The quest for randomness

http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/id.16186,y.2014,no.3,content.true,page.1,css.print/issue.aspx One of my favorite Dilbert cartoons features a lizardlike creature that’s billed as a “random number generator,” but that only ever seems to spit out the number nine. Dilbert asks his guide, “Are you sure that’s random?” The guide replies, “That’s the problem with randomness. You can never be sure.” It’s funny (at least…

How to give a good presentation

Via Tyler Cowen’s blog. The focus is on applied microeconomics, but very useful for anyone doing applied quant work in the social sciences: http://faculty.chicagobooth.edu/jesse.shapiro/research/applied_micro_slides.pdf  

Power analyses for matching

A colleague at RTI asked me about power analyses for PSM, specifically, should he assume dependent samples for his power analysis? Recall that with dependent samples, we pair observations at the analysis stage. For example, we might calculate the change over time for two observations of the same individual, or compare husbands’ and wives’ perception…

In blind test, soloists like new violins over old

http://phys.org/news/2014-04-soloists-violins.html Ten world-class soloists put costly Stradivarius violins and new, cheaper ones to a blind scientific test. The results may seem off-key to musicians and collectors, but the new instruments won handily. When the lights were dimmed and the musicians donned dark glasses, the soloists’ top choice out of a dozen old and new violins…