Statistics book authored by Hope professors wins award

Statistics book authored by Hope professors wins award statistics, nevin_manimala, nevin manimala, nevin, manimala
Statistics book authored by Hope professors wins award statistics, nevin_manimala, nevin manimala, nevin, manimala

A college-level statistics textbook “Introduction to Statistical Investigations”,  co-authored by Hope College math associate professors Todd Swanson and Jill VanderStoep, received the 2018 Daniel Solow Author’s Award on Aug. 3 during the annual Mathematical Association of America meeting in Denver, Colo.

The award recognizes the author or authors of undergraduate mathematics teaching material, with the primary criteria for selection being the material’s impact on undergraduate education in mathematics and/or the mathematical sciences.

The presentation citation praised not only the book for its innovative approach, but the authors for sharing their methodology and results. In 2017, the book also received one of seven “Most Promising New Textbook” awards from the Textbook and Academic Authors Association.

“Introduction to Statistical Investigations” was originally written as a college-level textbook and has a new edition designed for high school Advanced Placement statistics classes.

The book helps students focus on “thinking statistically”, the citation said. It introduces deeper statistical concepts right away and then focuses on filling in students’ understanding as they apply the concepts in various contexts.

The approach taken by the books was piloted at Hope in 2009 with additional implementation at multiple colleges, universities and high schools as the 2015 text was developed. It was initiated at Hope in conjunction with the creation of the college’s statistical teaching and research computing laboratory through a 2008 grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Statistics Canada: CPI Up 3 percent in July

Statistics Canada: CPI Up 3 percent in July statistics, nevin_manimala, nevin manimala, nevin, manimala

The Consumer Price Index rose 3 percent on a year-over-year basis in July, following a 2.5 percent increase in June, according to new data from Statistics Canada.

All eight major components rose year over year in July. The transportation index (+8.1 percent) was the largest contributor to the year-over-year increase.

Energy costs were 14.2 percent higher compared with July 2017, after increasing 12.4 percent year over year in June. Consumer prices for gasoline (+25.4 percent) and fuel oil and other fuels (+28.1 percent) continued to increase on a year-over-year basis, amid rising global prices for crude oil following recent supply disruptions.

Consumer prices for transportation rose 8.1 percent in July, following a 6.6 percent increase in June. In addition to gasoline, the purchase of passenger vehicles index rose more on a year-over-year basis in July (+2 percent) than it did in June (+1.8 percent). Prices for passenger vehicle insurance premiums were 3.5 percent higher compared with July 2017, following rate increases in several provinces.

Year-over-year gains in the price of services were higher in July (+3.2 percent) than in June (+2.2 percent). Month-over-month increases in the air transportation index (+16.4 percent) and the travel tours index (+13.9 percent) reflected higher prices during peak travel season. Prices for telephone services increased 2.2 percent on a month-over-month basis following declines in May and June, when a series of industry-wide price promotions took place. Recent interest rate increases continued to impact the mortgage interest cost index, which rose 5.2 percent in the 12 months to July

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How statistical information can be used

How statistical information can be used statistics, nevin_manimala, nevin manimala, nevin, manimala
How statistical information can be used statistics, nevin_manimala, nevin manimala, nevin, manimala

The Collection of Statistics (Amendment) Act of 2017 authorises the Centre to decide the manner in which statistical information collected can be used. The original Act of 2008 had restricted the data collected to be used only for statistical purposes.

The Act passed in August 2017 empowers the Central government to make rules on the powers and duties of a nodal officer who may be designated to coordinate and supervise statistical activities in the Central government or a State government or Union Territory administration. It “empowers the Central Government to make rules relating to the manner of using any information by the statistics officer or any person or agency under Section 6 of the Act for statistical purpose”.

The Act also extends the jurisdiction of the Collection of Statistics Act, 2008, to Jammu and Kashmir on statistics relevant to any matters under any of the entries specified in List I (Union List) and List III (Concurrent List) in the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution, as applicable to Jammu and Kashmir under the Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) Order, 1954.

The amendment will strengthen the data collection mechanism in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Collection of Statistics Act, 2008, was enacted to facilitate the collection of statistics on economic, demographic, social, scientific and environmental aspects, among others. The Act had originally extended to the whole of India, except Jammu and Kashmir.

The Jammu and Kashmir State Legislature enacted the Jammu and Kashmir Collection of Statistics Act, 2010, which extends to the whole of Jammu and Kashmir and is almost a replica of the Central legislation.

The Collection of Statistics Act, 2008, and the Jammu and Kashmir Collection of Statistics Act, 2010, were not applicable to statistical subjects falling in the Union List, as applicable to Jammu and Kashmir under the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954.

This had created a legislative vacuum. Moreover, the concurrent jurisdiction to be exercised by the Centre in Jammu and Kashmir has also not been provided for in the Collection of Statistics Act, 2008. The amendment statute fills the vacuum.

statistics; +201 new citations

statistics; +201 new citations Report, nevin_manimala, linkedin, google_plus
statistics; +201 new citations Report, nevin_manimala, linkedin, google_plus

Matejcic M, Lesueur F, Biessy C, Renault AL, Mebirouk N, Yammine S, Keski-Rahkonen P, Li K, Hémon B, Weiderpass E, Rebours V, Boutron-Ruault MC, Carbonnel F, Kaaks R, Katzke V, Kuhn T, Boeing H, Trichopoulou A, Palli D, Agnoli C, Panico S, Tumino R, Sacerdote C, Quirós JR, Duell EJ, Porta M, Sánchez MJ, Chirlaque MD, Barricarte A, Amiano P, Ye W, Peeters PH, Khaw KT, Perez-Cornago A, Key TJ, Bueno-de-Mesquita HB, Riboli E, Vineis P, Romieu I, Gunter MJ, Chajès V.

Int J Cancer. 2018 Aug 15. doi: 10.1002/ijc.31797. [Epub ahead of print]

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Vital statistics, Aug. 16

Vital statistics, Aug. 16 statistics, nevin_manimala, nevin manimala, nevin, manimala
Vital statistics, Aug. 16 statistics, nevin_manimala, nevin manimala, nevin, manimala

{UNICODE-MAC}

{vsn:7.5}{fset:InDesign-Roman}{ctable:={Black:COLOR:CMYK:Process:0,0,0,1}}

{pstyle:Records Text}Forms to report births to the News-Press are available at Heartland Health, just outside maternity. Forms are normally picked up Tuesdays and Fridays. Forms are also available at the News-Press from desk.

Vital statistics

Forms to report births to the News-Press are available at Mosaic Life Care, just outside maternity. Forms are normally picked up Tuesdays and Fridays. Forms are also available at the News-Press front desk.

Rilea Birkinsha and Dennis Adams, St. Joseph, a boy born Aug. 6.

Jill and John Morrison, Wathena, Kansas, a girl born Aug. 7.

Liz and Tim Tandy, St. Joseph, a girl born Aug. 8.

Shelby and Kaulin Cook, St. Joseph, a boy born Aug. 9.

Nichole Vice and Zechariah Bower, St. Joseph, a girl born Aug. 9.

Hannah and Taig Blum, St. Joseph, a boy born Aug. 10.

DIVORCE SUITS FILED

Joseph Stucker and Abigail Stucker

Amanda J. Steeby and Frederick E. Steeby

Jessica K. Kern and Bryan F. Kern

DIVORCE SUITS GRANTED

Juanita L. Turner and Tommy R. Turner

Rusanna Wagers and Benjamin J. Wagers

How to Bullshit With Statistics

How to Bullshit With Statistics statistics, nevin_manimala, nevin manimala, nevin, manimala

As you probably know, President Obama put in place higher mileage standards for new cars before he left office. President Trump, naturally, wants to get rid of them. This requires a report demonstrating that the Obama standards would be bad, so he ordered OMB Director Mick Mulvaney to produce one.¹ Mick saluted and scurried off to carry out his boss’s order with the help of the Department of Transportation, which is conveniently run by Elaine Chao, the wife of Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell.

Today the EPA made public an … um … assessment of the report that it wrote a couple of months ago. The EPA’s assessment “privately challenged the Trump administration’s rationale for freezing Obama-era mileage standards,” according to the Associated Press, and that made me curious to see it. Eventually I did, and now I’m going to share a small part of it with you. Fair warning, though: even for chart nerds, this is pretty tedious. But I promise that it’s worth it, for reasons that I hope will become clear.

Scrappage

First off, you have to estimate the effect of higher mileage standards on the total size of the automobile fleet. But the Trump version makes no sense:

The As-Received² model estimates that the Augural³ standards will reduce the year-over-year annual increase sales of new vehicles by approximately 8,000 vehicles on average between CY2021 and CY2032. However, during the same period, the As-Received model estimates that the used fleet will grow by an average of 512,000 vehicles per year, far exceeding the decrease in new vehicle sales. It’s hard to imagine any real-world scenario under which over 60 additional used vehicles are retained for each new vehicle that the sales model predicts will be unsold as a result of the higher new vehicle prices.

And here’s the chart:

How to Bullshit With Statistics statistics, nevin_manimala, nevin manimala, nevin, manimala

As you can see, there’s really only a small difference between the red line and the dashed black line. Who would even notice that it goes in the wrong direction and is therefore projecting that a higher vehicle cost will produce a bigger fleet? But it does, and this is “not consistent with the basic principle of supply and demand,” as the EPA says blandly.

The Rebound Effect

If gas mileage gets better, cars will use less gasoline. Hooray! However, there’s also something called the rebound effect, which means that since cars are using less gasoline, people will tend to drive a little more because it’s cheaper to do so. The result is that although improving gas mileage has a positive effect by reducing the amount of gas used per mile, it also has a small negative effect because people drive more miles. Sometimes life is like that.

Somehow, though, the OMB/DOT folks got this 180 degrees backward. Here’s the chart:

How to Bullshit With Statistics statistics, nevin_manimala, nevin manimala, nevin, manimala

Notice that the dashed lines are all below zero, which means that OMB is projecting lower VMT (vehicle miles driven) from the Obama standards, even though the Obama standards produce higher gas mileage and therefore should produce a positive rebound. As a consequence, this would also project a negative rebound from repealing the Obama standards, which is totally wrong.

Yet More Rebound

It gets even worse. The rebound effect is fairly small, so what if we just assumed it was zero?

With no rebound, we would not expect to see any change in total VMT….However, even with 0 percent rebound, the As-Received model does produce total VMT values that are influenced by stringency level. See Figure 6, below. We believe that this zero-rebound VMT growth is an artifact of the disconnect between the sales model, scrappage model and mileage accumulation schedules described with Issue #1. And while this problem is not directly related to the model’s calculation of the rebound effect, it points to the importance of carefully considering how the various elements are integrated when making changes or additions to a model.

This time, just to make their point clear, EPA places a gigantic red X through the incorrect numbers:

How to Bullshit With Statistics statistics, nevin_manimala, nevin manimala, nevin, manimala

This should be a straight line, not a curve. If there’s no rebound effect, how can the rebound effect produce anything other than a result of zero all the way across?

What It All Means

There’s more, but I’ll stop here. Even for chart enthusiasts, enough is enough.

In any case, the point here is not that the OMB/DOT charts are wrong. The point is that they’re totally disconnected from reality. Basically, somebody whomped up a spreadsheet and then played around with the numbers until they got ones they liked. The fact that it implied gravity was negative or the sky was green never occurred to them. To them, this wasn’t an exercise in creating a model of the real world, it was an exercise in fiddling with spreadsheet cells until the results were ones the boss would like.

And who cares anyway? It’s not like anyone in the press is ever going to look carefully at this stuff. Even the ones who know better will describe it as a “tense technical battle between experts at two separate government agencies” because they’re not allowed to say that the OMB and DOT just bullshitted some numbers and then called it a day. But that’s what happened, and that’s why it was worth wading through a bit of this. This is how the Trump administration works. It’s how the Republican Party works these days. These guys make Karl Rove look like Einstein.

¹I assume it was Mick Mulvaney, anyway. I suppose it might have been someone else.

²“As Received” means the version EPA received from OMB.

³Don’t even ask. For some reason, the Trump report uses “augural” to refer to its proposed future standards. God only knows why.

New CDC report reveals sobering state suicide statistics

New CDC report reveals sobering state suicide statistics statistics, nevin_manimala, nevin manimala, nevin, manimala
New CDC report reveals sobering state suicide statistics statistics, nevin_manimala, nevin manimala, nevin, manimala

Senate Bill 2038 passed during the North Dakota 65th Legislative session and requires school districts to provide behavioral health professional development to teachers and administrators with the hopes of reversing the current trend.

Alison Traynor, Suicide Prevention Program Director at the North Dakota Department of Health, believes the new legislation is a great start, but addressing social isolation in the home, at school and in the community is vital to confronting the growing concern.

“We know that youth suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people in North Dakota,” Traynor said. “We have legislators asking us, ‘Does social media play a role? What is to blame for the rise?’ We don’t have any clear research that can definitively say this or that, but what we do know for sure is that social isolation, real or perceived, is a leading risk factor for suicide in youth.”

An annual study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released June 15 outlined North Dakota youth’s growing mental health concerns, noting that the state ranks higher than the national average in youth depression and thoughts of suicide.

According to the study of youth behavior in 2017, 74 percent of all deaths among persons aged 10—18 years resulted from one of four causes: motor vehicle crashes, unintentional injuries, suicide and homicide – with suicides gaining the most momentum in the last decade.

Suicide is now the second leading cause of death in the nation for people between the ages of 15 and 19, according to the CDC. Estimates by the American Association of Suicidology show that for every completed suicide there are as many as 25 people who attempt suicide, but aren’t successful. In 2017, 2,023 North Dakota residents called the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, requesting support for suicidal thoughts or actions.

“Rural states tend to have higher suicide rates than our non-rural neighbors. North Dakota is one of those rural states that sadly rank high,” Traynor said. “Recent studies show North Dakota has the steepest increase in suicides, a 58 percent rise since the year 2000, whereas in the 90s our rate was comparable to the national average.”

The CDC began routinely monitoring youth health behaviors and experiences in the first half of the decade in an attempt to identify contributing factors leading to the steady increase per year of deaths among students from risky behaviors. The CDC’s initiative and collaboration efforts with state education departments led to national annual surveys of youth, with an annual report detailing the areas of concern.

The annual report for 2017 found significant improvements with regard to risky sexual behavior, substance abuse and violence when compared with previous years. However, one area showed an alarming rise – both nationally and locally.

The report found that 31.5 percent of students in North Dakota experienced persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness within the previous year, with the most significant rise found in female students.

The CDC survey found that nearly 20 percent of high school students had seriously considered attempting suicide within the previous year, with a significantly higher percentage of female students following through on attempts. The numbers reflected a 120 percent increase since 1970; spiking by 58 percent since 2000 and showing no signs of slowing.

“We need to have more suicide prevention resources made available for schools so they have the capacity to focus on this issue at the ground level,” Traynor said. “Supportive and healthy communities and families are really key.”

A tenth of high school students in North Dakota admitted to planning to commit suicide in the previous year, just shy of the national trend of 13.6 percent. Of those who contemplated and planned a suicide, seven percent followed through.

“Access to lethal means like firearms are a factor but so too is the access to information on how to complete suicide. That information has become more prevalent than ever before with the internet being so accessible,” Traynor said. “Take the time to connect with kids in their life, every day. Don’t be afraid to monitor and take a look at the materials kids are accessing online.”

Sexual minority students, those identifying as lesbian, gay or bisexual, were at greater risk of experiencing mental health issues, including attempting suicide, according to the study.

Nearly 50 percent of sexual minority students admitted to seriously considering suicide, while a quarter of those students made attempts.

“Some of the models that I saw out of Minnesota spoke to that isolation faced by sexual minority students and the component of parental relationships in suicides,” Traynor said. “A major contributing factor is whether or not a parent is supportive or hostile toward the subject.”

Sampling used by the CDC study consisted of all regular public, Catholic and other non-public schools with students in grades 9—12 across the nation. Alternative schools, special education schools, schools operated by the Department of Defense, Bureau of Indian Education schools, and vocational schools were excluded, raising concerns with many advocates who believe those segments of the population are most at risk for suicide.

Traynor was less cynical but did agree that the inclusion of those segments of the population were important for a better picture of the scope of the issue.

“From my perspective as a practitioner, I always want to embed best practices into everything I do. I’d absolutely like to see the inclusion of special education, Department of Defense, Bureau of Indian Education and vocational schools in the CDC sampling,” she said.

Under SB 2038, school districts will now provide additional resources for students who face mental health struggles, while many non-profit community service organizations are also available for parents concerned with the mental health of their children.

FirstLink provides local behavioral health services to individuals in need of assistance through a helpline at 701-235-7335. They also provide suicide support at 1-800-273-8255. The resources provided by FirstLink are free, local and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The Jason Flatt Foundation Inc. is an educational organization dedicated to the awareness and prevention of youth suicide. They provide tools and resources for students, parents and teachers/youth workers to help identify and assist at-risk youth. As an example, they provide online training modules that provide information on the awareness and prevention of youth suicide, including modules focused on identifying signs of concern, risk factors and how to approach an at-risk youth.

If you are thinking about suicide, or know someone who is, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

DOJ presents statistics in crime to City of Salisbury

DOJ presents statistics in crime to City of Salisbury statistics, nevin_manimala, nevin manimala, nevin, manimala
DOJ presents statistics in crime to City of Salisbury statistics, nevin_manimala, nevin manimala, nevin, manimala

SALISBURY, N.C. — Using data analytics to fight crime, the Department of Justice has spent the past year taking a close look at crime data in the city of Salisbury.

  • The DOJ presented the findings of a year-long crime study in Salisbury. 
  • The police department has already begun rolling out some of the suggested changes.
  • The city has applied for two grants to implement security systems in high crime areas, and help reduce crime near school zones.

Tuesday DOJ officials presented those findings to the city and gave suggestions for fixing some of the problems they observed.

Chief Jerry Stokes says they have already started working to implement some of the suggestions the DOJ has given them.

 “There’s a lot of this that the community needs to know and understand,” says Chief Stokes. “So how we communicate that and develop a plan is part of all of this direction that we’re headed.”

Chief Stokes says the police department is already undergoing training suggested by the department of justice.

They have also applied for two separate grants to implement security systems in high crime areas, and help reduce crime near some school zones.

Vkontakte says it will reveal statistics about government requests for user data

Vkontakte says it will reveal statistics about government requests for user data statistics, nevin_manimala, nevin manimala, nevin, manimala
Vkontakte says it will reveal statistics about government requests for user data statistics, nevin_manimala, nevin manimala, nevin, manimala

Vkontakte, Russia’s largest social network, says it will release statistics about government requests for user data, despite federal regulations enacted in January that bar companies from revealing information about “the concrete facts and content” of cooperation with the Federal Security Service. “We’re planning to make the process more transparent and share general statistics about [these] requests,” representatives for Vkontakte told the BBC.

It remains unclear what data the company can publish without violating the government’s new gag order, though it’s worth noting that federal officials have yet to codify penalties for disclosing such information.

In recent years (and especially in recent weeks), police officers have opened criminal cases against Russian Internet users, typically charging individuals with hate speech, extremism, offending religious views, or propagating Nazism. The vast majority of these criminal cases are filed against users of Vkontakte, which surrenders virtually all personal data, whenever requested by law enforcement, according to human rights activists.

The Agora human rights group says criminal cases against Russian Internet users rose from 298 in 2016 to 411 in 2017. Most of these people were prosecuted for various forms of “hate speech” because of posts, reposts, “likes,” and comments shared on Vkontakte. Activists at Agora say the social network regularly hands over users’ real names, telephone numbers, and home addresses, in addition to information about when they access the service.

In late July, police announced criminal charges against two Barnaul Internet users, Maria Motuznaya and Daniil Markin, because of memes they shared online. On August 14, as many as 200 people in Barnaul attended a rally against the police harassment of Internet users.

On August 6, Vkontakte’s parent company, Mail.ru, publicly condemned these prosecutions. Five days later, Vkontakte announced new privacy settings that will restrict the visibility of reposts to the users who author reposted content, and allow users to hide their accounts completely from everyone except confirmed friends.

“We very carefully review the validity of every [government] request,” Vkontakte told the BBC. “We do not respond to requests that don’t correspond to the law. Moreover, there have been cases where the legality of the request was disputed in court.”

According to corporate transparency reports, American tech companies receive hundreds of requests every year from Russian state officials for user data. Apple is unique for receiving and satisfying the most requests: granting more than 86 percent of 677 requests in 2017. That same year, Google received 648 requests from the Russian government, but surrendered user data less than 10 percent of the time. Twitter, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Tumblr said they almost never turned over user data to the Russian authorities.

statistics; +365 new citations

statistics; +365 new citations Report, nevin_manimala, linkedin, google_plus
statistics; +365 new citations Report, nevin_manimala, linkedin, google_plus

Ducassou A, Padovani L, Chaltiel L, Bolle S, Habrand JL, Claude L, Carrie C, Muracciole X, Coche-Dequeant B, Alapetite C, Supiot S, Demoor-Goldschmidt C, Bernier-Chastagner V, Huchet A, Leseur J, Le Prise E, Kerr C, Truc G, Nguyen TD, Bertozzi AI, Frappaz D, Boetto S, Sevely A, Tensaouti F, Laprie A; Pediatric French Radiation Oncologist Group (GFRP) and the French Society of Children With Cancer (SFCE).

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2018 Sep 1;102(1):166-173. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2018.05.036. Epub 2018 May 24.

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