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

Recommended: Philosophy News Network: Postmodernism Special Report

I generally shy away from Philosophical debates, but I did discuss a Postmodern critique of Evidence Based Medicine a while back. When one of my more intellectual friends posted a link to a commentary on Postmodernism on the Existential Comics web site, I had to take a look. I think I did a pretty good job of summarizing Postmodernism without stereotyping it, but maybe I’m setting my standards too low if I try to compete with a comic strip. You can judge for yourself. Continue reading

Recommended: The Origins of ‘Big Data’

I’m not a big fan of the term “big data” but I’ve been applying for a couple of jobs that ask for expertise in big data instead of expertise in Statistics. So in one of the cover letters, I wrote that I was doing big data analysis before the term was even coined. That forced me to do a quick fact check, and it looks like the term first came into wide use in the late 1990s. Here’s an article on the person who first coined the term “big data.” 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: Designing and conducting semi-structured interviews for research

This is a very helpful guide on collecting qualitative data through a semi-structured interview. It emphasizes the need for probe questions and on behaviors that you should adopt to put your subject at ease and get the best information possible. This handout was developed for a college course on Organizational Communication, and the syllabus for this class has other valuable resources. 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

Recommended: Network analysis in cross-sectional data using R

These are the slides for a very nice webinar presented by Eiko Fried. Dr. Fried provided a wealth of resources during his webinar (some of these are behind pay walls).

He offered examples of network analysis in the study of bereavement and depression and of post-traumatic stress disorder. He also provided tutorial papers on network models with binary data and regularized partial correlation networks., as well as a nice general overview of network models in mental health. He shared a blog posting on the relationship between a latent variable model and a network model and a facebook page on psychological dynamics. He also showed analyses from several R packages, qgraph, IsingFit, and bootnet. I’m putting those links here so I don’t lose track of them when I revisit this stuff six months from now.

Continue reading