Persi Diaconis, The Markov Chain Monte Carlo revolution. “To someone working in my part of the world, asking about applications of Markov chain Monte Carlo is a little like asking about applications of the quadratic formula.”

Depression, relatively speaking: you’re more likely to feel disabled by your depression if you believe that you suffer from severe symptoms relative to the rest of the population. (And we all know people are bad at estimating where they fall within distributions.) Link goes to Wall Street Journal; longer writeup at Neuroskeptic.

Ethan Fosse, sociology PhD candidate at Stanford, converted from Stata to R. There’s actually a whole web site devoted to converting to R, rconvert.com, mostly aimed at businesses that have a lot already built within the framework of proprietary technologies.

Republic of Mathematics has a roundup of links under the title “So you want to be a data scientist?”

Joshua Ganz writes about his 11-year-old son’s experience taking Stanford’s online game theory course. (Did you know you can preview a few hours of the lectures?)

Laura McLay (Punk Rock OR) asked her stochastic processes students to find the size of a zombie population during an outbreak.

Rick Wicklin on methods of testing your answers in statistical programming.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6xIVJe5tc4&feature=plcp".George Hart builds a do-deck-ahedron. (Is he taking inspiration from his daughter Vi in starting to make videos?)

How do you know if someone is great at data analysis?

Samuel Arbesman had a book which skipped from page 182 to page 215, which got him thinking about the math of bookbinding.

John D. Cook asks> how long it takes a knight, moving at random on a chessboard starting at a corner square, to return to its starting square. A couple days later he gives solutions.