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Yes, I really really really like fake-data simulation, and I can’t stop talking about it.

Rajesh Venkatachalapathy writes: Recently, I had a conversation with a colleague of mine about the virtues of synthetic data and their role in data analysis. I think I’ve heard a sermon/talk or two where you mention this and also in your blog entries. But having convinced my colleague of this point, I am struggling to […]

Postdoc in Chicago on statistical methods for evidence-based policy

Beth Tipton writes: The Institute for Policy Research and the Department of Statistics is seeking applicants for a Postdoctoral Fellowship with Dr. Larry Hedges and Dr. Elizabeth Tipton. This fellowship will be a part of a new center which focuses on the development of statistical methods for evidence-based policy. This includes research on methods for […]

New golf putting data! And a new golf putting model!

Part 1 Here’s the golf putting data we were using, typed in from Don Berry’s 1996 textbook. The columns are distance in feet from the hole, number of tries, and number of successes: x n y 2 1443 1346 3 694 577 4 455 337 5 353 208 6 272 149 7 256 136 8 […]

“Retire Statistical Significance”: The discussion.

So, the paper by Valentin Amrhein, Sander Greenland, and Blake McShane that we discussed a few weeks ago has just appeared online as a comment piece in Nature, along with a letter with hundreds (or is it thousands?) of supporting signatures. Following the first circulation of that article, the authors of that article and some […]

My two talks in Montreal this Friday, 22 Mar

McGill University Biostatistics seminar, Purvis Hall, 102 Pine Ave. West, Room 25 Education Building, 3700 McTavish Street, Room 129 [note new location], 1-2pm Fri 22 Mar: Resolving the Replication Crisis Using Multilevel Modeling In recent years we have come to learn that many prominent studies in social science and medicine, conducted at leading research institutions, […]

He asks me a question, and I reply with a bunch of links

Ed Bein writes: I’m hoping you can clarify a Bayesian “metaphysics” question for me. Let me note I have limited experience with Bayesian statistics. In frequentist statistics, probability has to do with what happens in the long run. For example, a p value is defined in terms of what happens if, from now till eternity, […]

C’est le fin! Riad Sattouf gagne.

Le mec japonais qui gagnait la competition pour manger les saucisses—alors, ça sonne mieux en anglais—M. Kobayashi était un grand « underdog », le cheval sombre de cet « mars fou », mais en fait je dois avancer le dessinateur, grâce à le poème de Dzhaughn: Please don’t ignore this dour crie de couer at […]

When and how do politically extreme candidates get punished at the polls?

In 2016, Tausanovitch and Warshaw performed an analysis “using the largest dataset to date of voting behavior in congressional elections” and found: Ideological positions of congressional candidates have only a small association with citizens’ voting behavior. Instead, citizens cast their votes “as if” based on proximity to parties rather than individual candidates. The modest degree […]

It’s the finals! The Japanese dude who won the hot dog eating contest vs. Riad Sattouf

I chose yesterday‘s winner based on this comment from Re’el: Hey, totally not related to this, but could offer any insight into this study: It seems like something we go back and forth on and this study didn’t offer any insight. Thanks. Egg = oeuf, so we should choose the man whose name ends […]

Are male doctors better for male heart attack patients and female doctors better for female heart attack patients?

Brad Greenwood, Seth Carnahan, and Laura Huang write: A large body of medical research suggests that women are less likely than men to survive traumatic health episodes like acute myocardial infarctions. In this work, we posit that these difficulties may be partially explained, or exacerbated, by the gender match between the patient and the physician. […]

Riad Sattouf (1) vs. Pele; the Japanese dude who won the hot dog eating contest advances

Lots of good arguments in favor of Bruce, but then this came from Noah: Hot-dog-garbled speech from Kobayashi recounting disgusting stories about ingesting absurdly large numbers of unchewed sausages and wet buns vs the gravelly, dulcet tones of New Jersey’s answer to John Mellencamp telling touching, timeless tales of musical world tours? The Boss in […]

Estimating treatment effects on rates of rare events using precursor data: Going further with hierarchical models.

Someone points to my paper with Gary King from 1998, Estimating the probability of events that have never occurred: When is your vote decisive?, and writes: In my area of early childhood intervention, there are certain outcomes which are rare. Things like premature birth, confirmed cases of child-maltreatment, SIDS, etc. They are rare enough that […]

It’s the semifinals! The Japanese dude who won the hot dog eating contest vs. Bruce Springsteen (1)

For our first semifinal match, we have an unseeded creative eater, up against the top-seeded person from New Jersey. It’s Coney Island vs. Asbury Park: the battle of the low-rent beaches. Again, we’re trying to pick the best seminar speaker. Here are the rules and here’s the bracket:

Statistical-significance thinking is not just a bad way to publish, it’s also a bad way to think

Eric Loken writes: The table below was on your blog a few days ago, with the clear point about p-values (and even worse the significance versus non-significance) being a poor summary of data. The thought I’ve had lately, working with various groups of really smart and thoughtful researchers, is that Table 4 is also a […]

Pele wins. On to the semifinals!

Like others, I’m sad that Veronica Geng is out of the running, so I’ll have to go with Diana: Jonathan’s post-hoc argument for Geng was so good that I now have to vote for Pele, given that his name can be transformed into Geng’s through a simple row matrix operation (a gesture that just might […]

One more reason I hate letters of recommendation

Recently I reviewed a bunch of good reasons to remove letters of recommendation when evaluating candidates for jobs or scholarships. Today I was at a meeting and thought of one more issue. Letters of recommendation are not merely a noisy communication channel; they’re also a biased channel. The problem is that letter writers are strategic: […]

Pele vs. Meryl Streep; Riad Sattouf advances

Yesterday Dzhaughn gave a complicated argument but ultimately I couldn’t figure out if it was pro- or anti-Geng, so I had to go with Dalton’s straight shot: Geng has been accused of being “subtle to the point of unintelligibility.” So apparently ole V puts the “b” in subtle. So here’s to our man, Riad who […]

Raghuram Rajan: “The Third Pillar: How Markets and the State Leave the Community Behind”

A few months ago I receive a copy of the book, “The Third Pillar: How Markets and the State Leave the Community Behind,” by economist Raghuram Rajan. The topic is important and the book is full of interesting thoughts. It’s hard for me to evaluate Rajan’s economics and policy advice, so I’ll leave that to […]

Something I noticed about this college admissions scandal

Most of the parents are roughly my age! William McGlashan, 55 . . . Agustin Huneeus Jr., 53 . . . Elizabeth, 56, and Manuel Henriquez, 55 . . . Jane Buckingham, 50 . . . Gordon Caplan, 52 . . . Marcia Abbott, 59 . . . Robert Zangrillo, 52 . . . Stephen […]

Riad Sattouf (1) vs. Veronica Geng; Bruce Springsteen advances

Personally, I’d rather hear Dorothy Parker, but I had to go with Dalton’s pitch: Ah, but Dorothy Parker is actually from New Jersey. In fact, both Bruce and Dorothy are members of the official New Jersey hall of fame ( Both were born in Long Branch, NJ. But Bruce is backed up (literally) by another […]