Posts tagged ‘Terry Speed’


The whole story can be found from the page 8 of IMS Bulletin, Vol.37 Issue 7. (click for the pdf file) Continue reading ‘Irksome’ »


Prof. Speed writes columns for IMS Bulletin and the April 2008 issue has Terence’s Stuff: PCA (p.9). Here are quotes with minor paraphrasing:

Although a quintessentially statistical notion, my impression is that PCA has always been more popular with non-statisticians. Of course we love to prove its optimality properties in our courses, and at one time the distribution theory of sample covariance matrices was heavily studied.

…but who could not feel suspicious when observing the explosive growth in the use of PCA in the biological and physical sciences and engineering, not to mention economics?…it became the analysis tool of choice of the hordes of former physicists, chemists and mathematicians who unwittingly found themselves having to be statisticians in the computer age.

My initial theory for its popularity was simply that they were in love with the prefix eigen-, and felt that anything involving it acquired the cachet of quantum mechanics, where, you will recall, everything important has that prefix.

He gave the following eigen-’s: eigengenes, eigenarrays, eigenexpression, eigenproteins, eigenprofiles, eigenpathways, eigenSNPs, eigenimages, eigenfaces, eigenpatterns, eigenresult, and even eigenGoogle.

How many miracles must one witness before becoming a convert?…Well, I’ve seen my three miracles of exploratory data analysis, examples where I found I had a problem, and could do something about it using PCA, so now I’m a believer.

No need to mention that astronomers explore data with PCA and utilize eigen- values and vectors to transform raw data into more interpretable ones.

Clay Public Lecture: Technology-driven Statistics

I found the following from Harvard Statistics department website.

Clay Public Lecture
Technology-driven Statistics
Terry Speed, UC Berkeley and WEHI in Melbourne, Australia
Tuesday, October 30, 2007, at 7:00 PM
Harvard University Sceince Center — Hall B

Continue reading ‘Clay Public Lecture: Technology-driven Statistics’ »

[Quote] Changing my mind (again)

From IMS Bulletin Vol. 36(7) p.10, Terence’s Stuff: Changing my mind (again)
Continue reading ‘[Quote] Changing my mind (again)’ »

[Quote] Model Skeptics

From IMS Bulletin Vol. 36(3), p.11, Terence’s Stuff: Model skeptics

[Once I quoted an article by Prof. Terry Speed in IMS Bulletin: Data-Doctors. Reading his columns in the IMS Bulletin provides me an opportunity to reflect who I am as a statistician and some guidance for treating data. Although his ideas were not from astronomy or astronomical data analysis, I often find his thoughts and words can be shared with astronomers.]
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Data Doctors

Terry Speed writes columns for IMS Bulletin and the June 2007 issue has Terence’s Stuff: Data Doctors (p. 7). He quotes Fisher who described a statistician as a post-mortem examiner or a pathologist, but thinks that statisticians (statistical consultants) are doctors who maintain close, active, and alive relationships with their patients.

Nonetheless, I think statisticians working with astronomers are assistants to post-mortem examiners. Most likely, statisticians nor astronomers cannot design experiments with unreachable objects. Astronomers are post-mortem examiners with telescopes and statisticians are assistants with charts which are by products from post-mortem examinations. These assistants may or may not be useful to astronomers.