Big Data is not about the Data

Gary King, Director for the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University spoke at a recent Michigan Institute for Data Science (MIDAS) symposium. Below are links to the slides and a video of the presentation.
Slides | Video

For those who don’t want to watch the entire presentation, here are links to specific papers and/or software he mentions in the presentation.

Automated Text Analysis
VA: Verbal Autopsy [software]
Evaluating U.S. Social Security Administration Forecasts
Learning Catalytics [commercial start-up]
Crimson Hexagon: Social Media Insights [commercial start-up]
Perusall [commercial start-up, e-book platform to increase student engagement]

And, it might be more productive to just go through King’s personal website to find the content yourself. The above is just a fraction of his productivity.

Advancing research into Alzheimer’s disease

A new post by Richard Hodes on the Inside NIA blog discusses the increase in public interest and funding in recent years, which allowed the NIA to approve 26 concept proposals for funding opportunities.

We expect to have a record number of new FOAs coming out over the next few months. The FOAs that will result from these concept proposals involve every NIA division; in a number of cases, two or more divisions will be co-sponsoring an FOA. The list of concepts is available online. Please take a look and start to think about the kinds of projects or studies you might propose.

We anticipate releasing the first group of these FOAs in the next four to six weeks. Others will follow over the next two to three months. We’ll be writing about each group in this blog, as well as announcing them in other venues.

Read Preparing for a possible future: Advancing research into Alzheimer’s disease

Quiz: Health of Non-Hispanic Asian Adults

Health of Non-Hispanic Asian Adults: U.S. 2010-2014

White House suggests adding Middle Eastern & North African race category to Census

If approved, the new category would appear on the 2020 Census and could have far-reaching implications for racial identity, anti-discrimination laws and health research. Currently, people from the Middle East are categorized as white: this was the result of a ruling a century ago in which Syrian Americans argued against being in the Asian category and therefore denied citizenship under the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act. Read more from USA Today: White House wants to add new racial category for Middle Eastern people.

ICPSR Data Fair 2016: Navigating the Data (R)Evolution

ICPSR is uploading videos from it’s 2016 data fair to YouTube. Videos include:

…And many more!

Update on Who Is Poor in the United States

The Brookings Institute updated their 2014 analysis of poverty to include the new Current Population Survey March Supplement poverty report: An Update On Who Is Poor in the United States.

Genetics of Success

Daniel W. Belsky writes in today’s NIH OBSSR blog about a study on the developmental and behavioral paths which connect DNA sequences with life outcomes:

We studied a cohort of 1,037 individuals all born in 1972-3 and followed-up at regular intervals through their 38th year of life: The Dunedin Study. We started at the end. We asked whether children born with a higher complement of education-associated genetic variants were better off four decades later as compared to their peers who carried fewer of these genetic variants. They were. At age 38 years, Study members who carried more of the education-associated variants had more prestigious jobs, higher incomes, better credit scores, fewer financial problems, and so on. In fact, even among Study members who completed the same level of education, those who carried more of the genetic variants we studied achieved better socioeconomic outcomes. In other words, the genetics we were studying were not the genetics of education only. Instead, these genetics predicted a broad pattern of socioeconomic success.

Mapping the Spread of Obesity

Nathan Yau at Flowing Data has an interactive graphic showing the growth of obesity rates by state, year (since 1985) and gender.

Quiz: Craft Yarn Council Poll

Craft Yarn Council 2014 Tracking Study

Update: Rural Poverty

According to an article in yesterday’s Washington Post, the Census Bureau has announced that it is retracting the rural poverty findings in it’s recent Income and Poverty report.

The flawed estimates were based on the bureau’s Current Population Survey, one of several surveys conducted regularly by the bureau. The problem resulted from how, as the population grows and Americans move from one part of the country to another, the bureau must adjust the boundaries that define metropolitan areas. These adjustments, carried out every decade, altered the map for the Current Population Survey last year.

The changes in the boundaries moved almost 6 million people into metropolitan areas. These adjustments rendered meaningless the estimated change in rural incomes from one year to the next, according to the statement.

“The U.S. Census Bureau is removing the statistical comparisons between 2014 and 2015,” the statement read.