2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 83,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 4 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Advertisements

Cosmology Lectures on the Web

Here are some links  to some excellent cosmology lectures on YouTube. The videos actually teach you cosmology, as you would see it in a university/college setting. They do require some knowledge of General Relativity, but one in principle, can get away by knowing what a metric tensor is, Christoffel symbols are, and the various Riemann and Ricci tensor definitions. A good book for learning all of this is by Stephani, which is aimed at an introductory level. These lectures are by the world-renowned cosmologist George F.R. Ellis, who is now Professor Emeritus at The University of Cape Town.

Here are some lectures on Cosmology and Philosophy and their importance to one another, these are not at a technical level:

2014 US Senate Midterm Elections Predictions

Using methods from stochastic calculus, brownian motion, and statistical mechanics, we have developed algorithms to predict the outcome of the 2014 US Senate Midterm elections. You can find our results below. Note, the raw data was obtained from http://elections.huffingtonpost.com/pollster, a great service provided by Huffington Post. We used MATLAB to implement the algorithms and create the output. These algorithms were completed under ISK Analytics Inc. and the data extraction and research was done by Hargun Singh Kohli

These graphs show the probability of each candidate winning the November, 2014 elections.
These graphs show the probability of each candidate winning the November, 2014 elections.

 

The graphs above were generated by our stochastic calculus algorithms, in which we generate 100,000 random walks to obtain the predictions above. We show below the output of these random walks on election day. For brevity and clarity, we have shown the results of the first 100 random walks, but the pattern is clear.

The results of our random walk experiments based on our stochastic calculus algorithms. These results show the candidate's popular vote percentage on election day, November 4, 2014.
The results of our random walk experiments based on our stochastic calculus algorithms. These results show the candidate’s popular vote percentage on election day, November 4, 2014.

The output summary generated by our algorithm is as follows:

Arkansas
Cotton:62.77 % chance of winning.
Pryor:37.23 % chance of winning.
Cotton final poll:45.4389 +/-13.7051 %
Pryor final poll:40.1777 +/-11.3596 %
Colorado
Udall:82.87 % chance of winning.
Gardner:17.13 % chance of winning.
Udall final poll:49.1646 +/-7.0376 %
Gardner final poll:41.1147 +/-5.8643 %
Iowa
Ernst:38.5 % chance of winning.
Braley:61.5 % chance of winning.
Ernst final poll:39.1375 +/-15.7919 %
Braley final poll:44.9138 +/-7.4095 %
Kentucky
McConnell:65.93 % chance of winning.
Grimes:34.07 % chance of winning.
McConnell final poll:47.4181 +/-8.8916 %
Grimes final poll:42.9658 +/-9.5813 %
Louisiana
Cassidy:19.29 % chance of winning.
Landrieu:80.71 % chance of winning.
Cassidy final poll:41.9593 +/-7.9842 %
Landrieu final poll:50.4055 +/-8.2332 %
Montana
Daines:94.93 % chance of winning.
Walsh:5.07 % chance of winning.
Daines final poll:53.3766 +/-9.0295 %
Walsh final poll:35.322 +/-3.7087 %
New Hampshire
Shaheen:78.07 % chance of winning.
Brown:21.93 % chance of winning.
Shaheen final poll:47.391 +/-12.3806 %
Brown final poll:34.9852 +/-10.5021 %
North Carolina
Hagan:74.2 % chance of winning.
Tillis:25.8 % chance of winning.
Hagan final poll:48.4451 +/-11.8512 %
Tillis final poll:39.8438 +/-9.723 %
Oregon
Merkley:77.01 % chance of winning.
Wehby:22.99 % chance of winning.
Merkley final poll:48.5639 +/-13.0143 %
Wehby final poll:36.7674 +/-11.6739 %
South Dakota
Rounds:88.4 % chance of winning.
Weiland:11.6 % chance of winning.
Rounds final poll:53.0504 +/-11.9886 %
Weiland final poll:37.8299 +/-7.6665 %
Virginia
Warner:95.65 % chance of winning.
Gillespie:4.35 % chance of winning.
Warner final poll:51.0216 +/-9.7838 %
Gillespie final poll:24.1766 +/-9.2446 %
West Virginia
Capito:74.88 % chance of winning.
Tennant:25.12 % chance of winning.
Capito final poll:47.727 +/-8.291 %
Tennant final poll:40.2505 +/-8.0285 %