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  • AI Seminar-The Crisis in Statistics and the Reliability of Published Results

    Fri, Nov 04, 2016 @ 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Information Sciences Institute

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars

    Speaker: Alan Garfinkel, UCLA

    Talk Title: The Crisis in Statistics and the Reliability of Published Results

    Series: Artificial Intelligence Seminar

    Abstract: Medicine and biology are currently in a crisis. Many if not most published studies contain false or irreproducible information, and articles have appeared in major journals with titles like, Why Most Published Research Findings Are False.

    A major contributor to this crisis is Bad Statistics. A large fraction of published papers use statistical methods that are simply wrong. The most frequent error is the use of formula-based statistical tests, like t-tests, regression, ANOVA etc. to give p values on data for which they cannot be used, because the data is either markedly non-Gaussian or too small to tell. These p-value calculation errors are currently being addressed by major journals, which have recently greatly tightened their statistical reviewing, and are insisting upon appropriate statistical methods, such as resampling-based test for non-Gaussian data.

    But a much deeper criticism focuses on the very idea of p-values, however calculated. Many respected sources are calling for an end to p-values as the test for publishability. Phenomena like p-hacking are common, and advanced thinking now holds that the very idea of p-values is the problem. Several journals are now refusing to accept p-values as evidence of the existence of a phenomenon, and even the American Statistical Association has issued warnings about p-values.

    We will review the situation, assess the extent of the damage, and discuss proposed fixes for this serious problem.

    Biography: Dr. Garfinkel graduated from Cornell and received his PhD from Harvard in philosophy and mathematics. He is particularly interested in nonlinear dynamics and its applications to medicine.

    Host: Gully Burns

    Webcast: http://webcastermshd.isi.edu/Mediasite/Play/00f1e452277f416186bf9b6743e650131d

    Location: Information Science Institute (ISI) - 11th Flr Conf Rm # 1135, Marina Del Rey

    WebCast Link: http://webcastermshd.isi.edu/Mediasite/Play/00f1e452277f416186bf9b6743e650131d

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Peter Zamar


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