monkey's uncle

notes on human ecology, population, and infectious disease

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Entries Tagged as 'Statistics'

Thoughts on Black Swans and Antifragility

December 26th, 2012 · 2 Comments

I have recently read the latest book by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Antifragile. I read his famous The Black Swan a while back while in the field and wrote lots of notes. I never got around to posting those notes since they were quite telegraphic (and often not even electronic!), as they were written in the […]

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Tags: science · Statistics

The Igon Value Problem

November 15th, 2009 · 1 Comment

Priceless. Steve Pinker wrote a spectacular review of Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book, What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures, in the New York Times today. I regularly read and enjoy Gladwell’s essays in the New Yorker, but I find his style sometimes problematic, verging on anti-intellectual, and I’m thrilled to see a scientist of Pinker’s stature […]

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Tags: science · Statistics

Fold Catastrophe Model

September 7th, 2009 · 3 Comments

My last post, which I had to cut short, discussed the recent paper by Scheffer et al. (2009) on the early warning signs of impending catastrophe. This paper encapsulates a number of things that I think are very important and relate to some current research (and teaching interests). Scheffer and colleagues show the consequences on […]

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Tags: Human Ecology · Statistics

Predicting Catastrophe?

September 4th, 2009 · 2 Comments

There is an extremely cool paper in this week’s Nature by Scheffer and colleagues. I’m too busy right now to write much about it, but I wanted to mention it, even if only briefly.  The thing that I find so remarkable about this paper is that it’s really not the sort of thing that I […]

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Tags: Statistics

Stanford Workshop in Biodemography

September 3rd, 2009 · 3 Comments

On 29-31 October, we will be holding our next installment of the Stanford Workshops in Formal Demography and Biodemography, the result of an ongoing grant from NICHD to Shripad Tuljapurkar and myself.  This time around, we will venture onto the bleeding edge of biodemography.  Specific topics that we will cover include: The use of genomic […]

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Tags: Demography · Evolution · Human Ecology · Statistics

Why Use R?

July 25th, 2009 · 4 Comments

An anthropologist colleague who did a post-doc in a population center has been trying to get a group of people at his university together to think about population issues.  This is something I’m all for and am happy to help in whatever little way I can to facilitate especially anthropologists developing their expertise in demography. […]

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Tags: Demography · R · Statistics

Uncertainty and Fat Tails

May 5th, 2009 · 4 Comments

A major challenge in science writing is how to effectively communicate real, scientific uncertainty.  Sometimes we just don’t know have enough information to make accurate predictions.  This is particularly problematic in the case of rare events in which the potential range of outcomes is highly variable. Two topics that are close to my heart come […]

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Tags: Human Ecology · Infectious Disease · Statistics

Statistics and Election Forecasting

November 5th, 2008 · No Comments

With election day past us now, I have a moment to reflect upon how uncanny were Nate Silver and crew’s predictions of the election.  I became quite a junky as the election approached and I think that the stunning success that they demonstrated in predicting all sorts of elections yesterday holds lessons for the […]

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Tags: Statistics

Truly Excellent Statistical Graphic

October 8th, 2008 · No Comments

The figure that appeared on (the link to which I found here) following the second presidential debate last night was a truly outstanding example of communicating complex information using simple, effective graphical presentation. The figure shows the responses of 1004 respondents to the question of who won the debate.  The graphic summarizes quite a bit of […]

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Tags: Statistics

Hans Rosling and Interactive Graphics

August 13th, 2008 · No Comments

This is a relative oldie but a goodie that just re-appeared in my inbox.  Professor Hans Rosling from the Karolinska Institute debunks a number myths about the distribution of wealth and health in the world.  It is an amazing demonstration of the power of interactive graphics to communicate complex information.  

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Tags: Statistics