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What we did in 2020, and thanks to all our collaborators and many more

Published or to be published articles:

Unpublished articles:

Book:

Thank you so much, Aki, Aileen, Alex, Alexey, Alexis, Balazs, Ben, Bob, Charles, Chris, Chris, Christian, Collin, Dan, Daniel, David, Dominik, Dustin, Elliott, Erik, Guido, Guillaume, Helen, Jann, Jessica, Jon, Jonah, Jonathan, Jeff, Jennifer, John, Josh, Julien, Kate, Koen, Lauren, Lex, Lizzie, Martin, Matthijs, Merlin, Michael, Pasi, Paul, Paul, Philip, Qixuan, Rob, Ruth, Sean, Shira, Shravan, Sonia, Swupnil, Tuomas, Yair, Yajuan, Yuling, Yutao, and journal editors and reviewers—and lots more collaborators including Ben, Bryn, Erik, Gustavo, Hagai, Len, Lu, Margaret, Manu, Michael, Mitzi, Rachael, Shiro, Siquan, Shiro, Steve, Steve, Susan, Tamara, Tom, Vivienne, Witold, Yotam, and others on ongoing projects that we haven’t yet written up or published. And thanks to all our collaborators of the past decade and to our blog authors and commenters—especially the ones who disagreed with us. And to all you lurkers out there who read the blog faithfully but haven’t found the need to comment yet. And even to the annoying people out there who misrepresented us or presented flat-out bad analyses: you kept us on our toes! And to the developers of the internet and maintainers of the WordPress software and the IT team at Columbia University. We also thank our closest collaborator, and all the 200-year-old mentors out there. And our predecessors and contemporaries who changed statistics in so many ways during the past half century. And thanks to Laura Dickson’s 8th grade students at Sky Ranch Middle School in Sparks, Nevada, who interviewed me for their class project. And to everyone who wrote everything we read this year. And to the developers of vaccines, the poll workers, the growers and developers of food, and everyone else who kept the world going for all of us. And to our loved ones, and to the people who intersected our lives in less pleasant ways as well. And to Mary Gray who was so supportive when I took that class many years ago, and to Grace Yang who taught me stochastic processes a few years after that. I couldn’t follow half of what was going on—I’d just keep scribbling in my notebook beyond whatever I could understand—but she conveyed a sense of the mathematical excitement of the topic.

15 Comments

  1. Very Impressive Andrew. Look forward to more discussions. A Productive and Safe New Year to you and all the interesting bloggers here.

  2. Joshua says:

    What about the cats?

  3. Happy New Year Andrew. Thank you for everything you do!

  4. Not Trampis says:

    Can I say for all of us who studied a few static subjects at Uni many thanks for your blog. It is highly informative and at times quite funny

  5. Delfinda Khan-Sue, Ph.D. says:

    Are you going to continue to speak out against White Supremacy and in support of Racial Justice in 2021, or has those problem been solved with the cancellation of Mr. Trump?

  6. Somehow I missed the Chance article on Truth vs Evidence (I ended my membership to ASA, sticking only to RSS, perhaps a mistake in retrospect, as I only get Significance now).

    Here’s an interesting thing you write in that article:

    “It should be possible to say that your data are consistent with your prior beliefs while acknowledging that these data also admit other interpretations”

    I was talking to Michael Betancourt about this point the other day as well. I’ve tried this in four recent papers, saying that our statistical modeling shows that the data are consistent with a certain theoretical position, but could have other interpretations. The end-result was either a desk reject or a rejection, on grounds that no decisive conclusion was possible from the data. The implication is clear: only papers that present decisive conclusions constitute an advance in knowledge and are therefore admissible as articles.

    Michael has an interesting suggestion: write two versions of the article. One, on arXiv or wherever, tells it like it really is. The other is for editor/reviewer consumption, making decisive claims. Quite an interesting proposal, which I plan to try out. One could then put up a notice next to the published paper: “For a more statistically defensible version of this paper, please read the arXiv edition.”

  7. Jonathan (another one) says:

    Nice reminiscence on Proofs and Refutations. It had a very similar effect on me, who knew early on that I was never going to be a mathematician, settling for the mathematics-adjacent economics, and constantly battling, mostly unsuccessfully, over a long career to impress on people just how special (as opposed to general) the big theorems of economics were. [Deep economics secret: whenever you meet an honest economist who has given you some deep insight into the workings of markets or institutions or people and tells you there are theorems to back the insights up, watch their face turn red when asked “Is that still true in the presence of sufficiently high transactions costs?”)

    It is one thing to lack generality when discussing icosahedra; it is another thing altogether when discussing the choice behavior of human beings. All of the failings of game theory in economics, IMO, stem directly from the theorems that are provable knocking fruitlessly at the actual door leading to human interactions.

  8. Mendel says:

    2020 was my first year reading and commenting on this blog; thanks to everyone who contributed and commented, and especially to Andrew who organizes the whole thing! It’s been quite interesting and thought-provoking.

    I found it difficult to track specific conversations in the comments; how do you guys do it?
    (If there was a way to sort the comments on a blog post by time posted, that would help.)

    • Martha (Smith) says:

      “I found it difficult to track specific conversations in the comments; how do you guys do it?
      (If there was a way to sort the comments on a blog post by time posted, that would help.)”

      The right side bar goes from least recent at the bottom to most recent at the top, so that helps (although not perfect).

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