Articles by Robert

Meta-analysis methods when studies are not normally distributed

June 10, 2014 | Robert

Yesterday I was reading Kontopantelis & Reeves’s 2010 paper “Performance of statistical methods for meta-analysis when true study effects are non-normally distributed: A simulation study“, which compares fixed-effects and a variety of random effects models under the (entirely realistic) situation … Continue reading → [Read more...]

Stats in bed, part 1: Ubuntu Touch

April 25, 2014 | Robert

Round at the RSS Statistical Computing committee, we were having a chuckle at the prospect of a meeting about Stats In Bed. By which I mean analysis on mobile devices, phones and tablets (henceforth phablets), not some sort of raunchy … Continue reading → [Read more...]

Beeps and progress alerts to your phone

April 9, 2014 | Robert

Recently I encountered an R package called pingr, made by Rasmus Bååth (the same guy who did MCMC in a web page, my visualization of 2013). You install it, you type ping(), and it goes ping. Nice. In fact there … Continue reading → [Read more...]

A simple R bootstrap function for beginners

March 5, 2014 | Robert

I teach some introductory stats classes with SPSS, and one of the frustrations for me is that you have to pay an extra wad of cash to do any bootstrapping. It’s not exactly the complete analysis solution that you might … Continue reading → [Read more...]

Visualizations on the Monopoly board

March 4, 2014 | Robert

Two items of post from utility companies that recently dropped through our door included little graphics. There was a degree of innovation in them both. The first, from British Gas, is technically OK but probably bad on perceptual grounds: I got … Continue reading → [Read more...]

How to convert odds ratios to relative risks

January 27, 2014 | Robert

My short paper on this came out on Friday in the British Medical Journal. The aim is to help both authors and readers of research make sense of this rather confusing but unavoidable statistic, the odds ratio (OR). The fundamental … Continue reading → [Read more...]

A room full of Julians

January 22, 2014 | Robert

Despite winter rain, I was delighted to head uptown last week to Skills Matter on the old Goswell Road for the first ever London Julia meetup. The first thing I learnt was that Julia’s friends are called Julians. If you … Continue reading → [Read more...]

Giving R the strengths of Stata

December 19, 2013 | Robert

This is not a partisan post that extols the virtues of one software package over another. I love Stata and R and use them both all the time. They each have strengths and weaknesses and if I could only take … Continue reading → [Read more...]

CSI Stats: looking for traces of data fraud in R

December 6, 2013 | Robert

Recently, I was looking at some published research, and I became concerned that it looked strange. Firstly, it had results wildly different to other similar studies, and more exciting / publishable ones. So, I was looking through the original paper … Continue reading → [Read more...]

Simulation (is where it’s happening)

November 18, 2013 | Robert

Jim Silverton wrote to the Allstat mailing list recently: “Hi, Anyone up for a challenge? Suppose we have [4] random variables that are random points on the surface of a sphere. What is the probability that the tetrahedron made by joining these … Continue reading → [Read more...]

Software inter-operability meeting in London

November 8, 2013 | Robert

On the afternoon of 14 November, the RSS is hosting a joint meeting with the International Biometric Society at Errol Street. The topic is inter-operability, as in software packages talking to each other to make your life easier. This is … Continue reading → [Read more...]

R tips for moderately large data

September 16, 2013 | Robert

Some useful tips recently featured on r-bloggers and originally posted at Mollie’s Research Blog are worth reading. I say moderately large because I don’t really believe there is such a thing as big data (and it looks like Mollie doesn’t … Continue reading → [Read more...]

Easy pictograms using R

July 26, 2013 | Robert

I have been amazed for a while that there is no major stats software offering pictograms. You know the sort of classic infographic I mean: Well, I have been working on an R function to help with this. It’s at … Continue reading → [Read more...]

Survival of the sweetest

December 12, 2012 | Robert

On receiving an advent calendar from one of our course directors, I suggested we could track each other’s chocolate consumption in a survival analysis and establish who was eating significantly more chocs. Strangely, everybody refused to take part, so I … Continue reading → [Read more...]
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