Sunday data/statistics link roundup (8/12/12)

  1. An interesting blog post about the top N reasons to do a Ph.D. in bioinformatics or computational biology. A couple of things that I find interesting and could actually be said of any program in biostatistics as well are: computing is the key skill of the 21st century and computational skills are highly transferrable. Via Andrew J. 
  2. Here is an interesting auto-complete map of the United States where the prompt was, “Why is [state] so”. It seems like using the Google auto-complete functions can lead to all sorts of humorous data, xkcd has used it as a data source a couple of times in the past. By the way, the person(s) who think Idaho is boring haven’t been to the right parts of Idaho. (via Rafa). 
  3. One of my all-time favorite statistics quotes appears in this column by David Brooks: “…what God hath woven together, even multiple regression analysis cannot tear asunder.” It seems like the perfect quote for any study that attempts to build a predictive model for a complicated phenomenon where only limited knowledge of the underlying mechanisms are known. 
  4. I’ve been reading up a lot on how to summarize and communicate risk. At the moment, I’ve been following a lot of David Spiegelhalter’s stuff, and really liked this 30,000 foot view summary.
  5. It is interesting how often you see R popping up in random places these days. Here is a blog post with some clearly R-created plots that appeared on Business Insider about predicting the stock-market. 
  6. Roger and I had a post on MOOC’s this week from the perspective of faculty teaching the courses. For a more departmental/administrative level view, be sure to re-read Rafa’s post on the future of graduate education