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Week #35 – Continuous vs. Discrete Distributions

A discrete distribution is one in which the data can only take on certain values, for example integers.  A continuous distribution is one in which data can take on any value within a specified range (which may be infinite).

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Week # 34 – Central Limit Theorem

The central limit theorem states that the sampling distribution of the mean approaches Normality as the sample size increases, regardless of the probability distribution of the population from which the sample is drawn.

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Week #32 – CHAID

CHAID stands for Chi-squared Automatic Interaction Detector. It is a method for building classification trees and regression trees from a training sample comprising already-classified objects.

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Week # 31 – Census

In a census survey , all units from the population of interest are analyzed. A related concept is the sample survey, in which only a subset of the population is taken.

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Week #30 – Discriminant analysis

Discriminant analysis is a method of distinguishing between classes of objects.  The objects are typically represented as rows in a matrix.

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Week # 29 – Training data

Also called the training sample, training set, calibration sample.  The context is predictive modeling (also called supervised data mining) -  where you have data with multiple predictor variables and a single known outcome or target variable.

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Week #28 – Bias

A general statistical term meaning a systematic (not random) deviation of an estimate from the true value.

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Week #17 – Bootstrapping

Bootstrapping is sampling with replacement from observed data to estimate the variability in a statistic of interest. See also permutation tests, a related form of resampling. A common application

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Week #16 – Binomial Distribution

A Binomial distribution is used to describe an experiment, event, or process for which the probability of success is the same for each trial and each trial has only two possible outcomes.

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Week #15 – Uplift or Persuasion Modeling

A combination of treatment comparisons (e.g. send a sales solicitation, or send nothing) and predictive modeling to determine which cases or subjects respond (e.g. purchase or not) to which treatments.

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Week #13 – Multiplicity issues

Multiplicity issues arise in a number of contexts, but they generally boil down to the same thing:  repeated looks at a data set in different ways, until something "statistically significant" emerges.

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Week #12 – Support vector machines

Support vector machines are used in data mining (predictive modeling, to be specific) for classification of records, by learning from training data.

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Week #11 – Attribute

In data analysis or data mining, an attribute is a characteristic or feature that is measured for each observation (record) and can vary from one observation to another.  It might

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Week #10 – Negative Binomial

The negative binomial distribution is the probability distribution of the number of Bernoulli (yes/no) trials required to obtain r successes.

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Week #9 – Random Walk

A random walk is a process of random steps, motions, or transitions.  It might be in one dimension (movement along a line), in two dimensions (movements in a plane), or in three dimensions or more.

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Week #5 – Differencing of a Time Series

in discrete time is the transformation of the series to a new time series where the values are the differences between consecutive values of the original series.

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Week #1 – Data Partitioning

In predictive modeling, data partitioning is the division of the data available for analysis into two or three non-overlapping

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Churn Trigger

Last year's popular story out of the Predictive Analytics World conference series was Andrew Pole's presentation of Target's methodology for predicting which customers were pregnant.

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Randomized Trials on online learning

Evidence show that there is no significant difference between taking an online introductory statistics course and a traditional in-person class.

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Facebook IPO

Facebook began trading around 11:30 this morning, and I spent 8 minutes

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Congratulations to Thomas Lumley!

Newly elected American Statistical Association (ASA) Fellow, and recognized for his outstanding professional contributions to and leadership in the field of statistical science.

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Immigration

Arizona's immigration law goes before the Supreme Court this week...

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Julian Simon birthday

February 12 was the 80th anniversary of the birth of Julian Simon, an early pioneer in resampling methods.

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Statistics for Future Presidents

Statistics for Future Presidents - Steve Pierson, Director of Science Policy at ASA wrote interesting blog wondering how statistics for future presidents (or policymakers more generally) would compare with the recommended statistical skills/concepts for others. Take a look and let him know!

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The Data Scientist

The story of the prospective Facebook IPO, and prior IPO's from LinkedIn, Pandora, and Groupon all involve "data scientists".  Read an interview with Monica Rogati - Senior Data Scientist at LinkedIn to see the connection.

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Popular Mistakes in Data Mining

John Elder's presentations on common data mining mistakes are a must-see if you have any experience or plans in the data mining arena.

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Coffee causes cancer?

"Any claim coming from an observational study is most likely to be wrong." Thus begins "Deming, data and observational studies," just published in "Significance Magazine" (Sept. 2011).

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The sacrifice bunt

I was watching a Washington Nationals game on TV a couple of days ago, and the concept of "expected value" ...

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Epidemiologist joke

A neurosurgeon, pathologist and epidemiologist are each told to examine a can of sardines on a table in a closed room, and present a report.

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The Power of Round

Advertisers shy away from round numbers, believing that $99 appears significantly cheaper than $100...

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March Madness

Did the NCAA get the March Madness rankings right? Check out SportsMeasures.com

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Bees on the attack

What does Matt Asher's article "Attack of the Hair Trigger Bees" have to do with global warming? Matt Asher runs statisticsblog.com ...

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Catastrophe Modeling Assistant

Thinking about careers that use statistics? The job title "catastrophe modeling assistant" caught my eye recently in a job announcement. ...

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Random Monkeys

One of my gifts this holiday season was "A Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives,"

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