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Posted on Dec 15, 2016 By: Peter Bruce
Did you know that there is a country in which kidneys can be legally bought and sold?  That country is Iran, and there are actually two models for payment.  In one part of the country, donors receive a flat fee, and in the other part of the country prices are negotiated.   This point was actually an aside in John Dickerson's talk on algorithms for kidney swapping at Data Science DC Dec. 13, 2016, in Washington DC.  Dickerson, a member of the University of Maryland's Computer Science Dept.,...
Posted on Apr 05, 2016 By: Peter Bruce
April 27 marks the 80th anniversary of the death of Karl Pearson, who contributed to statistics the correlation coefficient, principal components, the (increasingly-maligned) p-value, and much more. Pearson was one of a trio of founding fathers of modern statistics, the others being Francis Galton and Ronald Fisher.  Galton, Pearson and Fischer were deeply involved with eugenics, a social philosophy that advocated suppression of reproduction among the "unfit" and encouragement of reproduction ...
Posted on Mar 24, 2015 By: Peter Bruce
When Apple CEO Tim Cook finally unveiled his company’s new Apple Watch in a widely-publicized rollout earlier this month, most of the press coverage centered on its cost ($349 to start) and whether it would be as popular among consumers as the iPod or iMac. Nitin Indurkhya saw things differently. “I think the most significant revelation was that of ResearchKit,” Indurkhya said. “It allows the iWatch to gather huge amounts of health-related data from its sensors that could then be us...
Posted on Dec 09, 2014 By: Janet Dobbins
Text analytics or text mining is the natural extension of predictive analytics, and Statistics.com's text analytics program starts Feb. 6.  Text analytics is now ubiquitous and yields insight in:   Marketing:   Voice of the customer, social media analysis, churn analysis, market research, survey analysis Business:   Competitive intelligence, document categorization, human resources (voice of the employee), records retention, risk analysis, website faceted navigation Industry specific...
Posted on Dec 09, 2014 By: Peter Bruce
Say you operate a tank farm (to store and sell fuel).  How much of each fuel grade should you buy?  You have specified flow and storage capacities, constraints on what types of fuels can be stored in which tanks, prior contractual obligations about minimum monthly deliveries and incoming supplies, plus the opportunity to sell on the spot market.  You must also figure in uncertainties about future fuel prices. This is a "constrained optimization" problem, and problems like this are the subje...
Posted on Dec 03, 2014 By: Janet Dobbins
Statistics.com Receives College Recommendation from the American Council on Education (ACE) College Credit Recommendation for Online Data Science Courses from The Institute for Statistics Education at Statistics.com LLC The American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT®) has evaluated and recommended college credit for 5 more of The Institute for Statistics Education at Statistics.com courses, and renewed its credit recommendation for 2 courses. The cour...
Posted on Oct 20, 2014 By: Peter Bruce
There was an interesting article a couple of weeks ago in the New York Times magazine section on the role that Big Data can play in treating patients -- discovering things that clinical trials are too slow, too expensive, and too blunt to find.  The story was about a very particular set of lupus symptoms, and how a doctor, on a hunch, searched a large database and found that those symptoms were associated with an increased propensity for blood clots. However, a search of the medical literatur...
Posted on Sep 11, 2014 By: Peter Bruce
The classic illustration of the power of brand is perfume - expensive perfumes may cost just a few dollars to produce but can be sold for more than $500 due to the cachet afforded by the brand.   David Malan's Computer Science course at Harvard, CSCI E-50, provides an interesting parallel in the education world.  It's available for free through EdX, or you can pay $75 for an EdX completion certificate (provided you successfully complete the course).  Or you can pay $2200 and get Harvard cre...
Posted on Aug 21, 2014 By: Peter Bruce
The big news from the SAS world this summer was the release, on May 28, of the SAS University Edition, which brings the effective price for a single user edition of SAS down from around $10,000 to $0.  It does most of the things that statistical analysts need, is not a student edition, does not require academic status, and runs locally using a browser interface (SAS Studio).  Clearly SAS is making a bid for the mindshare of the analytic community hooked on open-source software such as R. Greg...
Posted on Aug 04, 2014 By: Peter Bruce
Nobody expects Twitter feed sentiment analysis to give you unbiased results the way a well-designed survey will.  A Pew Research study found that Twitter political opinion was, at times, much more liberal than that revealed by public opinion polls, while it was more conservative at other times.  Two statisticians speaking at the Joint Statistical Meetings explored a different angle of the question - can Twitter data add value to traditional statistical methods? Nobody expects Twitter feed sen...
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