February 17, 2011
Science Magazine Special Data Issue
Sergey Brin and data mining
An interesting (somewhat sensationalistic) article:
Google and data formats
Read about Google's new data visualization site, and the data format they are promoting:
Journalism in the Age of Data
An excellent series of videos:
January 12, 2011
Statistics and ESP
has provoked many strong responses, including this:
December 13, 2010
An R "meta blog"
There are quite a few interesting things here if you poke around:
Create your own job
Think outside the box about things you might do when you graduate.
With all the new ways data are being collected and analyzed, there are many opportunities for statisticians to become entrepreneurs.
December 08, 2010
The Joy of Stats
An excellent series of videos about statistics:
Interesting writing about publication bias. Unfortunately you need to buy the magazine to get the full article.
December 04, 2010
Important and interesting applications of statistics
The second of these is likely to become an area with a lot of opportunities for statisticians.
November 29, 2010
Readings about the census
Here are a series of recent articles about the US census. There are a lot of statistical issues in the census, and also a lot of non-statistical issues. But it's all interesting.
And for an even greater challenge, consider the census in China:
or a census of the oceans!
November 23, 2010
Good advice for writing involving numbers
November 17, 2010
Data for a better planet
November 05, 2010
Election poll summary
Some interesting comments about how the election polls performed this year:
October 30, 2010
Article on statistics in the journal "Nature"
Nature is a leading scientific journal. Here is a recent commentary on the increasingly important role played by statisticians in scientific research:
October 24, 2010
Probability and statistics in the NYT
October 21, 2010
Article about election polls
The election is coming up. Here's an article that talks about some of the times when polls have been seriously wrong:
October 19, 2010
Debate on early stopping of clinical trials
If you're interested in clinical trials, here is a juicy debate about something called "early stopping" -- you don't need advanced statistics to understand this.
July 22, 2010
A couple of biostatisticians were the first to identify the flaws in this research that ended up leading to some clinical trials being halted and a medical researcher being suspended from his job:
May 06, 2010
Statistical summaries of human development
Here is an interesting discussion about something that comes up frequently -- when a lot of variables are combined to form a summary, the summary may end up tracking almost perfectly with one of the variables. This raises questions about what one really learns by doing this. See the following links for one example.
May 04, 2010
Placebo effect in NYT
A short article on the important issue of placebo responses in medical trials:
April 28, 2010
Grade Inflation Data
This web site presents some data and analysis relating to grade inflation. As a student, it may interest you to see how UM stacks up compared to other places. As a student of statistics, you may be interested to see how the creators of this web site attempt to convey a somewhat complex analysis in visual form.
April 26, 2010
NY TIme article on probability
This is an excellent article:
April 25, 2010
Job search blog
This seems to provide some good ideas for your present or future job searches:
The Case for Undergraduate Statistics
This article is a bit old, but it makes its point very well:
Revolution computing blog
An R and statistics blog:
April 08, 2010
Jared Diamond book on natural experiments
This new book edited by Jared Diamond discusses how empirical methods (mainly statistical methods) are used in some surprising ways:
Statistical analysis of ancient languages
An interesting article from the New Scientist:
March 23, 2010
NPR Interview: Multiple testing in medical studies
Here is a short interview with a statistician from the National Institute of Statistical Sciences about multiple testing and observational studies:
March 19, 2010
Critical article on statistical methods
This article takes a fairly critical view of how statistics is commonly practiced:
A good chunk of what he says is unfair or misleading. But its worth knowing about this since this viewpoint surfaces from time to time. The stuff about multiple testing is fair and on-target. It's worth a read, and some of the comments are interesting as well.
March 16, 2010
IBM commercials about data analysis
In case you haven't seen these, IBM does a fantastic job advertising statistics ... and you might notice that they never use the word "statistics" -- but that's all they are talking about. Highly recommended.
March 13, 2010
Articles about data and statistics in The Economist
Here is a series of articles that recently appeared in The Economist magazine about data analysis. You will see that there are opportunities for people with statistics training to have a big impact in all sorts of areas.
Highly recommended reading for anyone who wants to pursue a career involving any kind of analysis or decision making involving data and uncertainty!
December 18, 2009
Statistics and computational science
This article is about a major new direction in science, in which statistics plays a critical part:
November 24, 2009
Statistics and global development
Some of you may find this video presentation interesting. It uses basic statistics and data visualization to explore the variation in development across countries, and the pace at which countries have developed in history:
November 19, 2009
Statistics articles in NY Times
Here are links to two recent NY Times articles with a lot of statistical
Andy Gelman is a statistician at NYU who has done a lot of work on
statistical models of voter behavior:
Don Berry is a statistician at the M.D. Anderson cancer center who is well
known for his work quantifying the benefits of new cancer screening and
treatment techniques. There are some very interesting issues in the type
of work described here about correcting for "length biased sampling,"
which basically means that when you sample people with a disease, you are
more likely to get people who have a longer, slower progressing form of
the disease than a more rapidly progressing disease. Unfortunately they
don't get into that in the article at all.
November 15, 2009
NYT review of Malcolm Gladwell's latest book
There is some interesting statistical content in this book review:
October 20, 2009
Criticisms of statistical methods in social science
See here for positive and negative views on how statistics is used in social science research:
It's not uncommon to hear criticisms that statistical analysis (i) misses the big picture, (ii) is overly concerned with technicalities , or (iii) serves to exclude most people from the discussion. Often these criticisms are true. But sometimes the real issues are statistical and there's no way to make progress other than addressing them head-on.
October 12, 2009
NY Times article about analysis of large data sets
This article should help to make clear how many opportunities there are for people with good statistical training (and a little bit of computing knowledge):
September 23, 2009
Career information for statistics concentrators
The link below is the Career Center's news letter for Statistics concentrators. It has information on the Career Expo which is next week as well as information on internships, jobs, graduate programs and much more. All statistics concentrators are invited and encouraged to meet with a career center advisor and create a Career Center Connector Account (internship/job database).
September 16, 2009
Occupational outlook for statisticians
This the US Bureau of Labor Statistic's outlook for employment in the statistical field:
Note also this recent article in the NY Times:
September 08, 2009
Provost's interview on information technology
Here is an interview with our Provost, Teresa Sullivan, about information technology and research involving large data sets:
August 06, 2009
NY Times article about statistics
Here is a link to an article in the New York Times that is very favorable about the future importance of statistics, and opportunities for people in the field:
August 05, 2009
Washington Post article on the Joint Statistical Meetings
The JSM is the main annual meeting of statisticians. This year it was in Washington D.C.
June 18, 2009
Analytics at IBM
Below are two links to the web site of IBM's Business Analytics and Optimization group. A big part of what they do is statistical:
May 30, 2009
Statistics in internet advertising
There will be an increasing number of opportunities in the field of computational advertising, as discussed in this article:
They never use the word "statistics", but that's what it's all about.
April 13, 2009
Some reading on careers
A couple of articles worth reading if you are thinking about possible directions for your future:
February 17, 2009
Google executive on statistics
From Hal Varian, Google’s chief economist:
“I keep saying the sexy job in the next ten years will be statisticians. People think I’m joking, but who would’ve guessed that computer engineers would’ve been the sexy job of the 1990s? The ability to take data—to be able to understand it, to process it, to extract value from it, to visualize it, to communicate it—that’s going to be a hugely important skill in the next decades, not only at the professional level but even at the educational level for elementary school kids, for high school kids, for college kids. Because now we really do have essentially free and ubiquitous data. So the complimentary scarce factor is the ability to understand that data and extract value from it.”
The complete article is here:
January 14, 2009
R in the news
Those of you who love or hate R may be interested in this:
January 08, 2009
Employment for statisticians
Those of you worried about the economy and your future employability may be reassured somewhat by these articles. The second one doesn't mention statistics explicitly but the industries that are referred to hire a lot of statisticians.
Follow-up (added 1/12): check this out for an alternative perspective: