Trapezoidal Integration – Conceptual Foundations and a Statistical Application in R

Introduction

Today, I will begin a series of posts on numerical integration, which has a wide range of applications in many fields, including statistics.  I will introduce trapezoidal integration by discussing its conceptual foundations, write my own R function to implement trapezoidal integration, and use it to check that the Beta(2, 5) probability density function actually integrates to 1 over its support set.  Fully commented and readily usable R code will be provided at the end.

beta pdf

Given a probability density function (PDF) and its support set as vectors in an array programming language like R, how do you integrate the PDF over its support set to ensure that it equals to 1?  Read the rest of this post to view my own R function to implement trapezoidal integration and learn how to use it to numerically approximate integrals.

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Christmas: A Great Time To Accelerate Your Job Search – Guest-Blogging on SFU’s Career Services Informer

I am excited to publish my new post as a guest blogger on the Career Services Informer, a blog on career advice from Simon Fraser University’s Career Services Centre.  (I volunteered as a Career Peer Educator there for 6 years.)  I recount how I successfully used the winter break during my 8-month Master’s program to network and conduct information interviews, which eventually led to a job that I started 6 days after the last exam in my degree.  While your classmates and colleagues may be resting over the Christmas holidays, you should take advantage of this lull to make a strong impression on potential employers and conduct information interviews with them.  Employers tend to be less busy during this time of the year, so this is also a good time for them to meet with you and share their advice.  Pursuing this contrarian strategy will give you an advantage, and this is why Christmas is a Great Time to Accelerate Your Job Search.

sfu csi

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Vancouver Bioinformatics Users Group Holiday Party 2013 – Friday, December 13, 2013 @ BC Cancer Agency

I will attend the VanBUG Holiday Party on Friday,  December 13, at the BC Cancer Agency.  Unlike most VanBug meetings, this party will feature lightning talks, each lasting 3 minutes in length, on various topics in bioinformatics.  Dinner will be served afterward.  Here are the details.  The event is free, but please RSVP by Monday, December 9, 2013.

Date: 13 December 2013, Friday
Location: Gordon and Leslie Diamond Family Theatre
BC Cancer Research Centre , 675 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver, BC.
Time: 5:00 – 9:00 PM

If you will attend this event, please come up and say “Hello”!