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Stan Roundup, 10 November 2017

We’re in the heart of the academic season and there’s a lot going on. James Ramsey reported a critical performance regression bug in Stan 2.17 (this affects the latest CmdStan and PyStan, not the latest RStan). Sean Talts and Daniel Lee diagnosed the underlying problem as being with the change from char* to std::string arguments—you […]

Stan Roundup, 27 October 2017

I missed two weeks and haven’t had time to create a dedicated blog for Stan yet, so we’re still here. This is only the update for this week. From now on, I’m going to try to concentrate on things that are done, not just in progress so you can get a better feel for the […]

Analyzing New Zealand fatal traffic crashes in Stan with added open-access science

Open-access science I’ll get to the meat of this post in a second, but I just wanted to highlight how the study I’m about to talk about was done in the open and how that helped everyone. Tim Makarios read the study and responded in the blog comments, Hold on. As I first skimmed this […]

Halifax, NS, Stan talk and course Thu 19 Oct

Halfiax, here we come. I (Bob, not Andrew) am going to be giving a talk on Stan and then Mitzi and I will be teaching a course on Stan after that. The public is invited, though space is limited for the course. Here are details if you happen to be in the Maritime provinces. TALK: […]

Stan Roundup, 6 October 2017

I missed last week and almost forgot to add this week’s. Jonah Gabry returned from teaching a one-week course for a special EU research institute in Spain. Mitzi Morris has been knocking out bug fixes for the parser and some pull requests to refactor the underlying type inference to clear the way for tuples, sparse […]

Stan Weekly Roundup, 22 September 2017

This week (and a bit from last week) in Stan: Paul-Christian B├╝rkner‘s paper on brms (a higher-level interface to RStan, which preceded rstanarm and is still widely used and recommended by our own devs) was just published as a JStatSoft article. If you follow the link, the abstract explains what brms does. Ben Goodrich and […]

Will Stanton hit 61 home runs this season?

[edit: Juho Kokkala corrected my homework. Thanks! I updated the post. Also see some further elaboration in my reply to Andrew’s comment. As Andrew likes to say …] So far, Giancarlo Stanton has hit 56 home runs in 555 at bats over 149 games. Miami has 10 games left to play. What’s the chance he’ll […]

Call for papers: Probabilistic Programming Languages, Semantics, and Systems (PPS 2018)

I’m on the program committee and they say they’re looking to broaden their horizons this year to include systems like Stan. The workshop is part of POPL, the big programming language theory conference. Here’s the official link PPS 2018 home page Call for extended abstracts (2 pages) The submissions are two-page extended abstracts and the […]

Stan Weekly Roundup, 7 September 2017

I was out on vacation last week, but now I’m back! While I was gone… Sean Talts released Stan 2.17 (the math library, the core Stan library, and CmdStan 2.17). RStan and PyStan are in the works. Stan 2.17 will be the last pure C++03 release, that opens up pretty much all of C++11 and […]

The fundamental abstractions underlying BUGS and Stan as probabilistic programming languages

Probabilistic programming languages I think of BUGS and Stan as probabilistic programming languages because their variables may be used to denote random variables, with function application doing the right thing in terms of propagating randomness (usually encoding uncertainty in a Bayesian setting). They are not probabilistic programming languages that provide an object language for inference; […]

mc-stan.org down again (and up again)

[update: back up again 20 minutes later. sorry for all the churn and sorry again it went down.] My fault again. Really sorry about this. I’m actually on a real vacation for the first time in two years and not checking my email regularly and not checking my junk email at all. This time, PairNic […]

Stan Weekly Roundup, 25 August 2017

This week, the entire Columbia portion of the Stan team is out of the office and we didn’t have an in-person/online meeting this Thursday. Mitzi and I are on vacation, and everyone else is either teaching, TA-ing, or attending the Stan course. Luckily for this report, there’s been some great activity out of the meeting […]

Stan Weekly Roundup, 18 August 2017

Summer? What summer? Stan 2.17 is coming and there’s work to be done. Sebastian Weber has been making huge strides in adding MPI parallel autodiff to the math library (with design maturing for Stan itself and the library interfaces). Ongoing discusions on the Discourse forum and prototypes for a function to add to the Stan […]

mc-stan.org down & single points of failure

[update: back up. whew. back to our regularly scheduled programming.] [update: just talked to our registrar on the phone and they say it’ll probably take an hour or two for the DNS to catch up again, but then everything should be OK. I would highly recommend PairNIC—their support was awesome.] mc-stan.org is down because I […]

Stan Weekly Roundup, 11 August 2017

This week, more Stan! Charles Margossian is rock star of the week, finishing off the algebraic solver math library fixture and getting all plumbed through Stan and documented. Now you can solve nonlinear sets of equations and get derivatives with the implicit function theorem all as part of defining your log density. There is a […]

Stan Weekly Roundup, 3 August 2017

You’d almost think we were Europeans based on how much we’ve slowed down over the summer. Imad Ali, Jonah Gabry, and Ben Goodrich finished the online pkgdown-style documentation for all the Stan Development Team supported R packages. They can be accessed via http://mc-stan.org/(package_name), e.g., rstan: http://mc-stan.org/rstan rstanarm: http://mc-stan.org/rstanarm shinystan: http://mc-stan.org/shinytan loo: http://mc-stan.org/loo bayesplot: http://mc-stan.org/bayesplot The […]

Stan Weekly Roundup, 28 July 2017

Here’s the roundup for this past week. Michael Betancourt added case studies for methodology in both Python and R, based on the work he did getting the ML meetup together: RStan workflow PyStan workflow Michael Betancourt, along with Mitzi Morris, Sean Talts, and Jonah Gabry taught the women in ML workshop at Viacom in NYC […]

Stan Weekly Roundup, 21 July 2017

It was another productive week in Stan land. The big news is that Jonathan Auerbach, Tim Jones, Susanna Makela, Swupnil Sahai, and Robin Winstanley won first place in a New York City competition for predicting elementary school enrollment. Jonathan told me, “I heard 192 entered, and there were 5 finalists….Of course, we used Stan (RStan […]

Animating a spinner using ggplot2 and ImageMagick

It’s Sunday, and I [Bob] am just sitting on the couch peacefully ggplotting to illustrate basic sample spaces using spinners (a trick I’m borrowing from Jim Albert’s book Curve Ball). There’s an underlying continuous outcome (i.e., where the spinner lands) and a quantization into a number of regions to produce a discrete outcome (e.g., “success” […]

Stan Weekly Roundup, 14 July 2017

Another week, another bunch of Stan updates. Kevin Van Horn and Elea McDonnell Feit put together a tutorial on Stan [GitHub link] that covers linear regression, multinomial logistic regression, and hierarchical multinomial logistic regression. Andrew has been working on writing up our “workflow”. That includes Chapter 1, Verse 1 of Bayesian Data Analysis of (1) […]