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. Some of these folks will argue that `pi` is wrong. If you're not into details, you may opt to party on July 22nd, which is `pi` approximation day (`\pi` ≈ 22/7).
For the 2014 `pi` day, two styles of posters are available: folded paths and frequency circles.
The folded paths show `pi` on a path that maximizes adjacent prime digits and were created using a protein-folding algorithm. The frequency circles colourfully depict the ratio of digits in groupings of 3 or 6.
In our first column on Bayesian statistics, we introduce conditional probabilities and Bayes' theorem
P(B|A) = P(A|B) × P(B) / P(A)
This relationship between conditional probabilities P(B|A) and P(A|B) is central in Bayesian statistics. We illustrate how Bayes' theorem can be used to quickly calculate useful probabilities that are more difficult to conceptualize within a frequentist framework.
Using Bayes' theorem, we can incorporate our beliefs and prior experience about a system and update it when data are collected.
Altman, N. & Krzywinski, M. (2015) Points of Significance: Bayes' Theorem Nature Methods 12:277-278.
Oldford, R.W. & Cherry, W.H. Picturing probability: the poverty of Venn diagrams, the richness of eikosograms. (University of Waterloo, 2006)
The art has been featured in Ana Swanson's Wonkblog article at the Washington Post—10 Stunning Images Show The Beauty Hidden in `pi`.
The split plot design originated in agriculture, where applying some factors on a small scale is more difficult than others. For example, it's harder to cost-effectively irrigate a small piece of land than a large one. These differences are also present in biological experiments. For example, temperature and housing conditions are easier to vary for groups of animals than for individuals.
The split plot design is an expansion on the concept of blocking—all split plot designs include at least one randomized complete block design. The split plot design is also useful for cases where one wants to increase the sensitivity in one factor (sub-plot) more than another (whole plot).
Altman, N. & Krzywinski, M. (2015) Points of Significance: Split Plot Design Nature Methods 12:165-166.
1. Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2014) Points of Significance: Designing Comparative Experiments Nature Methods 11:597-598.
2. Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2014) Points of Significance: Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and blocking Nature Methods 11:699-700.
3. Blainey, P., Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2014) Points of Significance: Replication Nature Methods 11:879-880.
In an audience of 8 men and 8 women, chances are 50% that at least one has some degree of color blindness1. When encoding information or designing content, use colors that is color-blind safe.
As part of that collection, announced that the entire Points of Significance collection is now open access.
This is great news for educators—the column can now be freely distributed in classrooms.
I have selected several figures from our past columns and show how they evolved from their draft to published versions.
Clarity, concision and space constraints—we have only 3.4" of horizontal space— all have to be balanced for a figure to be effective.
It's nearly impossible to find case studies of scientific articles (or figures) through the editing and review process. Nobody wants to show their drafts. With this writeup I hope to add to this space and encourage others to reveal their process. Students love this. See whether you agree with my decisions!