In December of 1969, the Selective Service held a lottery to determine the order in which young men would be called up for the Draft. My number was a low 53, and that set the course for much of my adult life. Turns out, the odds were against me.
- Want to run more analyses? This article from the Journal of Statistics Education shows the way.
..despite the fact that some folks wish is wasn’t so
In fact, the National Institute of Health requires that sex be included as a variable in all studies:
My favorite line from the review: “The mammalian brain is clearly a highly sex-influenced organ.” As anyone who’s observed young GIs or frat boys would know. It takes a PhD to believe in something as patently absurd as neurosexism.
Tip from Maggie’s Farm, where it’s always a bit skeptical.
Update: Looks like the SAT is owned and operated by neurosexists. Like I tell my students, “You knew that, you just didn’t know you knew that.”
I am such a slow pony. I’ve just web-surfed my way into discovering Rob Hyndman’s Time Series Data Library, which has hundreds of time-series datasets suitable for every teaching need. I was looking for one of my old faves, from that hoary old classic, Forecasting, Time Series, and Regression, and voila! there it is.
Most of us are aware of the seasonal cycle of influenza outbreaks, which for Americans peak in the winter. In a new paper, Micaela Martinez, PhD, a scientist at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, makes a case that all infectious diseases have a seasonal element. The “Pearl” article appears in the journal PLOS Pathogens. [my emphasis]
We all knew this, we just didn’t know we knew this. Some folks are recognized as geniuses for explicating the obvious. I’m look at you, Micaela Martinez.
Tip from Austin Bay writing at the Instatpundit, who, like the BlogFather himself, can make even the most boring stuff sound interesting.
The New York Times’ Gary Greenberg asks “What if the Placebo Effect Isn’t a Trick?” and gets some interesting answers. Along the way, he tells the interesting history of the placebo and how it has become a standard in FDA=approved clinical trials. My only question for the FDA is this: if someone were to attempt to certify a placebo effect, what would you compare it to?
Tip from Drudge, who, like a blind squirrel, occasionally finds a fresh nut, and never leaves a permalink.
Sometimes you need to draw a simple network diagram, like this Hasse diagram
but you don’t have a good graph drawing tool. Get Graphviz! Easy to learn, scriptable, and FREE.
At the Better Explained blog, Kalid Azad hits another home run with An Interactive Guide to the Fourier Transform.
Here’s a plain-English metaphor:
- What does the Fourier Transform do? Given a smoothie, it finds the recipe.
- How? Run the smoothie through filters to extract each ingredient.
- Why? Recipes are easier to analyze, compare, and modify than the smoothie itself.
- How do we get the smoothie back? Blend the ingredients.
Here’s the “math English” version of the above:
- The Fourier Transform takes a time-based pattern, measures every possible cycle, and returns the overall “cycle recipe” (the amplitude, offset, & rotation speed for every cycle that was found).
Tip from Kotke, who has a cool Fourier Transform video.