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Archive of posts filed under the Teaching category.

Statistically savvy journalism

Roy Mendelssohn points me to this excellent bit of statistics reporting by Matt Novak. I have no comment, I just think it’s good to see this sort of high-quality Felix Salmon-style statistically savvy journalism.

Why we hate stepwise regression

Haynes Goddard writes: I have been slowly working my way through the grad program in stats here, and the latest course was a biostats course on categorical and survival analysis. I noticed in the semi-parametric and parametric material (Wang and Lee is the text) that they use stepwise regression a lot. I learned in econometrics […]

An interesting mosaic of a data programming course

Rajit Dasgupta writes: I have been working on a website, SlideRule that in its present state, is a catalog of online courses aggregated from over 35 providers. One of the products we are building on top of this is something called Learning Paths, which are essentially a sequence of Online Courses designed to help learners […]

Stan (& JAGS) Tutorial on Linear Mixed Models

Shravan Vasishth sent me an earlier draft of this tutorial he co-authored with Tanner Sorensen. I liked it, asked if I could blog about it, and in response, they’ve put together a convenient web page with links to the tutorial PDF, JAGS and Stan programs, and data: Fitting linear mixed models using JAGS and Stan: […]

Understanding Simpson’s paradox using a graph

Joshua Vogelstein pointed me to this post by Michael Nielsen on how to teach Simpson’s paradox. I don’t know if Nielsen (and others) are aware that people have developed some snappy graphical methods for displaying Simpson’s paradox (and, more generally, aggregation issues). We do some this in our Red State Blue State book, but before […]

Just gave a talk

I just gave a talk in Milan. Actually I was sitting at my desk, it was a g+ hangout which was a bit more convenient for me. The audience was a bunch of astronomers so I figured they could handle a satellite link. . . . Anyway, the talk didn’t go so well. Two reasons: […]

A statistical graphics course and statistical graphics advice

Dean Eckles writes: Some of my coworkers at Facebook and I have worked with Udacity to create an online course on exploratory data analysis, including using data visualizations in R as part of EDA. The course has now launched at so anyone can take it for free. And Kaiser Fung has reviewed it. So definitely feel free […]

Teaching Bayesian applied statistics to graduate students in political science, sociology, public health, education, economics, . . .

One of the most satisfying experiences for an academic is when someone asks a question that you’ve already answered. This happened in the comments today. Daniel Gotthardt wrote: So for applied stat courses like for sociologists, political scientists, psychologists and maybe also for economics, what do we actually want to accomplish with our intro courses? […]

The candy weighing demonstration, or, the unwisdom of crowds

From 2008: The candy weighing demonstration, or, the unwisdom of crowds My favorite statistics demonstration is the one with the bag of candies. I’ve elaborated upon it since including it in the Teaching Statistics book and I thought these tips might be useful to some of you. Preparation Buy 100 candies of different sizes and […]

Selection bias in the reporting of shaky research

I’ll reorder this week’s posts a bit in order to continue on a topic that came up yesterday. A couple days ago a reporter wrote to me asking what I thought of this paper on Money, Status, and the Ovulatory Cycle. I responded: Given the quality of the earlier paper by these researchers, I’m not […]