AEA365 | A Tip-a-Day by and for Evaluators

Jul/11

24

Allen Blair on Readings for Numbers People (or those who wish they were)

My name is Allen Blair and I’m not an evaluator per se, but rather a statistician. I work with evaluators to assist with statistical analyses and I am posting to aea365 to share three favorite blogs for those who are ‘numbers people’, although I think that they are actually more useful for those who find it difficult to think in terms of numbers. Each of the following interprets our everyday lives through numbers. I’m going to take the same approach that Alex da Silva did back in May when recommending sites for expanding your capacity with excel – beginner, intermediate, and advanced, with a couple of examples from each:

Beginner Rad Resource – The Numbers Guy at the Wall Street Journal: Carl Bialik is the numbers guy. His weekly Wall Street Journal column “tells the story behind the stats.” Bialik holds a mathematics degree from Yale and his everyman explorations, posted approximately weekly, are based in sound mathematics.

Recent Example Posts:

  • Mind the Median
  • Sexual Stats in the Post-Kinsey Age
  • NCAA Brackets Math

Intermediate Rad Resource – Three-Toed Sloth: I’m baffled by the name, but the content is great. Cosma Shalizi, an assistant stats professor at Carnegie Mellon, posts a couple of times a month with a mix of commentary and exploration of issues in statistics. All of it comes with a touch of academic wit.

Recent Example Posts:

  • Knights, Muddy Boots, and Contagion; or, Social Influence Gets Medieval
  • Of the identification of Parameters
  • Your City’s a Sucker, My City’s a Creep

Advanced Rad Resource – Social Science Statistics Blog: “This blog makes public the hallway conversations aboutsocial science statistical methods and analysis from the Institute for Quantitative Social Science and related research groups” at Harvard University. The content can be all over the place, but it offers great resources usually in short casually-written pieces.

Recent Example Posts:

  • A search engine for figures
  • Can a single case be used to test theory?
  • A Cure for the Regex Headache

Share your favorite stats blog via the comments!

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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