Monthly Archives: March 2013

ML vs Stats

What is the difference between machine learning and statistics? Can it be captured in a tweet?

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Filed under education

A colleague of a colleague is hiring

A colleague of mine writes:

A colleague of mine at PATH is looking to hire a health economist and particularly someone who has versatile, nimble modeling skills. Do either of you know of anyone who may fit the bill? If so, please share with them the link below.

Sounds like a cool position:

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Filed under global health

UW Math Day

I had a fun time on Monday talking to area high school students at the UW Math Department’s annual Math Day event. My slides and some others are now on the web.


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Filed under education

Happy Pi Day

I recently came across a stack overflow post just perfect for Pi day. The path to knowledge is asking many questions, and it is a strange feature of the days in which we live how steep this path can be: a question that starts “How to determine whether my calculation of pi is accurate? I was trying various methods to implement a program that gives the digits of pi sequentially…” eventually receives an answer that starts “Since I’m the current world record holder for the most digits of pi, I’ll add my two cents…”

All here.

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Filed under software engineering

Journal Club: Nets, spray or both?

This week in journal club we will take on yet another locally produced paper, Nets, spray or both? The effectiveness of insecticide-treated nets and indoor residual spraying in reducing malaria morbidity and child mortality in sub-Saharan Africa.

TL/DR? both.

Or as the authors put it: “these findings suggest that greater reductions in malaria morbidity and health gains for children may be achieved with ITNs and IRS combined beyond the protection offered by IRS or ITNs alone.”

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Filed under global health

Math and Dance

I almost didn’t share these HarleMCMC videos, but how long could I resist, really?

We’ll see how this holds up to repeated viewing…

Here is a math/dance video for the ages:

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Filed under MCMC, Uncategorized

Stan in IPython: reproducing 8 schools

Continuing my experiment using Stan in IPython, here is a notebook to do a bit of the eight schools example from the RStan Getting Started Guide.

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Filed under software engineering

Stan in IPython: getting starting

There has been a low murmur about new MCMC package bouncing through my email inbox for a while now. Stan, it is. The project has reached the point where the developers are soliciting Python integration volunteers, so I decided it is time to check it out.

Good news, it installed and ran the example without frustration! I don’t take that for granted with research software.

IPython Notebook here.

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Filed under software engineering

Journal Club: Garbage code redistribution

This week brings another locally grown reading to our journal club, Algorithms for enhancing public health utility of national causes-of-death data. As they say in the text:

While some practitioners may object to the term “garbage code” as pejorative, alternative terms have not yet caught on in the literature. We follow this practice and use the term garbage code (GC) to refer to all deaths assigned to codes that should be redistributed to enhance the validity of public health analysis.

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Filed under global health

GBD Country-level Visualizations

Very cool new visualizations of the GBD2010 results are now on-line:


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Filed under global health