Monthly Archives: May 2013

Everything against everything …

One of my past bosses in galaxy evolution research used to love telling us post-docs and PhD students trying to make sense of our precious ‘reduced’ datasets (in this case, enormous galaxy catalogues compiling 100-200 different variables for each of … Continue reading

Posted in Astronomy, Astrostatistics, Statistics | 2 Comments

Why information field theory is *not* a field theory (part 1) …

About six months ago I discovered a series of papers by Torsten Ensslin & collaborators promoting a methodology they had developed, called Information Field Theory (IFT), for performing Bayesian inference on random fields; that is, Bayesian inference in infinite dimensional … Continue reading

Posted in Astrostatistics, Gaussian Processes, Infinite-Dimensional Inference, Measure Theory, Rants | 8 Comments

Another not-so-significant “violation” of the Copernican principle …

Another in the long series of phenomenological papers (e.g. Longo’s spiral galaxy handedness silliness; Land et al.’s CMB anisotropy paper; the Kovetz “giant rings” CMB face-palm; the Webb et al. fine structure dipole) claiming to have discovered remarkable evidence challenging the … Continue reading

Posted in Astronomy, Bad Science, Rants | 3 Comments

An interesting model choice problem (for the binomial again!) …

This sort-of-paradoxical scenario comes from my interest in a recent paper by Gaidos et al.:

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And the latest fine structure results are … (drum-roll) … inconclusive! (Or are they?)

The experimental(ish*) results in the search for variation in the fine structure constant are … (excitement building) … (butterflies in stomach) … (forehead getting shiny) … inconclusive!  Oh … right. In brief, Molaro et al. have run their many multiplet analysis … Continue reading

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Semi-Bayesian model selection …

Another model selection paper on astro-ph today, this one by Veneziani et al. & concerning far-infrared SED fitting.  According to the authors’ own comments this is the third iteration of the paper through the refereeing process & (IMHO) no wonder, … Continue reading

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The usual binomial proportion cock-up …

Having published a how-to guide for computing credible intervals on binomial population proportions in astronomy my troll instincts are particularly keen for detecting mistakes with the binomial in new astro ph submissions.   Today’s fail comes from the WFC3/UDS paper … Continue reading

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