanks to Robert Grant, we now have a Stata interface! For more details, see: Robert Grant’s Blog:   Introducing StataStan Jonah and Ben have already kicked the tires, and it works. We’ll be working on it more as time goes on as part of our Institute of Education Sciences grant (turns out education researchers use […]

JuliaCon 2015 (24–27 June, Boston-ish)

JuliaCon is coming to Cambridge, MA the geek capital of the East Coast: 24–27 June. Here’s the conference site with program. I (Bob) will be giving a 10 minute “lightning talk” on Stan.jl, the Julia interface to Stan (built by Rob J. Goedman — I’m just pinch hitting because Rob couldn’t make it). The uptake […]

New Book: Bayesian Data Analysis in Ecology Using Linear Models with R, BUGS, and Stan

Fränzi and Tobias‘s book is now real: Fränzi Korner-Nievergelt, Tobias Roth, Stefanie von Felten, Jérôme Guélat, Bettina Almasi, and Pius Korner-Nievergelt (2015) Bayesian Data Analysis in Ecology Using Linear Models with R, BUGS, and Stan. Academic Press. This is based in part on the in-person tutorials that they and the other authors have been giving […]

What do CERN, the ISS, and Stephen Fry have in Common?

You’ll have to read the New Yorker article on Richard M. Stallman and the The GNU Manifesto by Maria Bustillos to find out! And what’s up with Tim O’Reilly’s comments about the Old Testment vs. New Testament?   That’s an ad hominem attack of the highest order, guaranteed to get the Judeo-Christians even more riled […]

Stan Down Under

I (Bob, not Andrew) am in Australia until April 30. I’ll be giving some Stan-related and some data annotation talks, several of which have yet to be concretely scheduled. I’ll keep this page updated with what I’ll be up to. All of the talks other than summer school will be open to the public (the […]

Stan 2.6.0 Released

We’re happy to announce the release of Stan 2.6, including RStan, PyStan, CmdStan; it will also work with the existing Stan.jl and MatlabStan. Although there is some new functionality (hence the minor version bump), this is primarily a maintenance release. It fixes all of the known memory issues with Stan 2.5.0 and improves overall speed […]

Bayesian Cognitive Modeling Models Ported to Stan

Hats off for Martin Šmíra, who has finished porting the models from Michael Lee and Eric-Jan Wagenmakers’ book Bayesian Cognitive Modeling  to Stan. Here they are: Bayesian Cognitive Modeling: Stan Example Models Martin managed to port 54 of the 57 models in the book and verified that the Stan code got the same answers as […]

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 and the goal of the workshop was to kick off some projects on putting some of them together intos wholes that are […]

No, Michael Jordan didn’t say that!

The names are changed, but the song remains the same. First verse. There’s an article by a journalist, The odds, continually updated, by F.D. Flam in the NY Times to which Andrew responded in blog form, No, I didn’t say that, by Andrew Gelman, on this blog. Second verse. There’s an article by a journalist, […]

Stan 2.5, now with MATLAB, Julia, and ODEs

As usual, you can find everything on the Stan Home Page. Drop us a line on the stan-users group if you have problems with installs or questions about Stan or coding particular models. New Interfaces We’d like to welcome two new interfaces: MatlabStan by Brian Lau, and  Stan.jl (for Julia) by Rob Goedman. The new […]

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 my word for it — you can download and read the first two parts of the book (hundreds of pages […]

SciLua 2 includes NUTS

The most recent release of SciLua includes an implementation of Matt’s sampler, NUTS (link is to the final JMLR paper, which is a revision of the earlier arXiv version). According to the author of SciLua, Stefano Peluchetti: Should be quite similar to your [Stan’s] implementation with some differences in the adaptation strategy. If you have […]

Stan 2.4, New and Improved

We’re happy to announce that all three interfaces (CmdStan, PyStan, and RStan) are up and ready to go for Stan 2.4. As usual, you can find full instructions for installation on the Stan Home Page. Here are the release notes with a list of what’s new and improved: New Features ———— * L-BFGS optimization (now […]

D&D 5e: Probabilities for Advantage and Disadvantage

The new rules for D&D 5e (formerly known as D&D Next) are finally here: Dungeons & Dragons, 5th Edition: Basic Rules D&D 5e introduces a new game mechanic, advantage and disadvantage. Basic d20 Rules Usually, players roll a 20-sided die (d20) to resolve everyting from attempts at diplomacy to hitting someone with a sword. Each […]

Grand Opening: The Stan Shop

I finally put together a shop so everyone can order Stan t-shirts and mugs: The Stan Shop The art’s by Michael Malecki. The t-shirts and mugs are printed on demand by Spreadshirt. I tried out a sample and the results are great and have held up to machine washing and drying. There’s a markup of […]

Useless Algebra, Inefficient Computation, and Opaque Model Specifications

I (Bob, not Andrew) doubt anyone sets out to do algebra for the fun of it, implement an inefficient algorithm, or write a paper where it’s not clear what the model is. But… Why not write it in BUGS or Stan? Over on the Stan users group, Robert Grant wrote Hello everybody, I’ve just been […]

(Py, R, Cmd) Stan 2.3 Released

We’re happy to announce RStan, PyStan and CmdStan 2.3. Instructions on how to install at: As always, let us know if you’re having problems or have comments or suggestions. We’re hoping to roll out the next release a bit quicker this time, because we have lots of good new features that are almost ready […]

Stan is Turing Complete. So what?

This post is by Bob Carpenter. Stan is Turing complete! There seems to a persistent misconception that Stan isn’t Turing complete.1, 2 My guess is that it stems from Stan’s (not coincidental) superficial similarity to BUGS and JAGS, which provide directed graphical model specification languages. Stan’s Turing completeness follows from its support of array data […]