Posts Tagged ‘ Statistical Thinking ’

Duplicate values in a stream of random numbers

July 3, 2013
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Duplicate values in a stream of random numbers

As I wrote in my previous post, a SAS customer noticed that he was getting some duplicate values when he used the RAND function to generate a large number of random uniform values on the interval . He wanted to know if this result indicates a bug in the RAND
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Duplicate values in random numbers: Tossing dice and sharing birthdays

July 1, 2013
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Tossing dice is a simple and familiar process, yet it can illustrate deep and counterintuitive aspects of random numbers. For example, if you toss four identical six-sided dice, what is the probability that the faces are all distinct, as shown to the left? Many people would guess that the probability
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Quantile regression: Better than connecting the sample quantiles of binned data

April 17, 2013
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Quantile regression: Better than connecting the sample quantiles of binned data

I often see variations of the following question posted on statistical discussion forums: I want to bin the X variable into a small number of values. For each bin, I want to draw the quartiles of the Y variable for that bin. Then I want to connect the corresponding quartile
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The role of statistics in the top public health achievements of the 20th century

April 15, 2013
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The role of statistics in the top public health achievements of the 20th century

In this International Year of Statistics, I'd like to describe the major role of statistics in public health advances. In our modern society, it is sometimes difficult to recall the huge advances in health and medicine in the 20th century. To name a few: penicillin was discovered in 1928, risk
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A statistician reads the newspaper: Forecasting rising sea levels

June 21, 2012
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This is a third post on newspaper stories that I recently read. Today's post deals with science, politics, and rising sea levels. Senate approves law that challenges sea-level science The NC legislature approved a measure that promotes development along the NC coast. The legislation addresses a 2010 report prepared by
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A statistician reads the newspaper: Academic fraud

June 20, 2012
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This is my second post on some newspaper articles that I recently read. Today's post deals with academic fraud. Questions linger in academic fraud case Over the past year, the News and Observer has occasionally reported on a scandal at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in which
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A statistician reads the newspaper: The Secret Service scandal

June 19, 2012
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This past weekend was Father's Day, so I took some time to relax and read the newspaper. I found several stories that suggested interesting statistical questions. Unfortunately, the data are not available for analysis. Nevertheless, the stories are worth sharing. Over the next few days, I'll post my thoughts on
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Convergence or divergence? A simple iteration with a random component

June 13, 2012
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Convergence or divergence? A simple iteration with a random component

A collegue who works with time series sent me the following code snippet. He said that the calculation was overflowing and wanted to know if this was a bug in SAS: data A(drop=m); call streaminit(12345); m = 2; x = 0; do i = 1 to 5000; x = m*x
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