Category Archives: Statistics

PMean: SAS University. It’s SAS and it’s free

I am teaching a class, Introduction to SAS, that I helped design, but one where another faculty member did all the heavy lifting. I used to teach SAS classes, and I even helped organize a regional SAS conference, but stopped abruptly in 1998. So I’m relearning SAS and one thing that is helping a lot is a product called SAS University which allows you to use SAS for non-commercial purposes for free. Here’s how SAS University works. Continue reading

PMean: Another big data publication

I dislike the term “big data” because it implies a class of problems that are immune from normal statistical considerations. I will admit that certain concepts such as the p-value become meaningless when you have millions of observations. But other concepts, like selection bias become even more important for big data.

Anyway, I now have a second publication that is directly tied to the big data movement. Continue reading

PMean: My research interests in 450 characters or less.

I am currently looking for a full-time position. I have been part-time since 2008, because of child care issues. That will change in July 2018 when my wife retires. She’s looking forward to retirement, but I’m the sort of person who will leave my office only in a coffin. Anyway, I’ve updated my resume and written statements on teaching philosophy and on research interests. Those are up in a special spot on my blog, but I also wanted to add a blog entry with a recent request to summarize my research interests in 450 characters or less. Good grief! Any worse, and I could post it on Twitter. Anyway here it is. Continue reading

Recommended: No more rainbows

This is a nice article explaining why using a rainbow (red-orange-yellow-green-blue-indigo-violet) is a bad idea. The colors produce an artefactual banding pattern, they do not follow a consistent trend from light to dark, they cause trouble for people with color blindness, and they translate poorly to black-and-white reproductions. The article also shows some nice alternatives. Thanks to @EarlGlynn for sharing this. Continue reading

PMean: January talk at KU

Networking is important, and until recently I have failed to build bridges with some of the very smart people working at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. But I will be giving a colloquium talk to a group (Center for Research Methods and Data Analysis) at KU in January.It may be for a different, but closely related group, but it doesn’t matter. It’s an excuse to get out of the office and meet people. Here’s the tentative title and abstract for my talk and a brief review of some other talks I’ll be giving. Continue reading

Recommended: Writing about numbers

This is a chapter in a classic book, Medical Uses of Statistics. The writer of this particular chapter was a giant in Statistics, Frederick Mosteller. This chapter talks about some of the style issues associated with the data that you would normally present in your results section of your research paper. The advice is a bit dated, perhaps, but still well worth reading. Continue reading

PMean: The unthinking approach to borderline p-values

I ran across a nice discussion of how to write the results section of a research paper, but it has one comment about the phrase “trend towards significance” that I had to disagree with. So I wrote a comment that they may or may not end up publishing (note: it did look like the published my comment, but it’s a bit tricky to find).

Here’s what I submitted. Continue reading