Articles by David Lindelöf

Feature standardization considered harmful

June 11, 2021 | David Lindelöf

Many statistical learning algorithms perform better when the covariates are on similar scales. For example, it is common practice to standardize the features used by an artificial neural network so that the gradient of its objective function doesn’t depend on the physical units in which the features are described. ...
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No, you have not controlled for confounders

February 10, 2021 | David Lindelöf

When observational data includes a treatment indicator and some possible confounders, it is very tempting to simply regress the outcome on all features (confounders and treatment alike), extract the coefficients associated with the treatment indicator, and proudly proclaim that “we have controlled for confounders and estimated the treatment effect”. This ...
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A/B testing my resume

November 24, 2020 | David Lindelöf

Internet wisdom is divided on whether one-page resumes are more effective at landing you an interview than two-page ones. Most of the advice out there seems much opinion- or anecdotal-based, with very little scientific basis. Well, let’s fix that. Being currently open to work, I thought this would be ...
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R collation order

August 7, 2019 | David Lindelöf

You need to declare generic functions in S4 before you can define methods for them. If no definition exists you will see the following error: Generic functions are declared with the setGeneric() function, which must precede the call to setMethod(): But when you develop an R package you may have ... [Read more...]

The opinionated estimator

April 11, 2016 | David Lindelöf

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 ... [Read more...]

Biblical kings and boxplots

January 11, 2016 | David Lindelöf

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 ... [Read more...]

Book review: Advanced R

December 7, 2015 | David Lindelöf

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 ... [Read more...]

Bayesian tanks

November 20, 2015 | David Lindelöf

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. ... [Read more...]

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