Blog Archives

Psycho dice and Monte Carlo

December 16, 2011
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Psycho dice and Monte Carlo

Following Pierre’s post on psycho dice, I want here to see by which average margin repeated plays might be called influenced by mind will. The rules are the following (exerpt from the novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, by John Berendt): You take four dice and call out four numbers between one

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Create maps with maptools R package

December 13, 2011
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Create maps with maptools R package

Baptiste Coulmont explains on his blog how to use the R package maptools. It is based on shapefile files, for example the ones offered by the French geography agency IGN (at départements and communes level). Some additional material like roads and railways are provided by the OpenStreetMap project, here. For the above map, you need

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Power-laws: choose your x and y variables carefully

November 16, 2011
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Power-laws: choose your x and y variables carefully

This is a follow-up of the post Power of running world records As suggested by Andrew, plotting running world records could benefit from a change of variables. More exactly the use of different variables sheds light on a well-known sports result provided in a 2000 Nature paper by Sandra Savaglio and Vincenzo

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Random art on the web

October 15, 2011
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Random art on the web

Since we explored some statitics of an abstract painting with Pierre (we even have an article in Variances last issue!), I became more sensitive to art linked to randomness. Here are some pointers to related websites I have digged out. Random.org, mentioned here by Pierre, is, at it reads, a true random number service that

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Artist view of crimes in London

October 10, 2011
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Artist view of crimes in London

At first sight, one could think this picture is a scale model of some narrow moutains, like Bryce Canyon… Actually it represents crimes in East London, an cardboard artwork by the Londoner artist Abigail Reynolds, called Mount Fear.  Here is what can be read on the artist’s webpage: The terrain of Mount Fear is generated

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Googling Bayes’ pictures

September 29, 2011
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Googling Bayes’ pictures

I am writing way too many posts in a row on Google tools. I promise I will think about something else soon. I find amusing the possibility to launch a search in Google images by just dragging a picture into … Continue reading →

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World Tourism Day, and Google Public Data Explore

September 27, 2011
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World Tourism Day, and Google Public Data Explore

Today is the World Tourism Day! So let’s speak about some tourism related datasets – and others. Among other nice functions, Google offers a Public Data Explore in a beta version which provides a collection of datasets from OECD, IMF, Eurostat, … Continue reading →

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Last and final on Richter’s painting

August 22, 2011
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Last and final on Richter’s painting

For a quick recap, Pierre and I supervised a team project at Ensae last year, on a statistical critique of the abstract painting 1024 Colours by painter Gerhard Richter. The four students, Clémence Bonniot, Anne Degrave, Guillaume Roussellet and Astrid Tricaud, did an outstanding job. Here is a selection of graphs and results they produced.

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Power of running world records

August 8, 2011
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Power of running world records

Followinga few entries on sports here and there, I was wondering what kind of law follow the running records with respect to the distance. The data are available on Wikipedia, or here for a tidied version. It collects 18 distances, from 100 meters to 100 kilometers. A log-log scale is in order: It is nice

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Wilcoxon Champagne test

June 14, 2011
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Wilcoxon Champagne test

As an appetizer for Paris triathlon, Jérôme and I ran as a team last week-end an adventure racing in Champagne region (it mainly consists in running, cycling, canoeing, with a flavor of orienteering, and Champagne is kept for the end). It was organized by Ecole Polytechnique students who, for the first time, divided Saturday’s legs

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