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Posts

August 01, 2014

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4:30 AM | dill: Crail from somewhere outside Cellardyke, Fife, Scotland
dill: Crail from somewhere outside Cellardyke, Fife, Scotland
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4:02 AM | A victory in the Nymwars and some Google+ links
The nymwars are the struggle to maintain online safe havens for pseudonymous free speech, for people who don't feel safe linking their opinions with their real names (for fear of religious persecution / sexual predation / current or future job prospects / whatever else) in the face of attempts by Facebook, Google, and others to force everyone to cross-link all their personal information. Soon after its launch in 2011, Google+ took a strong stand that only people willing to post under their real […]

July 31, 2014

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10:11 PM | Stanny Stanny Stannitude
On the stan-users list, Richard McElreath reports: With 2.4 out, I ran a quick test of how much speedup I could get by changing my old non-vectorized multi_normal sampling to the new vectorized form. I get a 40% time savings, without even trying hard. This is much better than I expected. Timings with vectorized multi_normal: […] The post Stanny Stanny Stannitude appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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10:10 PM | Frequentist vs. Baysian Statistics
Two approaches to problems in the world of statistics and machine learning are that of frequentist and Bayesian statistics. This comic from XKCD brings up a subtle difference between the two viewpoints.We have a neutrino detector that measures whether the sun has gone nova. The detector is not perfect; 1/36 times, the detector incorrectly indicates whether or not the sun has gone nova. [The probability of rolling two fair die as both 6 is 1/6 * 1/6 = 1/36.]Next, we push the button on the […]
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9:22 PM | Goldilocks software
Aaron Evans condensed a good deal of software engineering experience down to less than 140 characters: It’s amazing how much cleaner your code looks the third time writing it. First time, hack; Second over-engineer; Third = goldilocks.
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9:20 PM | Origins of category theory terms
From Saunders MacLane: Now the discovery of ideas as general as these is chiefly the willingness to make a brash or speculative abstraction, in this case supported by the pleasure of purloining words from the philosophers: “Category” from Aristotle and Kant, “Functor’ from Carnap …, and “natural transformation” from the current informal parlance.
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4:01 PM | Nuit Blanche in Review (July 2014)
We have had quite a few new items, including my first paper published in the realm of compressive sensing since the last Nuit Blanche in Review (June 2014). We also had 11 implementations made available by their respective authors:GreBsmo: Greedy Bilateral Sketch, Completion & Smoothing - implementation -Adaptive-Rate Compressive Sensing Using Side Information - implementation -Tight convex relaxations for sparse matrix factorization - implementation -Mondrian Forests: Efficient […]
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2:57 PM | Open Econometrics Text Updated for Fall Use
I have just posted an update of my introductory undergraduate Econometrics (book, slides, R code, EViews code, data, etc.). Warning: although it is significantly improved, it nevertheless remains highly (alas, woefully) preliminary and incomplete.I intend to keep everything permanently "open," freely available on the web, continuously evolving and improving.If you use the materials in your teaching this fall (and even if you don't), I would be grateful for feedback.
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1:55 PM | Advice for anxious sleepers
When I was young I used to suffer from depression from time to time, sometimes pretty badly. But ever since I had kids, I suffer much more from anxiety. It’s never been paralyzing but it means I have trouble falling asleep about once or twice a week because I can’t stop fretting. I’m jealous of […]
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1:34 PM | The health policy innovation center: how best to move from pilot studies to large-scale practice?
A colleague pointed me to this news article regarding evaluation of new health plans: The Affordable Care Act would fund a new research outfit evocatively named the Innovation Center to discover how to most effectively deliver health care, with $10 billion to spend over a decade. But now that the center has gotten started, many […] The post The health policy innovation center: how best to move from pilot studies to large-scale practice? appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal […]
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1:00 PM | Common Core is for the common folk*
If you spend much time following the education reform debate, particularly on the counter-reformation side, you soon notice that a lot of fairly major stories get a lot of play on the state and local level but are largely ignored on the national level, at least by publications like the New York Times.One of the recurring themes in these stories is the idea of education reform for all but the elite, which, given the make-up of the movement, often comes down to reformers exempting themselves from […]
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12:30 PM | Self-defeating comment spam of the day
This is probably not the best product to pitch if you have to rely on translation software. From the just possibly pseudonymous Lerry G Leone Leone:This usefulness of our copy writers makes it possible for us to make available along with produce many products and services along with different types connected with forms. ________  features Tell us from in this article We have now chosen accomplished copy writers from just about all fields of study, and they are efficient at finishing […]
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6:30 AM | GreBsmo: Greedy Bilateral Sketch, Completion & Smoothing - implementation -
In CAI: Cable And Igor's Adventures in Matrix Factorization, Cable and I used the GoDec algorithm of Tianyi Zhou to play with several Youtube videos. There are all here. Kyle Kastner did a similar undertaking using Python and IPython. it is all here.Today, we have an even faster version of GoDecin GreBsmo as featured in Greedy Bilateral Sketch, Completion & Smoothing by Tianyi Zhou, Dacheng TaoRecovering a large low-rank matrix from highly corrupted, incomplete or sparse […]
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5:00 AM | GdR ISIS: Acquisition/Echantillonnage comprimé : quelles réalisations/applications pratiques ?
One of my co-author, Laurent Daudet, asked me to features this French centered CfP (speakers do not need to be presenting in French). Here it is:Réunion du GdR ISISTitre : Acquisition/Echantillonnage comprimé : quelles réalisations/applications pratiques ?Dates : 2014-09-12Lieu : Télécom ParisTech, PARISNous vous rappelons que, afin de garantir l'accès de tous les inscrits aux salles de réunion, l'inscription aux réunions est gratuite mais […]
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1:16 AM | Bras and Breast Cancer, and Anthropologists, and Bayes Theorem, Oh my!
Boobies. There I had to say it. This is a post about boobies, and math, and consulting with experts before making too many claims. In this click bait article that I found somehow searching on Google News for unrelated topics, I see that some "Medical Anthropologists" are claiming that Bras seem to cause breast cancer […]

July 30, 2014

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9:41 PM | Sunblock, Skin Cancer, Evidence Based Medicine, and the Surgeon General
A friend of mine posted a link to news articles about a recent Surgeon General warning about sunscreen http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/29/health/surgeon-general-skin-cancer/ Quoting from that article: Skin cancer is on the rise, according to the American Cancer Society, with more cases diagnosed annually than breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer cases combined. On Tuesday, the United States surgeon general […]
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5:19 PM | The Community Seismic Network: Citizen Science and the Cloud
The July, 2014 issue of the Communications of the ACM (CACM) has a paper by a Caltech group on the Community Seismic Network (CSN). This note is about CSN as an example of system in a growing, important nexus: citizen science, inexpensive sensors, and cloud computing. CSN uses inexpensive MEMS accelerometers or accelerometers in phones […]
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5:04 PM | Measuring Fat Loss without the scale
@tdhopper posted his self-measurements of weight loss a few months back. I recently decided also that I wanted to lose fat-weight—the infamous “I could stand to be a few kilos lighter”—and I think I came up with a more productive way of thinking about my progress: I’m not going to look at the scale at all. I’m just going to count calorie estimates from the treadmill estimator or use online calculators for how much is burned by running / swimming — and […]
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4:17 PM | Workshop on Quantum Gases, Fluids and Solids – Sao Paulo, Program Released
The program for the upcoming workshop on quantum gases, fluids and solids (14-17 Aug, IFSC/USP, São Carlos) has just been announced and is available below: http://meetings.cepof.ifsc.usp.br/qgfs I will be talking on the Saturday (11:30-12:00) in a session with Makoto Tsubota (Osaka) and Joy Allen (Newcastle), strong session if I do say so myself! I will be talking about numerical simulations […]
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2:11 PM | Bird flocks and superfluid helium !?
This looks an interesting article, certainly one to put in the to read pile: http://news.sciencemag.org/math/2014/07/how-bird-flocks-are-liquid-helium
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1:47 PM | Statistics and data science, again
Phillip Middleton writes in with two questions: (1) Is html markdown or some other formatting script usable in comments? If so, what are the tags I may use? (2) What are your views on the role of statistics in the evolution of the various folds of convergent science? For example, upon us there is this […] The post Statistics and data science, again appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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1:00 PM | "Obviously, he's kept a very low profile"
From Bill Schackner and Mary Niederberger writing for the Pittsburgh Post-GazetteWhen Ron Tomalis stepped aside as state education secretary 14 months ago, he landed what seemed like a full-time assignment in a state struggling to boost college access and curb ever-rising tuition prices.As special adviser to Gov. Tom Corbett for higher education, Mr. Tomalis was tasked with "overseeing, implementing and reviewing" the recommendations made by the Governor's Advisory Commission on Postsecondary […]
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1:00 PM | Management salary apologists need to work up some new material -- college edition
Raymond D. Cotton (a partner in the Mintz Levin law firm [who] represents higher education and other nonprofit boards of trustee and executives) assures us that college presidents deserve every penny of their generous salaries. I particularly enjoyed the third paragraph.By and large, college presidents are not overpaid in relationship to their responsibilities and the compensation market place.College presidents today act as chief executive officers of the institutions that they lead and serve. […]
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12:09 PM | Another day, another misuse of averages
The other day, we are told that if we walk anywhere in New York, we will bump into a few millionaires (link). This week, we are told that wherever we go in the US, "Roughly, every third person you pass on the street is going to have debt in collections" (link). The woman who said this has a PhD in Economics from Cornell. Oh please. The claim comes from yet another misinterpretation of a statistical average. That statistic appears to be "35.1 percent of people with credit records […]
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11:02 AM | The Head First book series
I’ve been reading Head First Java this past week and I’m super impressed and want to tell you guys about it if you don’t already know. I wanted to learn what the big fuss was about object-oriented programming, plus it seems like all the classes my Lede students are planning to take either require python […]
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5:00 AM | Adaptive-Rate Compressive Sensing Using Side Information - implementation -
Adaptive-Rate Compressive Sensing Using Side Information by Garrett Warnell, Sourabh Bhattacharya, Rama Chellappa, Tamer BasarWe provide two novel adaptive-rate compressive sensing (CS) strategies for sparse, time-varying signals using side information. Our first method utilizes extra cross-validation measurements, and the second one exploits extra low-resolution measurements. Unlike the majority of current CS techniques, we do not assume that we know an upper bound on the number of […]

July 29, 2014

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9:44 PM | New Linux Laptop
Earlier this month I decided to get a netbook, and of course I wanted to run Linux (preferably Linux Mint) on it. After shopping around, I settled on an Acer Aspire V5-131. I won't say it was my dream machine -- it has a conventional hard drive, whereas I would have preferred a solid-state drive -- but it satisfied my other key criteria:size and weight are appropriate for a netbook;it comes with Linpus Linux, ensuring that I could load a different Linux distribution without having to learn the […]
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9:35 PM | A Summary of Spiraling through the Curriculum with Activities
At TMC14, Alex Overwijk and I shared our experience spiraling through the curriculum using activity-based teaching. I'm going to attempt to summarize what that entails. The PowerPoint is on the wiki.Let me start by giving credit where it is due. Alex and Bruce McLaurin (@BDMcLaurin) started spiraling at their school 5 years ago. They are the experts on it now and are sharing the experience with teachers far and wide. I got involved this past school year when I spiraled my grade 10 applied math […]
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8:23 PM | This is simply remarkable
This is Joseph, the rare co-blogger.  I wanted to pass this on (h/t: Mike).  I don't think anybody will be surprised to see this type of customer service occurring:Today one of our employees on the business side of TPM got a bill from Verizon for $3,019.95. Now, TPM's phone bill is bigger than your home phone bill because we two offices and about two dozen employees. But it's not three thousand dollars a month. But there's a bigger problem. We're not a Verizon customer.Right, we use […]
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7:21 PM | Caveats
Brad DeLong has been on a bit of a run recently. I particularly liked this:I think that modern neoclassical economics is in fine shape as long as it is understood as the ideological and substantive legitimating doctrine of the political theory of possessive individualism. As long as we have relatively-self-interested liberal individuals who have relatively-strong beliefs that things are theirs, the competitive market in equilibrium is an absolutely wonderful mechanism for achieving truly […]
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