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ASAIP Editors' Blog, June 2014

This month's blog covers the blogosphere in statistics, informatics and their astronomical applications.

Greetings to ASAIP members and readers!

This month, and in following blogs, we would like to highlight some of the material under the Resources tab of the ASAIP navigation bar.  There is lots of material there, often buried 3 levels down in the Web site.  Categories include on-line courses and tutorials, blogs and forums, astronomical datasets, job opportunities, scientific visualization, and a wide variety of specialized Web sources in astrostatistics and astroinformatics.  

Today we introduce a fun topic: blogs in statistics, informatics, and their astronomical applications.  ASAIP lists over 40 blogs, so we mention only a fraction here.

StatsBlog is the most popular statistics blog/forum aggregator with >10,000 visitors and several new entries every day.  Common topics are elementary statistics and probability, R, regression, data mining, Bayesian analysis, machine learning and visualization.  Cross Validated is a very active question and answer site covering statistics, R, time series, machine learning, hypothesis testing, and many more topics.  Its archive has nearly 40,000 questions.  Many blogs are devoted to the R software system: >500 blogs are aggregated at R-bloggers.  For example, this is a good place to read about comparisons between R, Python and Julia.  Top statistician Andrew Gelman authors a clever blog on contemporary topics. 

Data and computer scientists write many blogs, some with lovely names like Flowing data and Nuit BlancheStack Overflow is a huge site with >7 million questions on many aspects of programming and software.  Kaggle (with the quip `no free hunch') runs popular funded  competitions on forefront computational problems.  A Belgian student recently won the Kaggle competition for classifying galaxy morphologies for GalaxyZoo; he developed a neural network with 7 layers and 42 million parameters solved on a GPU-accelerated cluster using Python. 

Finally, ASAIP links to astronomers blogging on methodological issues. We like Ewan Cameron's sophisticated and sharp commentary on Bayesian and other methods in Another Astrostatistics Blog.  He is a member of the International Astrostatistics Association and its Working Group of Cosmostatistics.  Jake Vanderplas' Pythonic Perambulations, and Bruce Berriman muses on Astronomy Computing Today.  The Astrophysics Source Code Library is an important repository of nearly 900 codes, some of which implement advanced statistical methods.  

Altogether, the blogosphere in (astro)statistics and (astro)informatics is alive and well, ready for us to browse with pleasure when we are avoiding more arduous tasks of life.  

Eric & Joe