September 02, 2014

5:00 AM | Thesis: Inference and Estimation in High-dimensional Data Analysis, Adel Javanmard
I just started the thesis tag for blog entries that feature thesis manuscripts. Here is a new one which might be quite appropriate in light of the potential connection between current Deep Leanring issues and Approximate Messga Passing algorithms as mentioned in Parallel Paths for Deep Learning and Signal Processing ?. Without futher ado, Inference and Estimation in High-dimensional Data Analysis by Adel JavanmardModern technologies generate vast amounts of fine-grained data at an […]
5:00 AM | Kernel Methods Match Deep Neural Networks on TIMIT
Spotted the following paper in the blog entry More Deep Learning Musings by Paul Mineiro, one can write in the blog the following:...For me the best evidence comes from that old chestnut MNIST. For many years the Gaussian kernel yielded better results than deep learning on MNIST among solutions that did not exploit spatial structure. Since the discovery of dropout this is no longer true and one can see a gap between the Gaussian kernel (at circa 1.2% test error) and, e.g., maxout networks (at […]
3:15 AM | Falsifiability and Gandy’s variant of the Church-Turing thesis
In 1936, two years after Karl Popper published the first German version of The Logic of Scientific Discovery and introduced falsifiability; Alonzo Church, Alan Turing, and Emil Post each published independent papers on the Entscheidungsproblem and introducing the lambda calculus, Turing machines, and Post-Turing machines as mathematical models of computation. The years after saw many […]

Gandy, R. (1980). Church's thesis and principles for mechanisms., Studies in Logic and the Foundations of Mathematics, (101) 123-148. DOI:


September 01, 2014

8:58 PM | Hello September!
After a pretty hectic August its nice to be back in Glasgow and preparing for the start of the academic term. After trips to Manchester and Cambridge I spent the final few weeks of August in Brazil, primarily to attend the Workshop on  Quantum Gases, Fluids and Solids organised by the group of Vanderlei S. Bagnato (Instituto […]
8:33 PM | Robert Reich is writing as if nobody in the US actually gets a vocational-technical education. Is he...
Robert Reich is writing as if nobody in the US actually gets a vocational-technical education. Is he that wonky? What about all the young people who, um, get vocational training? What about JobCorps? Job Corps is a no-cost education and vocational training program administered … that helps … people ages 16 through 24 improve the quality of their lives through vocational … training. Funded by Congress, Job Corps has been training young adults for meaningful careers since […]
8:29 PM | Book: An Introduction to Compressive Sensing
Here is a book from OpenStax: An Introduction to Compressive Sensing by Chinmay Hegde, Richard Baraniuk, Mark A. Davenport, Marco F. Duarte The table of content:IntroductionSparse and Compressible Signal ModelsSensing MatricesSparse Signal Recovery via ℓ_1 MinimizationAlgorithms for Sparse RecoveryApplications of Compressive SensingAppendicesI just added this very interesting book on the Learning Compressive Sensing page.  Join the […]
3:27 PM | Maxwell’s equations in matter
References: Griffiths, David J. (2007), Introduction to Electrodynamics, 3rd Edition; Pearson Education – Problem 7.37. Inside matter, we’ve seen that the polarization and magnetization give rise to bound charges and bound currents. The earlier results applied in the electrostatic and magnetostatic cases, respectively, so we’d like to generalize these to get the corresponding equations in […]
3:24 PM | Bad Statistics: Ignore or Call Out?
Evelyn Lamb adds to the conversation that Jeff Leek and I had a few months ago. It’s a topic that’s worth returning to, in light of our continuing discussions regarding the crisis of criticism in science. The post Bad Statistics: Ignore or Call Out? appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
3:05 PM | Woodworking and Determining the Radius of a Circle
I was just at the Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion (Figure 1), which is celebration of old-school steam technology. As always, it was a great show. The name of the reunion is a bit of a misnomer in that the … Continue reading →
Editor's Pick
3:00 PM | On deck this week
Mon: Bad Statistics: Ignore or Call Out? Tues: Questions about “Too Good to Be True” Wed: I disagree with Alan Turing and Daniel Kahneman regarding the strength of statistical evidence Thurs: Why isn’t replication required before publication in top journals? Fri: Confirmationist and falsificationist paradigms of science Sat: How does inference for next year’s data […] The post On deck this week appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
2:29 PM | Robust width: A characterization of uniformly stable and robust compressed sensing
Jameson Cahill and I recently posted a new paper on the arXiv that we’re pretty excited about. Suppose you want to do compressed sensing with L1 minimization. That is, you get for some nearly -sparse vector and some noise satisfying , and then you attempt to reconstruct by taking One of the main results of […]
1:00 PM | Netflix and the ethics of modern journalism
I had meant to drop this topic after the recent Emmys post, but one more issue got stuck between my teeth and I think it would be easier to write it away then to try to ignore it.I recently heard an interview on public radio that bothered me quite a bit but before I get into the specifics I should probably lay some groundwork about the Netflix business model.When Netflix first started as a DVD-by-mail service, perhaps its greatest selling point was selection. It couldn't offer every movie and […]
9:00 AM | Beyond the Limit, III
In my last two columns, Beyond the Limit, Iand Beyond the Limit, II, I looked at common student difficulties with the concept of limit and explained Michael Oehrtman’s investigations into the metaphors that students use when they try to apply the concept of limit to problems of first-year calculus. The point of this exploration is to identify the most productive and useful ways of thinking about limits so that we can channel calculus instruction toward these understandings. In this month’s […]
5:59 AM | Linkage
More Google+ links from the last couple of weeks:An interview with Haida artist Jim Hart (G+):Persi Diaconis discusses mathematics and magic (G+)A still-unsolved question about whether it's possible to compute edit distance in sublinear space and polynomial time (G+)A New York Times story about how scheduling software makes part-time workers' lives harder. Or does it? The MF discussion of the article makes it clear that managers have been doing the same things with lower tech for a long time. […]
5:00 AM | The Long Post of the Summer
Here are quite a few papers that appeared on ArXiv and other journals this Summer:Linear time Principal Component Pursuit and its extensions using ℓ1 filtering by Risheng Liu, Zhouchen Lin, Zhixun Su, Junbin Gao In the past decades, exactly recovering the intrinsic data structure from corrupted observations, which is known as Robust Principal Component Analysis (RPCA), has attracted tremendous interests and found many applications in computer vision and pattern recognition. Recently, […]
4:31 AM | "An astounding 26 percent of black males in the United States report seeing someone shot before..."
“An astounding 26 percent of black males in the United States report seeing someone shot before turning 12. Conditional on reported exposure to violence, black and white young males are equally likely to engage in violent behavior.” - Aliprantis, Dionissi, 2014. “Human Capital in the Inner City,” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, working paper no. 13-02R.

August 31, 2014

10:51 PM | A Rook Game
Problem: Two players take turns moving a rook on an 8×8 chessboard. The rook is only allowed to move south or west (but not both in a single turn), and may move any number of squares in the chosen direction on a turn. The loser is the player who first cannot move the rook. What is the optimal play […]
5:43 PM | Searching (again!?) for the SS Central America
On Tuesday, September 8th 1857, the steamboat SS Central America left Havana at 9 AM for New York, carrying about 600 passengers and crew members. Inside of this vessel, there was stowed a very precious cargo: a set of manuscripts by John James Audubon, and three tons of gold bars and coins. The manuscripts documented […]
5:00 AM | Nuit Blanche in Review ( August 2014 )
Since the last Nuit Blanche in Review (July 2014), Rosetta arrived at 67P but many other awesome things happened:We featured an instance of Data Driven or Zero Knowledge Sensor Design: a Depth Camera for Close-Range Human Capture and InteractionThis panel video entitled Is Deep Learning the Final Frontier and the End of Signal Processing ? produced a strong reaction from one of the leaders in Deep Learning. His response: Yoshua Bengio's view on Deep […]
4:30 AM | "Standard histories saw the nineteenth-century medical treatment of madness … as an enlightened..."
“Standard histories saw the nineteenth-century medical treatment of madness … as an enlightened liberation of the mad from the ignorance and brutality of preceding ages. But, according to Foucault, the new idea that the mad were merely sick (“mentally” ill) and in need of medical treatment was not at all a clear improvement on earlier conceptions (e.g., the Renaissance idea that the mad were in contact with the mysterious forces of cosmic tragedy or the 17th–18th-century view of […]
1:19 AM | Barry Ritholtz on Market Timing, Wolf Richter on rigging the IPO market
I don't have the time to do anything more than pass these along (and Joseph has even less), but these are worth your time.First, Barry Ritholtz  looks at the upper and lower bounds for returns on market timing strategies and comes up with some interesting conclusions.Second, Wolf Richter shows how a carefully placed (and even more carefully leaked) investment of $20 million has caused the valuation of a company with no revenue and virtually no business plan to go from an […]

August 30, 2014

11:57 PM | The Business of Moving People
Not infrequently, I am asked about my academic specialty. When I reply "operations research", as I usually do, I'm often met with a polite but blank stare. This happened to me a couple of times at a recent party. If the questioner inquires further, I'll try to give an example or two of what OR folks work on in the real world, while omitting any references to "integer programming models" or "Markovian decision processes".Two recent articles in the popular press do a nice job of illustrating […]
10:26 PM | "We eat energy and poop entropy."
“We eat energy and poop entropy.” - Stephen C Stearns
9:33 PM | notes-on-business-models: People who watch TED talks are complicit in their own humiliation.
notes-on-business-models: People who watch TED talks are complicit in their own humiliation.
3:00 PM | On deck this month
Bad Statistics: Ignore or Call Out? Questions about “Too Good to Be True” I disagree with Alan Turing and Daniel Kahneman regarding the strength of statistical evidence Why isn’t replication required before publication in top journals? Confirmationist and falsificationist paradigms of science How does inference for next year’s data differ from inference for unobserved data […] The post On deck this month appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
2:11 PM | Aunt Pythia’s advice: the nerdy edition
Aunt Pythia is ginormously and ridonkulously excited to be here. She just got back from a nifty bike ride to the other side of the Hudson and took this picture of this amazing city on this amazing day: OK, so full disclosure. Aunt Pythia kind of blew her load, so to speak, on the sex questions […]
12:08 PM | Coin CBC command line
For a small project I was trying out the binary distribution of COIN-OR’s CBC. The good news, it can solve the problem quickly (provided I allow a  reasonable gap). I encountered a few issues: The Windows executables are not built with parallel threading support. The CSV writer is too simplistic. Names (with commas in them) are not properly quoted. Threads option ignored C:\projects\test>cbc model1a.lp ratio 0.05 threads 8 solve printing csv solution […]
11:57 AM | Saturday Morning Video: Life at the Speed of Light - Craig Venter ( and some remarks )
We mentioned Craig Venter before ( How Can Compressive Sensing and Advanced Matrix Factorizations enable Synthetic Biology ? ), he is a very inspiring speaker. This one is no exception. I believe there are a lot many issues that need to be addressed in this exploration and I have decided to create the Paris BioSciences Meetup group as a result. We'll about the scientific and technical aspect of some of the issues mentioned in this video and more, come join us if you are in the Paris area. […]
4:30 AM | woutervandevoorde: The Thoroughfare
woutervandevoorde: The Thoroughfare
3:45 AM | A Theorist’s Apology
Almost four months have snuck by in silence, a drastic change from the weekly updates earlier in the year. However, dear reader, I have not abandoned TheEGG; I have just fallen off the metaphorical horse and it has taken some time to get back on my feet. While I was in the mud, I thought […]
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