Mitchell Boggs on Game Theory in Behavioural Ecology – The Central Equilibrium – Episode 8

Mitchell Boggs kindly talked about game theory in behavioural ecology on my talk show, “The Central Equilibrium”!  He talked about 2 key examples:

  • when animals choose to share or fight for food
  • when parents choose to care for their offspring or seek new mates to produce more offspring

These examples illustrate why seemingly disadvantageous behaviours can persist or even dominate in the animal kingdom.

Mitch recommends a book called “Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?” by Frans de Waal.

Thanks for being such a great guest, Mitchell!

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Eric’s Enlightenment for Wednesday, May 20, 2015

  1. A common but bad criticism of basketball analytics is that statistics cannot capture the effect of teamwork when assessing the value of a player.  Dan Rosenbaum wrote a great article on how adjusted plus/minus accomplishes this goal.
  2. Citing Dan’s work above, Neil Paine used adjusted plus/minus (APM) to show why Jason Collins was one of the top defensive centres in the NBA and the most underrated player of the last 15 years of his career.  When Neil mentions regularized APM (RAPM) in the third-to-last paragraph, he calls it a Bayesian version of APM.  Most statisticians are more familiar with the term ridge regression, which is one type of regression that penalizes the inclusion of too many redundant predictors.  Make sure to check out that great plot of actual RAPM vs. expected PER at the bottom of the article.
  3. In a 33-page article that was published on 2015-05-14 in Physical Review Letters, only the first 9 pages describes the research done for the article; the other 24 pages were used to list its 5,514 authors – setting a record for the largest known number of authors for a single research article.  Hyperauthorship is common in physics, but not – apparently – in biology.  (Hat Tip: Tyler Cowen)
  4. Brandon Findlay explains why methanol/water mixtures make great cooling baths.  He wrote a very thorough follow-up blog post on how to make them, and he includes photos to aid the demonstration.

A New Job at the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS

Dear Readers of The Chemical Statistician,

You may have noticed that I have blogged less frequently in the past few months; this has been due to a major change in my career: I recently accepted a new job in the Laboratory Program at the British Columbia Centre for Excellence (BC-CFE) in HIV/AIDS in Vancouver!

Eric Cai - Official Head Shot

A bioinformatician who works in this group recommended me for this position to his supervisors during this past summer.  Having lived in Vancouver before, I have heard a lot about the work that the BC-CFE in HIV/AIDS has done for many years to improve the lives of HIV and AIDS patients and prevent HIV transmission.

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Why Does Diabetes Cause Excessive Urination and Thirst? A Lesson on Osmosis

A TABA Seminar on Diabetes

I have the pleasure of being an executive member of the Toronto Applied Biostatistics Association (TABA), a volunteer-run professional organization here in Toronto that organizes seminars on biostatistics.  During this past Tuesday, Dr. Loren Grossman from the LMC Diabetes and Endocrinology Centre generously donated his time to deliver an introductory seminar on diabetes for biostatisticians.  The Institute for Clinical and Evaluative Sciences (ICES) at Sunnybrook Hospital kindly hosted us and provided the venue for the seminar.  As a chemist and a former pre-medical student who studied physiology, I really enjoyed this intellectual treat, especially since Loren was clear, informative, and very knowledgeable about the subject.

blue circle

The blue circle is a global symbol for diabetes.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

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