Blog Archives

The opinionated estimator

April 11, 2016
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The opinionated estimator

You have been lied to. By me. I taught once a programming class and introduced my students to the notion of an unbiased estimator of the variance of a population. The problem can be stated as follows: given a set of observations $(x_1, x_2, …, x_n)$, what can you say about the variance of the

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Biblical kings and boxplots

January 11, 2016
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Biblical kings and boxplots

When you read through the biblical books of Kings, you may have been struck by a phrase that repeats itself for every monarch: In the Xth year of (king of kingdom B), (name of king) became king of (kingdom A). He reigned N years, and did (evil|good) in the sight of the Lord. If you’ve

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Book review: Advanced R

December 7, 2015
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Book review: Advanced R

I would like to call this the best second book on R, except that I wouldn’t know what the first one would be. I learned R from classes and tutorials about 10 years ago, used it on my PhD and four articles, and use it today on a daily basis at work; yet only now,

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Bayesian tanks

November 20, 2015
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Bayesian tanks

The frequentist vs bayesian debate has plagued the scientific community for almost a century now, yet most of the arguments I’ve seen seem to involve philosophical considerations instead of hard data. Instead of letting the sun explode, I propose a simpler experiment to assess the performance of each approach. The problem reads as follows (taken

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