Don't trust statistics too much

Introduction There’s a famous scene in the HBO show “The Wire” where the unscrupulous Deputy Commissioner Rawls is addressing the police colonels and majors, and he says: Gentlemen, the word from on high is that the felony rates district by district will decline by five percent before the end of... [Read More]
Tags: Statistics, Lying, Probability, p-value, Misuse, Trust

R and R^2, the relationship between correlation and the coefficient of determination.

There are 2 closely related quantities in statistics - correlation (often referred to as ) and the coefficient of determination (often referred to as ). Today we’ll explore the nature of the relationship between and , go over some common use cases for each statistic and address some misconceptions. Correlation... [Read More]
Tags: Correlation, R, R2, R^2, Coefficient of Determination, Regression, Performance

Understanding Neural Networks with Layerwise Relevance Propagation and Deep Taylor Series

Deep neural networks are some of the most powerful learning algorithms that have ever been developed. Unfortunately, they are also some of the most complex. The hierarchical non-linear transformations that neural networks apply to data can be nearly impossible to understand. This problem is exacerbated by the non-determinism of neural... [Read More]
Tags: Tensorflow, Layerwise, Relevance, Propagation, Deep, Taylor, Series, Visualization

Exploring Assumptions with Monty Hall and Blue Eyed Islanders

Let’s talk about making assumptions. Each time you form an opinion on something, you don’t re-examine each of the beliefs that contributed to that opinion. For example, when you order food at a restaurant, you pick the foods that you think will taste good. You don’t spend hours questioning the... [Read More]
Tags: Math, Probability, Paradox, Monty Hall, Blue Eyed Islanders

An Introduction to Algebraic Groups for CS People

One of my favorite classes in college was Abstract Algebra. It was my first non-CS non-elementary math class, and I took it because I knew I didn’t want to graduate without having broadened my mathematical horizons beyond CS. As it turned out, Abstract Algebra felt pretty familiar. Many of the... [Read More]
Tags: Abstract, Algebra, CS, Theory, Group, Programming