Archive for February 2009

An excerpt from …

I’ve been complaining about how one can do machine learning on solar images without a training set? (see my comment at the big picture). On the other hand, I’m also aware of challenges in astronomy that data (images) cannot be transformed freely and be fed into standard machine learning algorithms. Tailoring data pipelining, cleaning, and processing to currently existing vision algorithms may not be achievable. The hope of automatizing the detection/identification procedure of interesting features (e.g. flares and loops) and forecasting events on the surface of the Sun is only a dream. Even though the level of image data stream is that of tsunami, we might have to depend on human eyes to comb out interesting features on the Sun until the new paradigm of automatized feature identification algorithms based on a single image i.e. without a training set. The good news is that human eyes have done a superb job! Continue reading ‘An excerpt from …’ »

[ArXiv] Particle Physics

Open Statistical Issues in Particle Physics by Louis Lyons

My recollection of meeting Prof. L. Lyons was that he is very kind and listening. I was delighted to see his introductory article about particle physics and its statistical challenges from an [arxiv:stat] email subscription. Continue reading ‘[ArXiv] Particle Physics’ »

Guinness, Gosset, Fisher, and Small Samples

Student’s t-distribution is somewhat underrepresented in the astronomical community. Having an article with nice stories, it looks to me the best way to introduce the t distribution. This article describing historic anecdotes about monumental statistical developments occurred about 100 years ago.

Guinness, Gosset, Fisher, and Small Samples by Joan Fisher Box
Source: Statist. Sci. Volume 2, Number 1 (1987), 45-52.

No time for reading the whole article? I hope you have a few minutes to read following quotes, which are quite enchanting to me. Continue reading ‘Guinness, Gosset, Fisher, and Small Samples’ »

A book by David Freedman

A continuation from my posting, titled circumspect frequentist.

Title: Statistical Models: Theory and Practice (click for the publisher’s website)
My one line review, rather a comment several months ago was

Bias in asymptotic standard errors is not a familiar topic for astronomers

and I don’t understand why I wrote it but I think I came up this comment owing to my pursuit of modeling measurement errors occurring in astronomical researches. Continue reading ‘A book by David Freedman’ »

[MADS] Semiparametric

There were (only) four articles from ADS whose abstracts contain the word semiparametric (none in titles). Therefore, semiparametric is not exactly [MADS] but almost [MADS]. One would like to say it is virtually [MADS] or quasi [MADS]. By introducing the term and providing rare examples in astronomy, I hope this scarce term semiparametric to be used adequately against its misguidance of astronomers to inappropriate usage for statistical inference with their data. Continue reading ‘[MADS] Semiparametric’ »

[ArXiv] Special Issue from Annals of Applied Statistics

When I was studying astronomy, during when I once became a subject for a social science survey study about life in a department where gender bias is extreme (I was only female), people often asked me how to forecast weather or how to predict future (boys often get questions related to becoming astronauts in addition to weather men and astrologists). Relating astronomy to earth science still happens. Statisticians that I met at conferences, often tried to associate my efforts on astronomical data with those of geologists and meteorologists, who often use stochastic models and spatial temporal models, dimensional extensions of models in time series. Because of this confusion between astronomy and meteorology/geology/oceanology, and the longer history of wide statistical applications found from the latter subjects (a good counter example is the least square method by Gauss but I cannot think more examples to contradict my statement that statistics is used widely among earth scientists with rich history), from time to time my attention has been paid to various applications and models in those subjects so as to find a thread for similar applications for astronomy. Although I don’t like the misconception of astronomy equal to meteorology or geoscience, those scientific fields, what so ever, share at least one commonality that statistical methods are applied to analyzing satellite data. Continue reading ‘[ArXiv] Special Issue from Annals of Applied Statistics’ »

Circumspect frequentist

The first issue of this year’s IMS bulletin has an obituary, from which the following is quoted. Continue reading ‘Circumspect frequentist’ »