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Posts

May 23, 2015

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5:00 AM | Saturday Morning Videos: Slides and Videos from ICLR 2015
From the conference schedule 0900 0940 keynote Antoine Bordes (Facebook), Artificial Tasks for Artificial Intelligence (slides) Video1 Video2 0940 1000 oral Word Representations via Gaussian Embedding by Luke Vilnis and Andrew McCallum (Brown University) (slides) Video 1000 1020 oral Deep Captioning with Multimodal Recurrent Neural Networks (m-RNN) by Junhua Mao, Wei Xu, Yi Yang, Jiang Wang, Zhiheng Huang, Alan Yuille (Baidu and UCLA) (slides) Video 1020 1050 coffee break […]
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5:00 AM | Seen recently at the food blog
From A Statistician Walks into a Grocery Store...
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3:14 AM | Data-driven journalism at Canon Media Awards
I had the chance to attend the Canon Media Awards Night, as a guest of the Science Media Centre (who are one of the sponsors). It was a good year for data journalism.  Harkanwal Singh and his team won “Best use of interactive graphics” and “Best multimedia storytelling” for projects based on effective communication of publicly-available data. Perhaps more importantly […]
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2:34 AM | Network Theory in Turin
Here are the slides of the talk I’m giving on Monday to kick off the Categorical Foundations of Network Theory workshop in Turin: • Network theory. This is a long talk, starting with the reasons I care about this subject, and working into details of one particular project: networks in electrical engineering and control theory. […]

May 22, 2015

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6:33 PM | John Lott as possible template for future career of “Bruno” Lacour
The recent story about the retracted paper on political persuasion reminded me of the last time that a politically loaded survey was discredited because the researcher couldn’t come up with the data. I’m referring to John Lott, the “economist, political commentator, and gun rights advocate” (in the words of Wikipedia) who is perhaps more well […] The post John Lott as possible template for future career of “Bruno” Lacour appeared first on Statistical […]
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4:56 PM | domino optimization art
I discovered a picture of me in my student lab – one of the students optimized me for a class project using dominos(!)  My second blog post ever was about Bob Bosch’s optimization art – see some of his domino art here. It’s worth revisiting opt art. Bob Bosch wrote about his domino optimization models […]
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4:30 PM | OAME 2015: Rethinking Math Class
Last Thursday, at the OAME 2015 math conference, I presented a double-session entitled Rethinking Math Class. I am going to try to recap it here, as best I can, with links to everything! So expect this to be a long post...First, we played Quadratic Headbanz, which I have blogged about here. Given that 64 people had signed up for my session I had to make a second set of headbanz. As my original set featured equations I decided to make the second set with graphs which you can get here. As it […]
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3:30 PM | PCANet: A Simple Deep Learning Baseline for Image Classification? - implementation -
Iteration of matrix factorizations as a way to build deep architectures. Interesting !PCANet: A Simple Deep Learning Baseline for Image Classification? by Tsung-Han Chan, Kui Jia, Shenghua Gao, Jiwen Lu, Zinan Zeng, Yi MaIn this work, we propose a very simple deep learning network for image classification which comprises only the very basic data processing components: cascaded principal component analysis (PCA), binary hashing, and block-wise histograms. In the proposed architecture, PCA is […]
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3:06 PM | Should I tell students that the maximum score in the class is 137?
This op-ed by Richard Thaler caught my attention because I have a similar experience. In my statistics classes, I have noticed a pattern: if the mid-term exam is hard, with a lower average score (say 75-80%), the students look crestfallen and feel that they did not learn; eventually, when it comes to evaluating the instructor, I receive lower grades, with comments indicating that I have not taught them properly to do well in exams. When the mid-term exam is easier, I get more positive feedback. […]
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2:43 PM | MFM2P - Day 70: More Trig
I had to take two of my kids to a doctor's appointment this morning so a colleague was kind enough to cover my class. They started with this warm up:And this is where they went with it:Then they worked on the trig matching some more. They also talked about the steps involved in solving a trig word problem and did one example together.We will on to quadratics on Monday.
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1:18 PM | Creativity is the ability to see relationships where none exist
Brent Goldfarb and Andrew King, in a paper to appear in the journal Strategic Management, write: In a recent issue of this journal, Bettis (2012) reports a conversation with a graduate student who forthrightly announced that he had been trained by faculty to “search for asterisks”. The student explained that he sifted through large databases […] The post Creativity is the ability to see relationships where none exist appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social […]
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1:00 PM | I haven't made up my mind whether Mike is onto something with the "gentry class" designation
But it's definitely an idea worth discussing.To return to [David] Leonhardt, this is the key point:There is a good debate about what to call families who don’t have enormous wealth but who also make much more than most Americans. There is also a good debate about whether any changes to tax policy — the background to Josh’s article — should involve sacrifices from that group.In the course of the debate, though, let’s at least remain cleareyed about the fact that six figures of income […]
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12:58 PM | Exploring the dispersal patterns of insects at the SAMSI Ecology Transition workshop
The following was written by Erin M. Schliep, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Statistical Science at Duke University During the first week of May, the Ecology Transition Workshop was held at SAMSI, once again bringing together statisticians, mathematicians, and ecologists … Continue reading →
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12:54 PM | Models for photosynthesis, part 2
In my previous post on this subject I discussed the question of the status of the variables in the Poolman model of photosynthesis and in the end I was convinced that I had understood which concentrations are to be considered as dynamical unknowns and which as constants. The Poolman model is a modified version of […]
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11:38 AM | Kansas redistributes money from the poor to the banks
Take a look at this article (hat tip Felix Salmon), which has me absolutely raging this morning, about new legislation in Kansas that prevents poor people on welfare from taking out more than $25 per day using their state-issued debit cards. To be clear, you have to round up to the nearest $20 if you want […]
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11:33 AM | Nonsymmetric semidefinite optimization problems.
In  semidefinite optimization we optimize over a matrix variable that must be symmetric and positive semidefinite.Assume we want to relax the assumption about symmetry. Is that an important generalization? The answer is no for the following reason. Since    (X+X')/2 is PSDimplies   X is PSD. Observe   X = (X+X')/2+(X-X')/2and  y'( (X-X')/2) y >= 0.implying X is PSD.Note  (X-X')'=-(X-X') implying X-X' is skew symmetric.Hence, any […]
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8:01 AM | MATLAB: Vectorisation is a double-edged sword
Imagine that you are a very new MATLAB programmer and you have to create an N x N matrix called A where A(i,j) = i+j Your first attempt at a solution might look like this N=2000 % Generate a N-by-N matrix where A(i,j) = i + j; for ii = 1:N for jj = 1:N [...]
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5:00 AM | Four million page views: a million here, a million there and soon enough we're talking real readership...
  Some Long Distance Blogging with about a million page views per year. Here are the historical figures: May 21, 2015, 4 million page viewsDecember 2, 2014, 3.5 million page viewsJune 7, 2014 3 million page viewsNovember 07, 2013, 2.5 million page viewsMay 27, 2013 2 million page views October 25, 2012, 1.5 million page viewsa page view is not the same as a unique visit, here is that figure:  which amoints to 650 unique visits per day on average.Here as some interesting tags […]

May 21, 2015

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9:53 PM | Budget viz
Aaron Schiff has collected visualisations of the overall NZ 2015 budget A useful one that no-one’s done yet would be something showing how the $25 benefit increase works out with other benefits being considered as income — either in terms of the distribution of net benefit increases or in terms of effective marginal tax rate.
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8:33 PM | Weggy update: it just gets sadder and sadder
Uh oh, lots on research misconduct lately. Newest news is that noted Wikipedia-lifter Ed Wegman sued John Mashey, one of his critics, for $2 million dollars. Then he backed down and decided not to sue after all. Best quote from Mashey’s write-up: None of this made any sense to me, but then I am no […] The post Weggy update: it just gets sadder and sadder appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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5:47 PM | Hello world!
Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!
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5:26 PM | Information and Entropy in Biological Systems (Part 4)
I kicked off the workshop on Information and Entropy in Biological Systems with a broad overview of the many ways information theory and entropy get used in biology: • John Baez, Information and entropy in biological systems. Abstract. Information and entropy are being used in biology in many different ways: for example, to study biological […]
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4:21 PM | Fake Data in Political Science
This is Joseph.One of the most challenging things in population research is the need to trust in the data and analysis done by other groups.  Unlike chemistry, we cannot simply replicate experiments without huge amounts of expense.  Furthermore, the population is getting less and less responsive to surveys.  In a very real sense, endlessly replicating strong and clean results is going to partially displace other research questions.  After all, people have a limited tolerance […]
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4:00 PM | MFM2P - Day 69: Quadratic Visual Pattern & Trig
As we missed doing the visual pattern warm-up yesterday, we did it today. This is what they started with:Most showed me the pattern growing along the diagonal but were able to see it growing in other ways. They figured out that you needed to add 3 blocks, then 4 blocks, then 5 blocks... I asked if this was a linear pattern and some said yes while others said no. I asked what a graph of the number of the blocks vs. step number would look like. After they thought about that for a while I […]
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3:30 PM | The Great Convergence: FlowNet: Learning Optical Flow with Convolutional Networks
The great convergence is upon us, here is clue #734: Andrew Davison mentioning recent work in optical flow using CNNs. Whoa, this is a wake up call... CNN based learned optical flow (trained on synthetic flying chairs!) running at 10fps on a laptop which claims state of the art accuracy among real-time optical flow methods. So time for those of us working on non learning-based vision to pack up and go home?This is pretty powerful statement from one of the specialist of SLAM. Here is the […]
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3:00 PM | CSjob: Post-Doc on Structured Low-Rank Approximations, Grenoble, France
Julien Mairal just sent me the following annoucement:Hi Igor,here is a call for a post-doc for an ANR project.http://lear.inrialpes.fr/people/mairal/resources/pdf/postdoc_macaron.pdfWhen you have time, could you advertise it on your blog ? This is about local low-rank approximations for applications in bioinformatics and image processing. Thus, this would be a good match for nuit blanche !Best regards. from the announcement:Research Topic and Objectives:The goal of the MACARON project is […]
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1:43 PM | Can talk therapy halve the rate of cancer recurrence? How to think about the statistical significance of this finding? Is it just another example of the garden of forking paths?
James Coyne (who we last encountered in the sad story of Ellen Langer) writes: I’m writing to you now about another matter about which I hope you will offer an opinion. Here is a critique of a study, as well as the original study that claimed to find an effect of group psychotherapy on time […] The post Can talk therapy halve the rate of cancer recurrence? How to think about the statistical significance of this finding? Is it just another example of the garden of forking paths? […]
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1:00 PM | Blast from the past -- The curse of large numbers and the real problem with p-values
Following up on Joseph's recent piece.[Originally posted MARCH 22, 2010](Some final thoughts on statistical significance)The real problem with p-values isn't just that people want it to do something that it can't do; they want it to do something that no single number can ever do, fully describe the quality and reliability of an experiment or study. This simply isn't one of those mathematical beasts that can be reduced to a scalar. If you try then sooner or later you will inevitably run […]
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12:57 PM | Pejsa Formula for Midpoint as a Function of Zero Range
This post will cover Pejsa's formula for the trajectory midpoint as a function of the rifle's zero range. Shooters often have a preferred zero range, like 100 yards or 200 yards. This formula allows the shooter to determine his midpoint range directly from the zero range. The midpoint range can then be used to determine the maximum bullet height above the line of sight, which can be used to determine the maximum bullet placement error. Continue reading →
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12:31 PM | Numerical Methods That (Usually) Work
A book that inspired me early in my career is Numerical Methods That Work by Forman S. Acton, published in 1970 by Harper and Row. Acton, a professor in the electrical engineering department at Princeton University, had a deep understanding … Continue reading →
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