Category: Podcast

25
Mar

Podcast #6: Data Analysis MOOC Post-mortem

Jeff and I talk about Jeff's recently completed MOOC on Data Analysis.

19
Nov

Podcast #5: Coursera Debrief

Jeff and I talk with Brian Caffo about teaching MOOCs on Coursera.

19
Oct

Simply Statistics Podcast #4: Interview with Rebecca Nugent

Interview with Rebecca Nugent of Carnegie Mellon University.

In this episode Jeff and I talk with Rebecca Nugent, Associate Teaching Professor in the Department of Statistics at Carnegie Mellon University. We talk with her about her work with the Census and the growing interest in statistics among undergraduates.

07
Sep

Simply Statistics Podcast #3: Interview with Steven Salzberg

Interview with Steven Salzberg about the ENCODE Project.

In this episode Jeff and I have a discussion with Steven Salzberg, Professor of Medicine and Biostatistics at Johns Hopkins University, about the recent findings from the ENCODE Project where he helps us separate fact from fiction. You’re going to want to watch to the end with this one.

Here are some excerpts from the interview.

Regarding why the data should have been released immediately without restriction:

If this [ENCODE] were funded by a regular investigator-initiated grant, then I would say you have your own grant, you’ve got some hypotheses you’re pursuing, you’re collecting data, you’ve already demonstrated that…you have some special ability to do this work and you should get some time to look at your data that you just generated to publish it. This was not that kind of a project. These are not hypothesis-driven projects. They are data collection projects. The whole model is…they’re creating a resource and it’s more efficient to create the resource in one place…. So we all get this data that’s being made available for less money…. I think if you’re going to be funded that way, you should release the data right away, no restrictions, because you’re funded because you’re good at generating this data cheaply….But you may not be the best person to do the analysis.

Regarding the problem with large-scale top-down funding approaches versus the individual investigator approach:

Well, it’s inefficient because it’s anti-competitive. They have a huge amount of money going to a few centers, they’ll do tons of experiments of the same type—may not be the best place to do that. They could instead give that money to 20 times as many investigators who would be refining the techniques and developing better ones. And a few years from now, instead of having another set of ENCODE papers—which we’re probably going to have—we might have much better methods and I think we’d have just as much in terms of discovery, probably more.

Regarding best way to make discoveries:

I think a problem I have with it…is that the top-down approach to science isn’t the way you make discoveries. And NIH has sort of said we’re going to fund these data generation and data analysis groups—they’re doing both…and by golly we’re going to discover some things. Well, it doesn’t always work if you do that. You can’t just say…so the Human Genome [Project], even though, of course there were lots of promises about curing cancer, we didn’t say we were going to discover how a particular gene works, we said we’re going to discover what the sequence is. And we did! Really well. With these [ENCODE] projects they said we’re going to figure out the function of all the elements, and they haven’t figured that out, at all.

[HD video RSS feed]

[Audio-only RSS feed]

[NOTE: Due to clumsy camera operator (who forgot to turn the camera on), we lost one of our three camera angles and so the there’s no front-facing view. Sorry!]

06
Sep

Simply Statistics Podcast #2

In this episode of the Simply Statistics podcast Jeff and I discuss the deterministic statistical machine and increasing the cost of data analysis. We decided to eschew the studio setup this time and attempt a more guerilla style of podcasting. Also, Rafa was nowhere to be found when we recorded so you’ll have to catch his melodious singing voice in the next episode.

And in case you’re wondering, Jeff’s office is in fact that clean.

As always, we welcome your feedback!

[HD video RSS feed]

[Audio-only RSS feed]

24
Aug

Simply Statistics Podcast #1

Simply Statistics Podcast #1.

To mark the occasion of our 1-year anniversary of starting the blog, Jeff, Rafa, and I have recorded our first podcast. You can tell that it’s our very first podcast because we don’t appear to have any idea what we’re doing. However, we decided to throw caution to the wind.

In this episode we talk about why we started the blog and discuss our thoughts on statistics and big data. Be sure to watch to the end as Rafa provides a special treat.

UPDATE: For those of you who can’t bear the sight of us, there is an audio only version.

UPDATE 2: I have setup an RSS feed for the audio-only version of the podcast.

UPDATE 3: Here is the RSS feed for HD video version of the podcast.