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327 posts tagged with statistics.
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Chicken or egg? There was no moment when a dinosaur became a bird.

A team of researchers, including University of Edinburgh paleontologist Stephen Brusatte and Swarthmore College Associate Professor of Statistics Steve C. Wang, cataloging 853 skeletal characteristics in 150 dinosaurs and analyzing the rate at which these characters change, and they found that "there was no grand jump between nonbirds and birds in morphospace." In other words, birds didn't suddenly come into existence, but evolved, bit by bit, or characteristic by characteristic. But when birds were finally a thing, they went crazy. "Once it came together fully, it unlocked great evolutionary potential that allowed birds to evolve at a super-charged rate."
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 29, 2014 - 37 comments

Calculus without limits

Hyperreal numbers: infinities and infinitesimals - "In 1976, Jerome Keisler, a student of the famous logician Tarski, published this elementary textbook that teaches calculus using hyperreal numbers. Now it's free, with a Creative Commons copyright!" (pdf—25mb :) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 17, 2014 - 34 comments

It presumably refers to either a kind of sofa or a kind of birth control

The Upshot asked: Where are the hardest places to live in the U.S.? (A bit more on the ranking.) Now, given continuing economic divergence (previously): What do the two Americas search for?
posted by psoas on Aug 19, 2014 - 42 comments

An excellent programming language for data analysis

"Julia is a high-level, high-performance dynamic programming language for technical computing." The language is elegant (homoiconic, multiple-dispatch, consistent and extensible type system), but with easy-to-learn syntax. The standard library includes a wide array of fast and useful functions, and the number of useful packages is growing. [more inside]
posted by vogon_poet on Jul 20, 2014 - 34 comments

Quality of life around the developed world

The OECD has for a long time offered up measures of human wellbeing across a range of indices. Now they've taken the resolution a step further, providing measures of well being at a regional level for 300 regions/provinces/states across the developed world. How does your neck of the woods fare? What other part of the world is comparable to where you live? Allow your location and see.
posted by wilful on Jun 25, 2014 - 44 comments

He eats spiders so that you don't have to.

"'average person eats 3 spiders a year' factoid actualy just statistical error. average person eats 0 spiders per year. Spiders Georg, who lives in cave & eats over 10,000 each day, is an outlier adn should not have been counted". Spiders Georg provides statistical explanation for one of the most commonly mis-represented scientific 'facts' promulgated for years. Although the math may be a little off and Georg may in fact be consuming many more spiders. You can read more from the man himself if you want to know more about the spider eating life.
posted by codacorolla on May 27, 2014 - 48 comments

Meatfilter

Meat Atlas: facts and figures about the animals we eat
posted by Gyan on May 14, 2014 - 29 comments

Happy trees? Not all 381 times.

When it's time for some mellow craftiness it's time for Bob Ross. But what if you want to know how many times his paintings included palm trees? Cumulus clouds? What if it's time to apply some good ol' fashioned conditional probability to his oeuvre? Then this is the place to go.
posted by mr. digits on Apr 16, 2014 - 19 comments

Health Risks How-to

How to think of the risks of Autism. "As a statistically minded neuroscientist, I suggest a different approach that relies on a concept we are familiar with: relative odds. As a single common measuring stick to compare odds, I have chosen the “risk ratio,” a measure that allows the bigger picture to come into focus." A succint NYT op-ed that is also a good primer on assessing health risks in general as well as the impact of media coverage on skewing risk perception.
posted by storybored on Mar 30, 2014 - 20 comments

Data journalism

Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight re-launched this morning. Opening manifesto. Building an NCAA bracket. An article about a computer program to count how many lines each pair of characters in “Romeo and Juliet” spoke to each other. Toilet seat covers. 2014 midterms. And why this winter is so miserable. Among other gems.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Mar 17, 2014 - 79 comments

Baltimore-Smalltimore

Earlier this year Tracy Halvorsen wrote an article called Baltimore City, You're Breaking my Heart. It was received with...uh, mixed results. Now Andy, from the blog B'more Connected has looked at the article from the point of view of statistics. "I think nearly everybody can agree with the basic premise suggested by Halvorsen’s article. I will paraphrase that premise as: It is tragic and frustrating when our neighbors, friends, or coworkers are the victims of violent crimes. Violent crime is too frequent in Baltimore. Something needs to be done to decrease that crime. Beyond that, I think we see Baltimore differently."
posted by josher71 on Mar 4, 2014 - 59 comments

John Baez on the maths of connecting everyone (and everything) on earth

Network Theory Overview - "The idea: nature and the world of human technology are full of networks! People like to draw diagrams of networks. Mathematical physicists know that in principle these diagrams can be understood using category theory. But why should physicists have all the fun? This is the century of understanding living systems and adapting to life on a finite planet. Math isn't the main thing we need, but it's got to be part of the solution... so one thing we should do is develop a unified and powerful theory of networks." (via ;)
posted by kliuless on Mar 2, 2014 - 17 comments

Is Home Birth In the US Safe?

Statistics professor challenges midwives' math on home birth safety. This article includes links to multiple original sources so be sure to read (or scroll) to the end.
posted by the young rope-rider on Feb 27, 2014 - 277 comments

Grateful Dead vs. Phish and Other Distinctions

Music Machinery presents a map of each U.S. state's most distinct favorite band or recording artist, as well as an app for playing with the data.
posted by Navelgazer on Feb 26, 2014 - 75 comments

The dangers of A/B testing

A/B testing has become a familiar term for most people running web sites, especially e-commerce sites. Unfortunately, most A/B test results are illusory (PDF, 312 kB). Here's how not to run an A/B test. Do use this sample size calculator or this weird trick.
posted by Foci for Analysis on Feb 23, 2014 - 38 comments

P-hacking

P values, the 'gold standard' of statistical validity, are not as reliable as many scientists assume.
posted by dhruva on Feb 14, 2014 - 103 comments

For unto us a child is born

According to statistician Aki Vehtari of Aalto University in Finland, there is diminished 20% chance that today, December 25th, is your birthday. There is a 5% higher likelihood than chance that your birthday is actually February 14th. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Dec 25, 2013 - 27 comments

That's when you started graphing everything.

The 15 Best Behavioural Science Graphs of 2010-13. [more inside]
posted by aka burlap on Dec 21, 2013 - 4 comments

An itinerant scholar for Bayes’ rule

Dennis Lindley, one of the most influential of 20th century statisticians, passed away on December 14 at age 90. Lindley was a strong advocate for Bayesian statistics before it was widely popular. What is Bayesian statistics and why was Dennis Lindley important? [more inside]
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike on Dec 20, 2013 - 13 comments

The Pareto of our Discontent

College football attracts a lot of rabid fans. Of late, college football (and football in general) has also attracted an increasing number of stats enthusiasts peddling increasingly obscure metrics to quantify success and failure. At MGoBlog, a popular Michigan fan blog, one intrepid poster has turned the statistics tools on the fanbase itself. A Season in Profanity details the usage of various swear words in open game threads. Among the relationships detailed are the usage of various colorful expressions by game, mood of the fan base by opponent, swearing efficiency, which coach(es) should be fired, and even the individual play outcomes that inspired the greatest amount of swearing. As it was kind of a rough season for the team, there was a substantial amount of data to comb through. [more inside]
posted by Existential Dread on Dec 17, 2013 - 13 comments

Cooperstown number crunching

Kenny Shirley and Carlos Scheidegger of AT&T Labs have put together a fascinating tool to analyze voting patterns for the baseball Hall of Fame. This Deadspin post will help walk you through it. [more inside]
posted by Chrysostom on Dec 11, 2013 - 20 comments

Monday Morning Robocoach

Watching one of the exciting snow-bound football games yesterday, the thought may have occurred to you: If I was a coach, would I go for it on this 4th down? This bot from the New York Times will tell you, and maybe even add a little attitude to the answer, which is usually much more aggressive than NFL coaches.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Dec 9, 2013 - 74 comments

Math with Bad Drawings

Headlines from a Mathematically Literate World [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Dec 4, 2013 - 32 comments

Courtesy of the University of Oklahoma Institute for Quality Communities

The U.S. Cities Where the Fewest Commuters Get to Work By Car
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Nov 28, 2013 - 41 comments

Extreme Measures May Mislead

How to think about "Science Studies Prove My Position", for politicians and all non-scientists. Any collation of measures (the effectiveness of a given school, say) will show variability owing to differences in innate ability (teacher competence), plus sampling (children might by chance be an atypical sample with complications), plus bias (the school might be in an area where people are unusually unhealthy), plus measurement error (outcomes might be measured in different ways for different schools). However, the resulting variation is typically interpreted only as differences in innate ability, ignoring the other sources. This becomes problematic with statements describing an extreme outcome ('the pass rate doubled') or comparing the magnitude of the extreme with the mean ('the pass rate in school x is three times the national average') or the range ('there is an x-fold difference between the highest- and lowest-performing schools'). League tables, in particular, are rarely reliable summaries of performance.
posted by Dashy on Nov 25, 2013 - 28 comments

Card tricks...

...to leave a smile on your face, by Helder Guimarães: Individual vs Crowd | Chaos | Freedom | Trick [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Nov 8, 2013 - 12 comments

Statistics Done Wrong: a free guide for scientists

Statistics Done Wrong is a guide to the most popular statistical errors and slip-ups committed by scientists every day, in the lab and in peer-reviewed journals. Statistics Done Wrong assumes no prior knowledge of statistics, so you can read it before your first statistics course or after thirty years of scientific practice.
posted by Foci for Analysis on Oct 27, 2013 - 39 comments

"Statlas also makes it easy to spot the littler plays"

Statlas, a way to visualize baseball. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Oct 24, 2013 - 4 comments

1985-86: The Genesis Of Truculence

This is one example of a phenomenon I noticed throughout this chart: natural rival franchises tend to have similar numbers of goon seasons. This would suggest that goon employment may be (in some instances) localized arms races between rivals, whose cyclical number of goons tends to reflect the other’s in some perverted game of Mutually Assured Terrible Hockey (MATH)... We also have a team like Detroit near the bottom of the list, with only 8.5 goon seasons in their history. Since 1985-86, the Wings have only had 4.5 goon seasons. They’ve only had 2 goon seasons since 1988-89. Coincidentally, they’ve been pretty damned swell at winning hockey games since that time. The Evolution of Goon Culture in the NHL
posted by mannequito on Sep 28, 2013 - 23 comments

Weather is fine in Fargo

"On September 19th, the Census Bureau released the American Community Survey (ACS) estimates of poverty and income. Based on a much larger survey sample than the older Current Population Survey, the ACS affords a closer look at state, regional, and local income patterns (like health and education spending). It is not a pretty picture." --Neat Data visualizations of the survey info from Dissent Magazine.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Sep 27, 2013 - 8 comments

WORST. STATE. EVER.

What is your state worst at?
posted by blue_beetle on Sep 23, 2013 - 88 comments

Happy 114, Mr Hitchcock!

The Hitchcock Infographic
posted by crossoverman on Aug 13, 2013 - 18 comments

Iconic Data Graphs

Top 10 most iconic data graphs of the last decade.
FastCoLabs enlisted three data visualization experts to compile this list to answer the question posed in Simply Statistics, a blog from three Johns Hopkins biostatistics professors. via [more inside]
posted by mcstayinskool on Jul 29, 2013 - 27 comments

50 shades of gray: A research story

Psychologists recount a valuable lesson about the fragility of statistical validity and the state of publishing. "Two of the present authors, Matt Motyl and Brian A. Nosek, share interests in political ideology. We were inspired by the fast growing literature on embodiment that demonstrates surprising links between body and mind to investigate embodiment of political extremism. Participants from the political left, right, and center (N = 1,979) completed a perceptual judgment task in which words were presented in different shades of gray. Participants had to click along a gradient representing grays from near black to near white to select a shade that matched the shade of the word. We calculated accuracy: How close to the actual shade did participants get? The results were stunning. Moderates perceived the shades of gray more accurately than extremists on the left and right (p = .01). Our conclusion: Political extremists perceive the world in black and white figuratively and literally. Our design and follow-up analyses ruled out obvious alternative explanations such as time spent on task and a tendency to select extreme responses. Enthused about the result, we identified Psychological Science as our fallback journal after we toured the Science, Nature, and PNAS rejection mills. The ultimate publication, Motyl and Nosek (2012), served as one of Motyl’s signature publications as he finished graduate school and entered the job market. The story is all true, except for the last sentence; we did not publish the finding." [more inside]
posted by MisantropicPainforest on Jul 29, 2013 - 19 comments

US Energy & Carbon Flows

Estimated US Energy Use in 2012: 95.1 Quads - "Energy flow charts show the relative size of primary energy resources and end uses in the United States, with fuels compared on a common energy unit basis." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 28, 2013 - 12 comments

Questions. Morbidity. Incept dates.

Detroit, New Orleans, Oakland... some of the safer places in America to live! Sure, big cities might have more murders per capita... but residents in large cities are *MUCH* safer when it comes to injury deaths than those living in more rural parts of America, according to a new study in The Annals of Emergency Medicine.
"Cars, guns and drugs are the unholy trinity causing the majority of injury deaths . . . Although the risk of homicide is higher in big cities, the risk of unintentional injury death is 40 percent higher in the most rural areas than in the most urban. And overall, the rate of unintentional injury dwarfs the risk of homicide, with the rate of unintentional injury more than 15 times that of homicide among the entire population."
posted by markkraft on Jul 25, 2013 - 71 comments

The Department Of War Math

You Are Not So Smart: Survivorship Bias, demonstrated through Abraham Wald's work at the Statistical Research Group in World War 2. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 6, 2013 - 48 comments

Mischievous or Mischievious?

Interactive map of pronunciation and use of various words and phrases differs by region in the US. Based on Bert Vaux's online survey of English dialects, the program allows you to see results for individual cities, as well as nationwide (though inexplicably it does not include Alaska or Hawaii).
posted by Cash4Lead on Jun 5, 2013 - 133 comments

Cameras, Cartography and Competition

PITCHF/x and SportVU data analysis shows... [more inside]
posted by Groundhog Week on May 18, 2013 - 7 comments

Mostly Smith and Jones with the occasional Patel

A zoomable map of the most common surnames in Great Britain, based on the electoral rolls.
posted by MartinWisse on May 5, 2013 - 39 comments

In a few cases, the start dates are well-informed guesses

Predicting Google Shutdowns. "In the following essay, I collect data on 350 Google products and look for predictive variables. I find some while modeling shutdown patterns, and make some predictions about future shutdowns. Hopefully the results are interesting, useful, or both." Gwern exhaustively analyzes Google products past and present with an eye to establishing what's not long for the bitverse. tl;dr? Results.
posted by mwhybark on May 4, 2013 - 89 comments

Peace is liberty in tranquillity

The UK Peace Index [PDF], a new publication from The Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), has produced a startling new headline: against public perceptions of crime, both crime and homicide have fallen significantly. The fall over the last decade has resulted in the UK homicide rate now being roughly equivalent to that of the Western European average, and it is now at its lowest level since 1978. [more inside]
posted by MuffinMan on Apr 24, 2013 - 30 comments

Dow tanks briefly after fake AP tweet

The Dow tumbled nearly 150 points this afternoon after a fake tweet about White House explosions was posted from the AP's hacked twitter account. Markets recovered almost completely after the AP clarified that the news was false.
posted by Westringia F. on Apr 23, 2013 - 134 comments

Generation Y

31 percent of employers involved reported parents submitted resumes on behalf of their offspring and 14 other things you should know about the Millennial genearation.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Apr 18, 2013 - 162 comments

Material Poverty & Privilege in India

What would a poverty map of India look like?
posted by Gyan on Apr 14, 2013 - 10 comments

Intelligence Tests

Is Psychometric g a Myth? - "As an online discussion about IQ or general intelligence grows longer, the probability of someone linking to statistician Cosma Shalizi's essay g, a Statistical Myth approaches 1. Usually the link is accompanied by an assertion to the effect that Shalizi offers a definitive refutation of the concept of general mental ability, or psychometric g." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Apr 11, 2013 - 113 comments

Brain games are bogus

"Brain training games don't actually make you smarter." Looking at recent meta-analyses and replication attempts of studies showing increased cognitive abilities gained from brain-training games, the New Yorker article comes to the conclusion that the results are suspect and these games haven't been shown to improve cognitive abilities broadly. Currently, brain training is a multi-million-dollar business.
posted by tykky on Apr 9, 2013 - 61 comments

The Dreams Of Big Data

Does Big Data Mean The Demise Of The Expert - And Intuition? - "Data-driven decisions are poised to augment or overrule human judgment." What Is Big Data? [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Mar 21, 2013 - 73 comments

De Moivre’s equation

The Most Dangerous Equation If you have never taken the time to read any statistics, then take the time to read this short chapter excerpt. In order to understand the world a bit more accurately and be able to interpret data for public policy, understanding De Moivre’s equation and sample variability is very significant.
posted by SollosQ on Mar 16, 2013 - 24 comments

Cox Models and Drag Queens

A survival analysis of RuPaul’s Drag Race. [more inside]
posted by Westringia F. on Mar 14, 2013 - 43 comments

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