August 19, 2014

8:12 AM | Is the human referee becoming expandable in mathematics?
(Cross-posted at NewAPPS)Mathematics has been much in the news recently, especially with the announcement of the latest four Fields medalists (I am particularly pleased to see the first woman, and the first Latin-American, receiving the highest recognition in mathematics). But there was another remarkable recent event in the world of mathematics: Thomas Hales has announced the completion of the formalization of his proof of the Kepler conjecture. The conjecture: “what is the best way to stack […]

August 18, 2014

1:43 PM | Model theory without tears?
Ah well, you win some and you lose some. I was writing for months about recursive ordinals and proof theory with a view to a short-ish book. And now, quite a way in, I realise that I have to go … Continue reading →
3:21 AM | Are P Values Error Probabilities? (installment 1)
Despite the fact that Fisherians and Neyman-Pearsonians alike regard observed significance levels, or P values, as error probabilities, we occasionally hear allegations (typically from those who are neither Fisherian nor N-P theorists) that P values are actually not error probabilities. The denials tend to go hand in hand with allegations that P values exaggerate evidence against […]

August 17, 2014

5:06 PM | Bohemian gravity
Tim Blais, a McGill University physics student made this really great a capella version of "Bohemian Rhapsody", called "Bohemian Gravity", with physics lyrics explaining superstring theory, like "Manifolds must be Kahler!" (lyrics here).Another article on this.
12:00 PM | Forest Primeval → Riffs & Rotes
Re: Shifting Paradigms? • (1) • (2) • (3) • (4) • (5) Prompted by the discussion of Catalan numbers on the Foundations Of Math List, I dug up a few pieces of early correspondence and later discussions that bear … Continue reading →

August 16, 2014

10:32 AM | Reinstatement
M-Phi readers may or may not have paid attention to the bizarre events during the last twelve months, over which I was initially dismissed by the University of Oxford, and smeared with lies in the national press. I described some of this in a statement Prof. Leiter put up on 26 March 2014:From late 2013, Oxford proceeded with a prosecution, involving failures of due process and proportionality, despite the support I received from my College and several members of the Faculty. The prosecution […]

August 14, 2014

6:34 PM | Friday Bonanza
ICYMthem: 1)  Fun li'l anecdote about topologist Egbert Rudolf van Kampen from MathOverflow.net last week: http://mathoverflow.net/questions/178104/a-topologist-is-not-a-mathematician-a-small-question 2)  New popular statistics (…I know, that sounds like an oxymoron! ;-)) book out from Gary Smith, "Standard Deviations": http://tinyurl.com/poefeew (haven't read it, but it's from a professor at
12:47 PM | L. A. Paul on transformative experience and decision theory I
I have never eaten Vegemite---should I try it?  I currently have no children---should I apply to adopt a child?  In each case, one might imagine, whichever choice I make, I can make it rationally by appealing to the principles of decision theory.  Not according to L. A. Paul.  In her rich and fascinating new book, Transformative Experience, Paul issues two challenges to orthodox decision theory---they are based upon examples such as these.(In this post and the next, I'd like […]
10:44 AM | Worlds Without Domain
An article "Worlds Without Domain" arguing against the idea that possible worlds have domains. The abstract is: "A modal analogue to the "hole argument" in the foundations of spacetime is given against the conception of possible worlds having their own special domains".

August 11, 2014

10:10 PM | Egon Pearson’s Heresy
Today is Egon Pearson’s birthday: 11 August 1895-12 June, 1980. E. Pearson rejected some of the familiar tenets that have come to be associated with Neyman and Pearson (N-P) statistical tests, notably the idea that the essential justification for tests resides in a long-run control of rates of erroneous interpretations–what he termed the “behavioral” rationale of tests. In an […]

August 10, 2014

1:31 AM | Blog Contents: June and July 2014
Blog Contents: June and July 2014* (6/5) Stephen Senn: Blood Simple? The complicated and controversial world of bioequivalence (guest post) (6/9) “The medical press must become irrelevant to publication of clinical trials.” (6/11) A. Spanos: “Recurring controversies about P values and confidence intervals revisited” (6/14) “Statistical Science and Philosophy of Science: where should they meet?” (6/21) […]

August 09, 2014

4:01 AM | Winner of July Palindrome: Manan Shah
Winner of July 2014 Contest: Manan Shah Palindrome:  Trap May Elba, Dr. of Fanatic. I fed naan, deli-oiled naan, deficit an affordable yam part. The requirements:  In addition to using Elba, a candidate for a winning palindrome must have used fanatic. An optional second word was: part. An acceptable palindrome with both words would best an acceptable palindrome with just […]
2:55 AM | What mathematics can make of our intuition
The CogSci 2014 Proceedings have been posted and there are a number of links to interesting papers. Here are some math-related investigations: A neural network model of learning mathematical equivalence The Psychophysics of Algebra Expertise:  Mathematics Perceptual Learning Interventions Produce Durable Encoding Changes Two Plus Three is Five:  Discovering Efficient Addition Strategies without Metacognition Modeling [...]

August 08, 2014

11:15 AM | Friday Potpourri
Another week's-worth of schtuff: 1)  Sue VanHattum has started a new "Math Mama's Gazette" for students and teachers. First issue here: http://mathmamawrites.blogspot.com/2014/08/math-mamas-gazette-issue-number-one.html 2)  Stephen Stigler's 7 pillars of statistics: http://blogs.sas.com/content/iml/2014/08/05/stiglers-seven-pillars-of-statistical-wisdom/ 3)  The fifth run of Keith Devlin's "

August 07, 2014

12:35 AM | What did Nate Silver just say? Blogging the JSM 2013
Memory Lane: August 6, 2013. My initial post on JSM13 (8/5/13) was here. Nate Silver gave his ASA Presidential talk to a packed audience (with questions tweeted[i]). Here are some quick thoughts—based on scribbled notes (from last night). Silver gave a list of 10 points that went something like this (turns out there were 11): […]

August 06, 2014

4:00 PM | ¿Shifting Paradigms? • 2
Re: Timothy Chow • Shifting Paradigms? 2014 Jul 31 I can’t remember when I first started playing with Gödel codings of graph-theoretic structures, which arose in logical and computational settings, but I remember being egged on in that direction by … Continue reading →
2:00 PM | ¿Shifting Paradigms? • 1
Re: Dana Scott • Shifting Paradigms? 2014 Jul 28 This is very interesting to me, but not all my posts make it to the list, so I will spend a few days reflecting on it and post a comment on … Continue reading →

August 05, 2014

4:20 AM | Neyman, Power, and Severity
  Jerzy Neyman: April 16, 1894-August 5, 1981. This reblogs posts under “The Will to Understand Power” & “Neyman’s Nursery” here & here. Way back when, although I’d never met him, I sent my doctoral dissertation, Philosophy of Statistics, to one person only: Professor Ronald Giere. (And he would read it, too!) I knew from his publications that […]

August 04, 2014

3:58 AM | Blogging Boston JSM2014?
I’m not there. (Several people have asked, I guess because I blogged JSM13.) If you hear of talks (or anecdotes) of interest to error statistics.com, please comment here (or twitter: @learnfromerror)Filed under: Announcement

August 02, 2014

9:00 PM | ☯ Quantum Mechanics ☯
No summary available for this post.

August 01, 2014

11:15 AM | Friday Potpourri
In case you missed 'em: 1)  Who doesn't love the Mandelbrot Set. As if enough hasn't already been written/presented about it on the Web, Numberphile comes along with another GREAT instructive piece: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGMRB4O922I&feature=youtu.be 2)  An extensive guide (pdf) for teaching secondary-level mathematics from a Brit educator: http://education.lms.ac.uk/wp-content/

July 31, 2014

8:22 PM | Hilbert’s Foundations/Logic Lectures
I’ve just been spending a couple of days looking at the massive volume of David Hilbert’s Lectures on the Foundations of Arithmetic and Logic 1917-1933, edited by William Ewald and Wilfried Sieg (Springer 2013), which has at last arrived in the library … Continue reading →
4:01 PM | Roger Berger on Stephen Senn’s “Blood Simple” with a response by Senn (Guest posts)
Roger L. Berger Division Dir (FSC) & Professor – MNS Math & Natural Sciences Div Arizona State University Comment on S. Senn’s post:  “Blood Simple? The complicated and controversial world of bioequivalence”(*) First, I do agree with Senn’s statement that “the FDA requires conventional placebo-controlled trials of a new treatment to be tested at the 5% […]

July 30, 2014

1:00 PM | Why is there so much falsity in the world?
Because people prefer falsity to truth, illusion to reality. ⁂ Being the drift of my reflections on the plays I saw at Stratford this summer — King Lear, King John, Man of La Mancha, Alice Through the Looking-Glass, Crazy for You, Hay Fever.

July 29, 2014

7:43 PM | Cutting the TYL Guide down to size
The Teach Yourself Logic Guide was getting rather ridiculously bloated — 138 pages in the previous version. Oops. That was getting distinctly out of hand. I was losing sight of the originally intended purpose of the Guide. Time to re-boot … Continue reading →

July 26, 2014

8:24 PM | S. Senn: “Responder despondency: myths of personalized medicine” (Guest Post)
Stephen Senn Head, Methodology and Statistics Group, Competence Center for Methodology and Statistics (CCMS), Luxembourg Responder despondency: myths of personalized medicine The road to drug development destruction is paved with good intentions. The 2013 FDA report, Paving the Way for Personalized Medicine  has an encouraging and enthusiastic foreword from Commissioner Hamburg and plenty of extremely […]
12:09 AM | Embodiment and a Philosophy of Mathematics
Yesterday I gave a talk at a symposium at the 36th annual Cognitive Science Conference. The content of the talk was described this way in our symposium proposal: Mathematics has been the subject of experimental studies in cognitive science that explore the sensory grounding of number and magnitude. But mathematics also provides conceptual schemes that [...]

July 25, 2014

11:15 AM | Friday Picks
A big juicy helping of potpourri this week: 1)  Quantum mechanics now violating the pigeonhole principle? It's oft-said that if you think you 'understand' quantum mechanics, then you don't, because it isn't comprehensible; and now this adds to the confusion: https://www.sciencenews.org/blog/context/you-shouldn%E2%80%99t-try-pigeonhole-quantum-physics 2)  Long, interesting post from Tim Gowers…

July 24, 2014

9:41 PM | Category theory in two sentences
Tom Leinster’s book Basic Category Theory  arrived today on the new book shelves at the CUP bookshop.  I just love the opening two sentences, which seem about as good a minimal sketch of what category theory is up to as … Continue reading →
9:47 AM | Mathematicians' intuitions - a survey
I'm passing this on from Mark Zelcer (CUNY): A group of researchers in philosophy, psychology and mathematics are requesting the assistance of the mathematical community by participating in a survey about mathematicians' philosophical intuitions. The survey is here: http://goo.gl/Gu5S4E. It would really help them if many mathematicians participated. Thanks!
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