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Erdős Number

Saturday October 21, 2006

Filed under: general,statistics — jackman @ 7:40 pm

I’ve been doing a lot of reading and work with networks (or more generally, graphs). Lots of mathematical and conceptual connections with Markov chain theory relevant to MCMC, and, separately, Bayesian belief networks (i.e., statistical models).

Anyway, it turns out I have a finite Erdős number: ok, so none of my publications show up on MathSciNet; but as far as I know my Erdős number is 6 (Doug Rivers to Quang Voung, to Jean-Jacques Laffont, to Eric Maskin, to Peter Fishburn, to Erdős). I am also 6 steps away via a collaboration with Frank Vella (whose link to Erdős also runs through Peter Fishburn).

I have an active collaboration with Howard Rosenthal, who is Erdős 4, through a link to John Ferejohn (Erdős2, he’s co-authored with Peter Fishburn, as has Steve Brams).
In Stanford Stat, Trevor Hastie is Erdős3, and Brad Efron and Charles Stein are Erdős2, because Persi Diaconis’s Erdős number is 1…!

MathSciNet says Gary King is Erdős5, because he has a collaboration with Jeff Gill (Erdős4), via a collaboration with George Casella (3), with Diaconis being the eventual link to Erdős. Then again, Gary has coauthored several times with Andy Gelman (who is Erdős3 via a roundtable/symposium with Radford Neal, and Neal via Persi Diaconis), so Gary is actually Erdős4.

Jan de Leeuw (4), Jim Heckman (4), George Box (3), John Tukey (2), Egon Pearson (3), Don Rubin (3), Kolmogorov (2, via Rényi), and Albert Einstein (Erdős2)…!

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Cato on Same-Sex Marriage Initiatives

Thursday October 12, 2006

Filed under: politics — jackman @ 6:17 pm

Subject: Gay Marriage in Ohio
Date: October 11, 2006 1:55:14 PM PDT

I thought you might be interested in this posting on the Cato Institute blog, where I cite your work:
http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/2006/10/11/the-ohio-values-voters-myth-again/

David Boaz
Executive Vice President
Cato Institute
1000 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20001

http://www.cato.org/people/boaz.html

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MacPro Bluetooth woes

Thursday October 5, 2006

Filed under: computing — jackman @ 10:53 am

I am generally loving my new Mac Pro. I encountered one minor snag that I thought I would blog about, re Bluetooth. My (Apple) Bluetooth keyboard and might mouse were recognized fine by the Mac Pro, but not my Treo 650 phone. This was extremely annoying and confusing; indeed, I could see my Mac Pro recognizing Bluetooth phones in the next office…! I thought the problem was a software issue for the longest time, so I was hunting down and deleting old property list files in ~/Library/Preferences that had come over my old Mac. But no…

Turns out the issue must be a combination of poor Bluetooth signal on the Treo and this issue regarding the Bluetooth antenna on the Mac Pro. I found I could connect to the Treo when I open up the case of the Mac Pro…! I fiddled with the antenna cables as per the discussion thread on the Apple boards (linked above), but that still didn’t fix the issue with my Treo. Once I closed up the case again, no Bluetooth connection to the phone. If I held the phone right up against the left hand side of the casing of the Mac Pro (the underside of the motherboard, where the Bluetooth antenna runs), I could connect, but that is kind of useless.

So I went to the Palo Alto Apple Store this morning, forked over $40 for a D-Link USB Bluetooth adapter, and all seems ok now. But there was one last gotcha. Before you install the D-Link USB Bluetooth adapter, turn off Bluetooth in the menu bar (or System Preferences). Then plug the USB adapter in, and Bluetooth fires up again, and then you have to re-pair all your Bluetooth devices (for me, keyboard, mouse, Treo, barcode scanner).

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R.W. Apple, Jnr

Wednesday October 4, 2006

Filed under: general — jackman @ 2:12 pm

I can’t let today pass without saying goodbye Johnny Apple. Loved your work…your oeuvre.

While I was a visiting student at Princeton in the early 1990s, my professor Larry Bartels organized a conference on media and politics, and managed to lure Mr Apple to Princeton for the day. I got to spend 30mins in the company of the great man, and so carried away with the moment that I ran up to Larry’s office to fetch a (rare!) hardback copy of Larry’s book, Presidential Primaries, and thrust it into Mr Apple’s hands (Apple had been complaining that there was not enough dialog between political scientists and journalists).

and as Janet will tell you, I’m slightly less star struck around famous journalists these days…

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