Statistics

4 posts
Statistics crash course

Odds are if you’re reading this, you know what statistics is already, but if not (or you want to explain to someone else), Crash Course just started a series to explain the basics. Watch below. Tags: learning, video

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Statistical detection of potential child abuse cases

Dan Hurley, reporting for The New York Times, describes the use of statistical software to assist call screeners: [T]he decision to screen out or in was not Byrne’s alone. In August 2016, Allegheny County became the first jurisdiction in the United States, or anywhere else, to let a predictive-analytics algorithm — the same kind of sophisticated pattern analysis used in credit reports, the automated buying and selling of stocks and...

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Unconstitutional gerrymandering

Alan Blinder and Michael Wines reporting for The New York Times: A panel of federal judges struck down North Carolina’s congressional map on Tuesday, condemning it as unconstitutional because Republicans had drawn the map seeking a political advantage. The ruling was the first time that a federal court had blocked a congressional map because of a partisan gerrymander, and it instantly endangered Republican seats in the coming elections. Go math....

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Q&A with Di Cook

Statistics professor Di Cook was one of the first people I ever talked to about visualization. She has a short Q&A over at StatsChat. I spent a few years doing that [a research assistant] and then realised I’d really like to make art, because some of the research-assistant work I was doing was computer graphics for data online. It fed into my art instincts from teenage years, so I spent...

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How machines learn

Hearing about machine learning and algorithms a lot recently and not sure what that means? CGP Grey explains: Tags: algorithm, explainer, machine learning

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Cards Against Humanity’s public poll results

For the past few months, Cards Against Humanity polled the American public to ask important questions such as whether or not it is okay to pee in the shower. To conduct our polls in a scientifically rigorous manner, we’ve partnered with Survey Sampling International — a professional research firm — to contact a nationally representative sample of the American public. For the first three polls, we interrupted people’s dinners on...

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Harassement in the Statistics field

Statistician Kristian Lum described her experiences with harassment as a graduate student. She held back on talking about it for many of the same reasons others have, but then there was a shift and she began warning colleagues. I started doing this because I heard that S (for the second time to my knowledge) had taken advantage of a junior person who had had too much to drink. This time,...

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Worries over the 2020 Census

Michael Wines, reporting for The New York Times: “The politicization of the census would erode what is already fragile trust and confidence in the integrity of the count,” said Vanita Gupta, the president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, which has worked for years on census issues. The Trump administration’s heated rhetoric on immigration, race and the trustworthiness of government is fueling fears that minorities, legal and...

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How artificial intelligence can augment our own

There’s another essay on Distill by Shan Carter and Michael Nielsen. They describe and demonstrate how one might use artificial intelligence to augment human intelligence. Our essay begins with a survey of recent technical work hinting at artificial intelligence augmentation, including work on generative interfaces – that is, interfaces which can be used to explore and visualize generative machine learning models. Such interfaces develop a kind of cartography of generative...

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Flawed hate crime data collection

Data can provide you with important information, but when the collection process is flawed, there’s not much you can do. Ken Schwencke, reporting for ProPublica, researched the tiered system that the FBI relies on to gather hate crime data for the United States: Under a federal law passed in 1990, the FBI is required to track and tabulate crimes in which there was “manifest evidence of prejudice” against a host...

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