Fight the power (pose)

Why is science communication difficult? For subjects like vaccination, climate change, genetic modification, and more, there are rifts between the views of scientists and the views of large segments of the US population, rifts that seem driven not only by a lack of understanding of scientific concepts, but also by a lack of understanding of … Continue reading Fight the power (pose)

You may not be interested in noise, but noise is interested in you

[Edit, Sept. 25, 2016: In retrospect, this is a confusing post. The overall point is fine, but my contrived illustration is not a good one.] At an otherwise excellent talk some time ago, the speaker put up a graph like this (look below — not the cheetah)… …and said that the two sets of data points, … Continue reading You may not be interested in noise, but noise is interested in you

How do I hate p-values? Let me count the ways…

[Note: a long post of interest only to people who care about data analysis and bad statistics, and maybe about the distant stars influencing your life.] By now, we should all be able to list the many reasons that p-values (or null-hypothesis-significance-testing, NHST) are awful: that “statistical significance” has nothing to do with effect size … Continue reading How do I hate p-values? Let me count the ways…

Learning about (machine) learning — Part I

Machine learning is everywhere these days, as we train computers to drive cars, play video games, and fold laundry. This intersects my lab’s research as well, which involves lots of computational image analysis (e.g.). Nearly everything my students and I write involves writing or applying particular algorithms to extract information from data. In the past … Continue reading Learning about (machine) learning — Part I

On the replication crisis in science and the twigs in my backyard

A long post, in which you’ll have to slog or scroll through several paragraphs to get to the real question: can we navigate using fallen sticks? These days we seem to be inundated with deeply flawed scientific papers, often featuring shaky conclusions boldly drawn from noisy data, results that can’t be replicated, or both. I … Continue reading On the replication crisis in science and the twigs in my backyard