Archive for Nature

best science graphic of the week?!

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , , , on January 24, 2023 by xi'an

matrix multiplication [cover]

Posted in Books, pictures, Statistics, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 15, 2022 by xi'an

Nature snapshots [10 November]

Posted in Books, Kids, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 11, 2022 by xi'an

As I was reading Nature in a [noisy] train from Coventry to London, I came across

Poisson-Belgium 0-0

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 5, 2022 by xi'an

“Statistical match predictions are more accurate than many people realize (…) For the upcoming Qatar World Cup, Penn’s model suggests that Belgium (…) has the highest chances of raising the famous trophy, followed by Brazil”

Even Nature had to get entries on the current football World cup, with a paper on data-analytics reaching football coaches and teams. This is not exactly prime news, as I remember visiting the Department of Statistics of the University of Glasgow in the mid 1990’s and chatting with a very friendly doctoral student who was consulting for the Glasgow Rangers (or Celtics?!) on the side at the time. And went back to Ireland to continue with a local team (Galway?!).

The paper reports on different modellings, including one double-Poisson model by (PhD) Matthew Penn from Oxford and (maths undergraduate) Joanna Marks from Warwick, which presumably resemble the double-Poisson version set by Leonardo Egidi et al. and posted on Andrews’ blog a few days ago. Following an earlier model by my friends Karlis & Ntzoufras in 2003. While predictive models can obviously fail, this attempt is missing Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Mexico, Uruguay, and Denmark early elimination from the cup. One possible reason imho is that national teams do not play that often when players are employed by different clubs in many counties, hence are hard to assess, but I cannot claim any expertise or interest in the game.

gun research [out of control]

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , , , , , on November 11, 2022 by xi'an

Nature in its 06 October 2022 edition has an editorial calling for a public-health approach to gun terrifying mortality in the US. Which makes it such an outlier among high income countries. Not the first time in this journal, as legal ban on research on the topic has been systemic for many years.

“Given the prevalence of firearm injury and death in the United States, it is astounding that scientific understanding of the problem is so poor and that the research infrastructure and workforce are so underdeveloped.”

The tribune lists how interventions could reduce gun fatalities and address violence. However, it never mentions the elephant in the room, namely the legality of buying and carrying weapons on a scale with no comparison with other developed countries. This may be what they call “shift[ing] our national view of firearm-injury prevention away from a political issue”, but advocating treating the effect rather than the cause is delusional. (To be fair, Nature had another news article this year calling for scientific research into gun control.)

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