Course Recap: Physics of Energy and the Environment, Spring 2021

In the quarter that recently ended I taught The Physics of Energy and the Environment, a course for non-science-major undergraduates at the University of Oregon (UO) that I’ve taught before, though never before as an online, Zoom-based course. (For those reading this in the far-off future: It’s April 2021, and we’re a bit over a … Continue reading Course Recap: Physics of Energy and the Environment, Spring 2021

Tossing Starfish from the Tidepools — Gut Microbiome Edition

About a paper from my lab [1] on competition and cooperation among gut microbes. Is the whole more than the sum of its parts? This question arises throughout the sciences, as one wonders whether understanding the constituents of some system suffices to understand the system as a whole. Sometimes the answer is “yes.” Electromagnetic fields, … Continue reading Tossing Starfish from the Tidepools — Gut Microbiome Edition

The Year in Books, 2020

It’s again time for The Year in Books! (Previous posts: 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015.) 2020 was challenging in many ways. One consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic was the difficulty of getting books, very minor of course compared to many misfortunes both personal and global, but annoying nonetheless. The Eugene Public Library has been … Continue reading The Year in Books, 2020

Comments on over-interpreting results, correlation and causation, and concluding remarks — “Ten common statistical mistakes…” #9-10

This week: the last of my commentaries on Makin and Orban de Xivry’s Common Statistical Mistakes! (Previous posts: #1-2, #3 , #4, #5, #6, #7, #8.) I’m lumping together comments on “Mistake #9” (Over-interpreting non-significant results) and “Mistake #10” (Correlation and causation), as well as concluding remarks, writing one long post instead of two or … Continue reading Comments on over-interpreting results, correlation and causation, and concluding remarks — “Ten common statistical mistakes…” #9-10

Comments on “Failure to Correct for Multiple Comparisons” — “Ten common statistical mistakes…” #8

This week’s installment of comments on Makin and Orban de Xivry’s Common Statistical Mistakes deals with #8: Failure to Correct for Multiple Comparisons. (Previous posts: #1-2, #3 , #4, #5, #6, #7.) Makin and Orban de Xivry’s description is rather complex, but the error is a simple one. To illustrate: suppose we have a control … Continue reading Comments on “Failure to Correct for Multiple Comparisons” — “Ten common statistical mistakes…” #8

Comments on “p-Hacking (Flexibility of Analysis)” — “Ten common statistical mistakes…” #7

This week’s commentary on Makin and Orban de Xivry’s Common Statistical Mistakes covers #7: Flexibility of Analysis: p-Hacking. (Previous posts: #1-2, #3 , #4, #5, #6.) I feel like this has been discussed ad nauseum,* yet the problem still exists. The issue is that flexibility in how one analyzes data, even seemingly innocuous flexibility, can … Continue reading Comments on “p-Hacking (Flexibility of Analysis)” — “Ten common statistical mistakes…” #7

Comments on “Circular Analysis” — “Ten common statistical mistakes…” #6

Next in our series of commentaries on Makin and Orban de Xivry’s Common Statistical Mistakes, #6: Circular Analysis. (Previous posts: #1-2, #3 , #4, #5.) I was thinking of skipping this one entirely. It’s less dramatic than #5 or the upcoming #7, I’m not sure I fully understand the authors’ intent, and my seashore painting … Continue reading Comments on “Circular Analysis” — “Ten common statistical mistakes…” #6