# Blog Archives

## Landmine detection revisited; the inverse unicorn problem

February 4, 2013
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A couple weeks ago I wrote about an interesting idea to clear landmines using the power of the wind. A reader asked me to comment more on the value of using these wind-powered “Kafons” to do an initial assay of a suspected minefield, an idea I mentioned at the end of my video on the

## Fake text generation the wrong way, and a contest

January 23, 2013
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As part of a bigger project, I needed to simulate a text string based on a source document, but at the character level. Just in case people find the code useful, I’ve uploaded it to MCMCtext.r. In my simulated text, each character is chosen based on the transition probabilities in the source text from one

## Simulation of landmine clearing with Massoud Hassani’s Mine Kafon

January 10, 2013
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Code used: MineClearingSimulationWithKafons.r TRANSCRIPT OF VIDEO: Hello, I’m Matt Asher with StatisticsBlog.com. This video is about my attempt to simulate a landmine clearing device built by Massoud Hassani called the Mine Kafon. I’ve put a link to his webpage at StatisticsBlog.com, I highly recommend checking out the video. Hassani’s device looks like this: It’s a

## Let it snow!

December 14, 2012
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A couple days ago I noticed a fun piece of R code by Allan Roberts, which lets you create a digital snowflake by cutting out virtual triangles. Go give it a try. Roberts inspired me to create a whole night sky of snowflakes. I tried to make the snowfall look as organic as possible. There

## The surprisingly weak case for global warming

December 3, 2012
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I welcome your thoughts on this post, but please read through to the end before commenting. Also, you’ll find the related code (in R) at the end. For those new to this blog, you may be taken aback (though hopefully not bored or shocked!) by how I expose my full process and reasoning. This is

## How fat are your tails?

October 25, 2012
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Lately I’ve been thinking about how to measure the fatness of the tails of a distribution. After some searching, I came across the Pareto Tail Index method. This seems to be used mostly in economics. It works by finding the decay rate of the tail. It’s complicated, both in formula and in it’s R implementation

## The unicorn problem

October 13, 2012
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Let’s say your goal is to observe all known species in a particular biological category. Once a week you go out and collect specimens to identify, or maybe you just bring your binoculars to do some spotting. How long will it take you to cross off every species on your list? I’ve been wondering this

## Iowa: Was the fix in? (a statistical analysis of the results)

January 4, 2012
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Summary/TL;DR Either the first precincts to report were widely unrepresentative of Iowa as a whole, or something screwy happened. Background Yesterday was the first primary for the 2012 U.S. presidential elections. When I logged off the internet last night, the results in Iowa showed a dead heat between Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum.

## My oh my

December 6, 2011
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Noted without comment, visit Biostatistics Ryan Gosling !!! for more gems like the one above.

## Wasting away again in Martingaleville

December 1, 2011
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Alright, I better start with an apology for the title of this post. I know, it’s really bad. But let’s get on to the good stuff, or, perhaps more accurately, the really frightening stuff. The plot shown at the top of this post is a simulation of the martingale betting strategy. You’ll find code for