Category Archives: Statistics

PMean: What to do about claims of borderline statistical significance

A comment about the phrase “trend towards efficiency” on the Statistical Consulting Section discussion board raised a lot of interesting commentary. The phrase refers to a setting where the p-value is not small enough to allow you to claim statistical significance, but still was close enough to 0.05 to be worth commenting on. Most of responses were fairly negative and stressed that we need to refuse to sign off on any report of publication using that phrase. I posted a response that differed from the others. Here’s the gist of what I said. Continue reading

PMean: Python, Raspberry Pi, and cluster computing

I’ve been experimenting with connecting a small number of Raspberry Pi in a cluster computer, and a good place to start is MPI (Message Passing Interface). Unfortunately, many of the books and websites that I have looked at use examples in C and FORTRAN. These are fine languages, but ones that I am unlikely to need in the future. I want to explore MPI from with a newer programming language, Python. Here are some resources I have leaned on in getting this started. Continue reading

PMean: Grading rubric for computer assignments

I’ve been teaching a variety of classes that require students to run a statistical analysis in a package like SAS or R and report the results. There is a tremendous variety of formats that students use, and I thought it would be helpful to offer some guidance. It would save me time in grading, but more importantly it would emphasize that students need to think about what they produce rather than just tossing together whatever comes out of the computer. The five requirements for homework assignments are they be complete, concise, clear, error-free, and interpretable. Continue reading