Articles by John Myles White

Twitter Math Puzzle and Solution

July 7, 2011 | John Myles White

Yesterday I posted a very simple math puzzle to Twitter that I found in Jonathan Baron’s book, Thinking and Deciding. The puzzle is the following: Show that every number of the form ABC,ABC is divisible by 13. The puzzle comes up in Baron’s book as an example of ... [Read more...]

Visualizing Periodic Data

June 28, 2011 | John Myles White

Yesterday the Princeton machine learning reading group went through a paper by Tukey on “Some graphic and semigraphic displays”. One issue we talked about at length was Tukey’s idiosyncratic approach to visualizing periodic data in a circular format to emphasize the connections between the “start” and the “end” of ... [Read more...]

ProjectTemplate News

June 25, 2011 | John Myles White

The news below was recently reported on the ProjectTemplate mailing list. For completeness, I’m also reporting it here. The first piece of ProjectTemplate news is that I won’t be the exclusive maintainer for ProjectTemplate anymore. Allen Goodman, who works at BankSimple, is now my co-maintainer and he has ... [Read more...]

Speeding Up MLE Code in R

June 18, 2011 | John Myles White

Recently, I’ve been fitting some models from the behavioral economics literature to choice data. Most of these models amount to non-linear variants of logistic regression in which I want to infer the parameters of a utility function. Because several of these models aren’t widely used, I’ve had ... [Read more...]

Norvig and the Nature of Modern Science

May 27, 2011 | John Myles White

In this, Chomsky is in complete agreement with O’Reilly. (I recognize that the previous sentence would have an extremely low probability in a probabilistic model trained on a newspaper or TV corpus.)1 Anyone who considers themself an intellectual should be required to read this new essay by Peter Norvig. ... [Read more...]

A Request for Foursquare Data

March 25, 2011 | John Myles White

[UPDATE 3/28/2011: Fixed an enormous bug in the R code.] I’m trying to collect data sets that showcase how the classical statistical distributions appear in modern contexts. I’ve already got some data that shows how the gamma distribution appears in video game scores, and now I’m hoping to ... [Read more...]

A 3D Version of R’s curve() Function

March 21, 2011 | John Myles White

I like exploring the behavior of functions of a single variable using the curve() function in R. One thing that seems to be missing from R’s base functions is a tool for exploring functions of two variables. I asked for examples of such a function on Twitter today and ...
[Read more...]

Review of R Graphs Cookbook

March 1, 2011 | John Myles White

The kind people at Packt Publishing recently asked me to review one of their newest R books: the R Graphs Cookbook. In general, I think pretty highly of the book: it provides a nice overview of the basic tools for visualizing data in R. If you’re just getting started ... [Read more...]

Modern Science and the Bayesian-Frequentist Controversy

February 14, 2011 | John Myles White

The Bayesian-Frequentist debate reflects two different attitudes to the process of doing science, both quite legitimate. Bayesian statistics is well-suited to individual researchers, or a research group, trying to use all the information at its disposal to make the quickest possible progress. In pursuing progress, Bayesians tend to be aggressive ... [Read more...]

Inconsistencies in Bayesian Models of Decision-Making

January 20, 2011 | John Myles White

But modeling devices that make sense for an unbiased decisionmaker may not make sense for a biased one. For example, why would individuals have priors and posteriors if they are destined to apply Bayes’ law incorrectly?1 A question I often ask myself. Wolfgang Pesendorfer : Behavioral Economics Comes of Age: A ... [Read more...]

Academic Jargon: Field-Specific Insults

December 12, 2010 | John Myles White

Every academic field seems to develop a set of generic insults based on their intellectual toolkit. Here are two examples I hear often: Probabilists and Statisticians: “I think that’s an interesting case, but it’s in a set with measure zero.” Economists: “X group’s behavior is clearly rent-seeking.” ... [Read more...]

A Draft of ProjectTemplate v0.2-1

December 3, 2010 | John Myles White

I’ve just uploaded a new binary of ProjectTemplate to GitHub. This is a draft version of the next release, v0.2-1, which includes some fairly substantial changes and is backwards incompatible in several ways with previous versions of ProjectTemplate. Foremost of the changes is that most of the logic ... [Read more...]

The NYC Marathon

November 8, 2010 | John Myles White

New York’s annual marathon took place yesterday. Watching a bit of it on television with my friends, I was struck by the much earlier starting time for women than men. Specifically, professional women started running yesterday at 9:10 AM, while professional men start running at 9:40 AM. (This information comes from ... [Read more...]

The Answer Depends on the Question

November 3, 2010 | John Myles White

To quote from the preface to the first edition in Jeffreys (1961): ‘It is sometimes considered a paradox that the answer depends not only on the observations but on the question; it should be a platitude.’1 Generalized Linear Models : P. ... [Read more...]

EM and Regression Mixture Modeling

October 19, 2010 | John Myles White

Last night, Drew Conway showed me a fascinating graph that he made from the R package data we’ve recently collected from CRAN. That graph will be posted and described in the near future, because it has some really interesting implications for the structure of the R package world. But ...
[Read more...]

R Recommendation Contest Launches on Kaggle

October 10, 2010 | John Myles White

The R Recommendation Engine contest is now live on Kaggle. Please head over there and start submitting your predictions for the test data set. Once you do, you can check the leaderboard to see how your algorithm compares with other people’s work. We know that there’s still plenty ... [Read more...]
1 2 3 4 5 6

Never miss an update!
Subscribe to R-bloggers to receive
e-mails with the latest R posts.
(You will not see this message again.)

Click here to close (This popup will not appear again)