Models are wrong

...but, some are useful (G. Box)!

Sample variance and population variance: which of the two?

Published at November 9, 2018 ·  7 min read

Teaching experimental methodology in agriculture related master courses poses some peculiar problems. One of these is to explain the difference between sample variance and population variance. For the students it is usually easy to grasp the idea that, being the mean the ‘center’ of the dataset, it is relevant to measure the average distance to the mean for all individuals in the dataset. Of course, we need to take the sum of squared distances, otherwise negative and positive residuals cancel each other out....

Is R dangerous? Side effects of free software for biologists

Published at June 8, 2014 ·  3 min read

When I started my career in the biological field (it’s already 25 years ago), only the luckiest of us had access to very advanced statistical software. Licenses were very expensive and it was not easy to convince the boss that they were really necessary: “Why do you need to spend so much money to perform an ANOVA?”. Indeed, simple one-way or two-ways ANOVAs were quite easy to perform and one of the people in my group had already built the appropriate routines for several designs, by using the GW-BASIC language....