Archive for the ‘Jargon’ Category.

[ArXiv] Statistical Analysis of fMRI Data

[arxiv:0906.3662] The Statistical Analysis of fMRI Data by Martin A. Lindquist
Statistical Science, Vol. 23(4), pp. 439-464

This review paper offers some information and guidance of statistical image analysis for fMRI data that can be expanded to astronomical image data. I think that fMRI data contain similar challenges of astronomical images. As Lindquist said, collaboration helps to find shortcuts. I hope that introducing this paper helps further networking and collaboration between statisticians and astronomers.

List of similarities Continue reading ‘[ArXiv] Statistical Analysis of fMRI Data’ »

[MADS] Kriging

Kriging is the first thing that one learns from a spatial statistics course. If an astronomer sees its definition and application, almost every astronomer will say, “Oh, I know this! It is like the 2pt correlation function!!” At least this was my first impression when I first met kriging.

There are three distinctive subjects in spatial statistics: geostatistics, lattice data analysis, and spatial point pattern analysis. Because of the resemblance between the spatial distribution of observations in coordinates and the notion of spatially random points, spatial statistics in astronomy has leaned more toward the spatial point pattern analysis than the other subjects. In other fields from immunology to forestry to geology whose data are associated spatial coordinates of underlying geometric structures or whose data were sampled from lattices, observations depend on these spatial structures and scientists enjoy various applications from geostatistics and lattice data analysis. Particularly, kriging is the fundamental notion in geostatistics whose application is found many fields. Continue reading ‘[MADS] Kriging’ »

[ArXiv] Cross Validation

Statistical Resampling Methods are rather unfamiliar among astronomers. Bootstrapping can be an exception but I felt like it’s still unrepresented. Seeing an recent review paper on cross validation from [arXiv] which describes basic notions in theoretical statistics, I couldn’t resist mentioning it here. Cross validation has been used in various statistical fields such as classification, density estimation, model selection, regression, to name a few. Continue reading ‘[ArXiv] Cross Validation’ »

[MADS] Parallel Coordinates

Speaking of XAtlas from my previous post I tried another visualization tool called Parallel Coordinates on these Capella observations and two stars with multiple observations (AL Lac and IM Peg). As discussed in [MADS] Chernoff face, full description of the catalog is found from XAtlas website. The reason for choosing these stars is that among low mass stars, next to Capella (I showed 16), IM PEG (HD 21648, 8 times), and AR Lac (although different phases, 6 times) are most frequently observed. I was curious about which variation, within (statistical variation) and between (Capella, IM Peg, AL Lac), is dominant. How would they look like from the parametric space of High Resolution Grating Spectroscopy from Chandra? Continue reading ‘[MADS] Parallel Coordinates’ »

different views

An email was forwarded with questions related to the data sets found in “Be an INTEGRAL astronomer”. Among the sets, the following scatter plot is based on the Crab data.


Continue reading ‘different views’ »


Approximately for a decade, there have been journals dedicated to bioinformatics. On the other hand, there is none in astronomy although astronomers have a long history of comprising a huge volume of catalogs and data archives. Prof. Bickel’s comment during his plenary lecture at the IMS-APRM particularly on sparse matrix and philosophical issues on choosing principal components led me to wonder why astronomers do not discuss astroinformatics. Continue reading ‘Astroinformatics’ »

worse than the Drake eq.

I was reading the June 2009 IMS bulletin on my way to Korea for the 1st IMS-APRM meeting. Then, I was in half shock and in half sadness. Something unlike than the Drake equation had happened. Continue reading ‘worse than the Drake eq.’ »

Wavelet-regularized image deconvolution

A Fast Thresholded Landweber Algorithm for Wavelet-Regularized Multidimensional Deconvolution
Vonesch and Unser (2008)
IEEE Trans. Image Proc. vol. 17(4), pp. 539-549

Quoting the authors, I also like to say that the recovery of the original image from the observed is an ill-posed problem. They traced the efforts of wavelet regularization in deconvolution back to a few relatively recent publications by astronomers. Therefore, I guess the topic and algorithm of this paper could drag some attentions from astronomers. Continue reading ‘Wavelet-regularized image deconvolution’ »

[MADS] data depth

How would you assign orders to multivariate data? If you have your strategy to achieve this ordering task, I’d like to ask, “is your strategy affine invariant?” meaning that shift and rotation invariant. Continue reading ‘[MADS] data depth’ »

[MADS] Law of Total Variance

This simple law, despite my trial of full text search, was not showing in ADS. As discussed in systematic errors, astronomers, like physicists, show their error components in two additive terms; statistical error + systematic error. To explain such decomposition and to make error analysis statistically rigorous, the law of total variance (LTV) seems indispensable. Continue reading ‘[MADS] Law of Total Variance’ »

space weather

Among billion objects in our Galaxy, outside the Earth, our Sun drags most attention from astronomers. These astronomers go by solar physicists, who enjoy the most abundant data including 400 year long sunspot counts. Their joy is not only originated from the fascinating, active, and unpredictable characteristics of the Sun but also attributed to its influence on our daily lives. Related to the latter, sometimes studying the conditions on the Sun is called space weather forecast. Continue reading ‘space weather’ »

Robust Statistics

My understandings of “robustness” from the education in statistics and from communicating with astronomers are hard to find a mutual interest. Can anyone help me to build a robust bridge to get over this abyss? Continue reading ‘Robust Statistics’ »

[ArXiv] Sparse Poisson Intensity Reconstruction Algorithms

One of [ArXiv] papers from yesterday whose title might drag lots of attentions from astronomers. Furthermore, it’s a short paper.
[arxiv:math.CO:0905.0483] by Harmany, Marcia, and Willet.
Continue reading ‘[ArXiv] Sparse Poisson Intensity Reconstruction Algorithms’ »


For someone who doesn’t know any grammar, I can be a bit of a Grammar nazi sometimes. And one of my pet peeves is when people use the word data in the singular. No! Data are!

Or so I used to believe. Continue reading ‘Datums’ »

[MADS] plug-in estimator

I asked a couple of astronomers if they heard the term plug-in estimator and none of them gave me a positive answer. Continue reading ‘[MADS] plug-in estimator’ »