latest news

Distractions and amusements, with a sandwich and coffee.

This love's a nameless dream.
•
• try to figure it out
• more quotes

On March 14th celebrate `\pi` Day. Hug `\pi`—find a way to do it.

For those who favour `\tau=2\pi` will have to postpone celebrations until July 26th. That's what you get for thinking that `\pi` is wrong. I sympathize with this position and have `\tau` day art too!

If you're not into details, you may opt to party on July 22nd, which is `\pi` approximation day (`\pi` ≈ 22/7). It's 20% more accurate that the official `\pi` day!

Finally, if you believe that `\pi = 3`, you should read why `\pi` is not equal to 3.

2013 was the first year in which I made `\pi` day art. It was a year of dots and love.

RenĂ© Hansen has created an interactive version of this year's posters! Why not go to the Feynman point directly!

The posters explore the relationship between adjacent digits in `\pi`, which are encoded by color using the scheme shown above. The design appears to shimmer due to the luminance effect. In some versions of the poster, adjacent identical (or similar) digits are connected by lines.

The recipe for each poster is included in its figure legend. It gives the color of the `i`th outer and inner circles. `\pi_i` is used to represent the `i`th digit of `\pi`. For example, the recipe

`\pi_i` / `\pi_{i+1}`

corresponds to the case where outer circle color encodes the `i`th digit and the inner circle color encodes the next digit `i+1`th. In this scheme, inner and outer circles of adjacent positions have the same color.

The posters were generated automatically with a Perl script that generated SVG files. Post processing and layout was done in Illustrator. If you are interested in depicting your favourite number this way, let me know.

The design was inspired by the beautiful AIDS posters by Elena Miska.

I calculated `pi` to 13,099,586 digits and then I found love.

It's fun to look for digits or look for words in `\pi`.

Just don't get carried away. Because `\pi` is likely normal in base 10, all words and all patterns appear in it, somewhere.

I wanted to know the first time that "*love*" appears in `\pi`. When encoded using the scheme a=0, b=1, ..., z=25, "*love*" is the digit sequence 1114214.

This sequence appears first at position 13,099,586 (...8921991631**1114214**8187311392...). And, of course, infinitely many times after that.

Curiously, "hate" (0700194) appears well before love, at digit 514,717. In the first 200,000,000 digit "hate" appears 23 times, 6 times more than "love".

If you use the scheme a=1, b=2, ..., z=26, then "*love*" becomes 1215225. This is first seen at 6,317,696 (...6103119129**1215225**6606850141...).

Quantile regression explores the effect of one or more predictors on quantiles of the response. It can answer questions such as "What is the weight of 90% of individuals of a given height?"

Unlike in traditional mean regression methods, no assumptions about the distribution of the response are required, which makes it practical, robust and amenable to skewed distributions.

Quantile regression is also very useful when extremes are interesting or when the response variance varies with the predictors.

Das, K., Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2019) Points of significance: Quantile regression. *Nature Methods* **16**:451–452.

Altman, N. & Krzywinski, M. (2015) Points of significance: Simple linear regression. *Nature Methods* **12**:999–1000.

Outliers can degrade the fit of linear regression models when the estimation is performed using the ordinary least squares. The impact of outliers can be mitigated with methods that provide robust inference and greater reliability in the presence of anomalous values.

We discuss MM-estimation and show how it can be used to keep your fitting sane and reliable.

Greco, L., Luta, G., Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2019) Points of significance: Analyzing outliers: Robust methods to the rescue. *Nature Methods* **16**:275–276.

Altman, N. & Krzywinski, M. (2016) Points of significance: Analyzing outliers: Influential or nuisance. Nature Methods 13:281–282.

Two-level factorial experiments, in which all combinations of multiple factor levels are used, efficiently estimate factor effects and detect interactionsâ€”desirable statistical qualities that can provide deep insight into a system.

They offer two benefits over the widely used one-factor-at-a-time (OFAT) experiments: efficiency and ability to detect interactions.

Since the number of factor combinations can quickly increase, one approach is to model only some of the factorial effects using empirically-validated assumptions of effect sparsity and effect hierarchy. Effect sparsity tells us that in factorial experiments most of the factorial terms are likely to be unimportant. Effect hierarchy tells us that low-order terms (e.g. main effects) tend to be larger than higher-order terms (e.g. two-factor or three-factor interactions).

Smucker, B., Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2019) Points of significance: Two-level factorial experiments *Nature Methods* **16**:211–212.

Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2014) Points of significance: Designing comparative experiments.. Nature Methods 11:597–598.

Digits, internationally

Celebrate `\pi` Day (March 14th) and set out on an exploration explore accents unknown (to you)!

This year is purely typographical, with something for everyone. Hundreds of digits and hundreds of languages.

A special kids' edition merges math with color and fat fonts.

Check out art from previous years: 2013 `\pi` Day and 2014 `\pi` Day, 2015 `\pi` Day, 2016 `\pi` Day, 2017 `\pi` Day and 2018 `\pi` Day.

One moment you're `:)`

and the next you're `:-.`

Make sense of it all with my Tree of Emotional life—a hierarchical account of how we feel.

One of my color tools, the `colorsnap`

application snaps colors in an image to a set of reference colors and reports their proportion.

Below is Times Square rendered using the colors of the MTA subway lines.