Sunday Data/Statistics Link Roundup (11/18/12)

  1. An interview with Brad Efron about scientific writing. I haven’t watched the whole interview, but I do know that Efron is one of my favorite writers among statisticians.
  2. Slidify, another approach for making HTML5 slides directly from R.  I love the idea of making HTML slides, I would definitely do this regularly. But there are a couple of issues I feel still aren’t resolved: (1) It is still just a little too hard to change the theme/feel of the slides in my opinion. It is just CSS, but that’s still just enough of a hurdle that it is keeping me away and (2) I feel that the placement/insertion of images is still a little clunky, Google Docs has figured this out, I’d love it if they integrated the best features of Slidify, Latex, etc. into that system. 
  3. Statistics is still the new hotness. Here is a Business Insider list about 5 statistics problems that will "change the way you think about the world"
  4. I love this one in the New Yorker, especially the line,”statisticians are the new sexy vampires, only even more pasty” (via Brooke A.)
  5. We’ve hit the big time! We have been linked to by a real (Forbes) blogger. 
  6. If you haven’t noticed, we have a new logo. We are going to be making a few other platform-related changes over the next week or so. If you have any trouble, let us know!

Sunday Data/Statistics Link Roundup (9/9/12)

  1. Not necessarily statistics related, but pretty appropriate now that the school year is starting. Here is a little introduction to "how to google" (via Andrew J.). Being able to “just google it” and find answers for oneself without having to resort to asking folks is maybe the #1 most useful skill as a statistician. 
  2. A really nice presentation on interactive graphics with the googleVis package. I think one of the most interesting things about the presentation is that it was built with markdown/knitr/slidy (see slide 53). I am seeing more and more of these web-based presentations. I like them for a lot of reasons (ability to incorporate interactive graphics, easy sharing, etc.), although it is still harder than building a Powerpoint. I also wonder, what happens when you are trying to present somewhere that doesn’t have a good internet connection?
  3. We talked a lot about the ENCODE project this week. We had an interview with Steven Salzberg, then Rafa followed it up with a discussion of top-down vs. bottom-up science. Tons of data from the ENCODE project is now available, there is even a virtual machine with all the software used in the main analysis of the data that was just published. But my favorite quote/tweet/comment this week came from Leonid K. about a flawed/over the top piece trying to make a little too much of the ENCODE discoveries: “that’s a clown post, bro”.
  4. Another breathless post from the Chronicle about how there are “dozens of plagiarism cases being reported on Coursera”. Given that tens of thousands of people are taking the course, it would be shocking if there wasn’t plagiarism, but my guess is it is about the same rate you see in in-person classes. I will be using peer grading in my course, hopefully plagiarism software will be in place by then. 
  5. A New York Times article about a new book on visualizing data for scientists/engineers. I love all the attention data visualization is getting. I’ll take a look at the book for sure. I bet it says a lot of the same things Tufte said and a lot of the things Nathan Yau says in his book. This one may just be targeted at scientists/engineers. (link via Dan S.)
  6. Edo and co. are putting together a workshop on the analysis of social network data for NIPS in December. If you do this kind of stuff, it should be a pretty awesome crowd, so get your paper in by the Oct. 15th deadline!

Battling Bad Science

Here is a pretty awesome TED talk by epidemiologist Ben Goldacre where he highlights how science can be used to deceive/mislead. It’s sort of like epidemiology 101 in 15 minutes. 

This seems like a highly topical talk. Over on his blog, Steven Salzberg has pointed out that Dr. Oz has recently been engaging in some of these shady practices on his show. Too bad he didn’t check out the video first. 

In the comments section of the TED talk, one viewer points out that Dr. Goldacre doesn’t talk about the role of the FDA and other regulatory agencies. I think that regulatory agencies are under-appreciated and deserve credit for addressing many of these potential problems in the conduct of clinical trials. 

Maybe there should be an agency regulating how science is reported in the news?