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Politically Incorrect Statistics

Adi Wyner, Dean Foster, Shane Jensen, and Dylan Small at the University of Pennsylvania have started a new statistics blog, Politically Incorrect Statistics. My favorite entry so far compares string theory to intelligent design. While I’m linking, the Journal of Obnoxious Statistics looks like fun, although I haven’t read many of the 101 pages yet.


When I tell people about my work, by far the most common response is “Oh, I hated statistics in college.” We’ve been over that before. Sometimes someone will ask me to explain the Monty Hall problem. Anyway, another one I’ve been getting a lot lately is whether I watch the show Numbers. I’ve never seen […]


My friend Mark Glickman (I call him Glickman; Andrew calls him Smiley) has some fun statistical song parodies. When I was taking Bayesian Data Analysis in graduate school, he came in as a guest lecturer one day and sang them for our class. It was really fun–I don’t think there’s anywhere near enough silliness in […]

More on Matching

Dan Ho, Kosuke Imai, Gary King, and Liz Stuart have a new paper on matching methods for causal inference. It has lots of practical advice and interesting examples, and I predict that it will be widely read and cited. Check it out here. …and on a completely unrelated note, Happy Birthday, Mom!!


I don’t need art to be work-related. In fact, I generally prefer that it’s not. But there’s an exhibition at MOMA called SAFE: Design Takes On Risk, that looks pretty cool. Items range from practical (chairs with well-placed hooks to hide a purse) to pseudo-practical (suitcase-like containers to keep bananas from getting bruised) to borderline […]

Geek Alert

Last week I substitute professed a mathematical statistics course for a friend who was out of town. I was sort of dreading it: interpretation of confidence intervals, Fisher information, AND hypothesis tests, all in one class, less than 24 hours before the start of Thanksgiving break. I didn’t have high hopes for the enthusiasm level […]

More on Teaching

It’s College Week at Slate: Click here for the thoughts of several prominent academics on improving undergraduate education, sometimes with the aid of a magic wand. I of course first read “Learn Statistics. Go Abroad” by K. Anthony Appiah. I completely agree with Dr. Appiah’s view that many college graduates can’t evaluate statistical arguments, leaving […]

Como se dice “I hate statistics”?

As every statistician knows, many people hate our field. How many times have we all heard “You do statistics? I HATED that class in college!” (I remember one of my college professors complaining indignantly that no one would presume to tell an artist that he hated art.) There are all sorts of factors that probably […]

Hardly Statistical At All

I’m sorry. You come to this blog seeking deep thoughts and insight, and I give you links and rants. Or gratuitous plugs for things that appeal to me, which is what today’s post contains. There’s a new-ish magazine/literary journal called n+1. It’s full of deep thoughts and insight on various topics, from travel to domestic […]

Stat/Biostat Departments

I wish there were more connections between statistics departments and biostatistics departments. I’ve been working with survival data recently, and it’s made me realize another gaping hole in my statistical knowledge base. It’s also made me realize that I wish I knew more biostatisticians. And I’m one of the lucky ones, really, because Columbia has […]