Presentations

Benjamin Lauderdale presents "Measuring Attitudes towards Public Spending using a Multivariate Tax Summary Experiment", at CGIS South Building (S001), Wednesday, September 18, 2019
**Note one-off location change**
 
Abstract: It is difficult to measure public views on tradeoffs between spending priorities because public understanding of existing government spending is limited and the budgetary problem is complicated.   We present a new measurement strategy using UK taxpayer summaries as the baseline for a continuous treatment, multivariate choice experiment.  The experiment proposes deficit neutral bundles of changes in spending and taxation, allowing us to investigate attitudes towards...
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Andrea Rotnitzky presents "Efficient adjustment sets for population average causal effect estimation in graphical models", at CGIS Knafel Building (K354) - 12-1:30 pm, Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Covariate adjustment is often used for estimation of population average causal effects (ATE). In recent years graphical rules have been derived for determining, from a causal diagram, all covariate adjustment sets. Restricting attention to causal linear models, a very recent article introduced two graphical criterions: one to compare the asymptotic variance of linear regression estimators that control for certain distinct adjustment sets and a second to identify the optimal adjustment set that provides the smallest asymptotic variance. In this talk, I will show that the same graphical... Read more about Andrea Rotnitzky presents "Efficient adjustment sets for population average causal effect estimation in graphical models"
Anja Sautmann presents "Adaptive treatment assignment in experiments for policy choice", at CGIS Knafel Building (K354) - 12-1:30 pm, Wednesday, September 4, 2019
Abstract: The goal of many experiments is to inform the choice between different policies. However, standard experimental designs are geared toward point estimation and hypothesis testing. We consider the problem of treatment assignment in an experiment with several non-overlapping waves, where the goal is to choose among a set of possible policies (treatments) for large-scale implementation. The optimal experimental design learns from earlier waves and assigns more experimental units to the better-performing treatments in later waves. We propose a computationally... Read more about Anja Sautmann presents "Adaptive treatment assignment in experiments for policy choice"
Michael Hughes presents "Discovering Disease Subtypes that Improve Treatment Predictions: Prediction-Constrained Topic Models for Personalized Medicine", at CGIS Knafel Building (K354) - 12-1:30 pm, Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Abstract: For complex diseases like depression, choosing a successful treatment from several possible drugs remains a trial-and-error process in current clinical practice. By applying statistical machine learning to the electronic health records of thousands of patients, can we discover subtypes of disease which both improve population-wide understanding and improve patient-specific drug recommendations? One popular approach is to represent noisy, high-dimensional health records as mixtures of low-dimensional subtypes via a probabilistic topic model. I will introduce...

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Melissa Dell presents "The Development Effects Of The Extractive Colonial Economy: The Dutch Cultivation System In Java", at CGIS Knafel Building (K354) - 12-1:30 pm, Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Abstract: Colonial powers typically organized economic activity in the colonies to maximize  their economic returns. While the literature has emphasized long-run negative economic impacts via institutional quality, the changes in economic organization implemented to spur production historically could also directly influence economic organization in the long-run, exerting countervailing effects. We examine these in the context  of the Dutch Cultivation System, the integrated industrial and agricultural system for producing sugar that formed the core of the Dutch...

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Na Li presents "Distributed Decision Making in Network Systems: Algorithms, Fundamental Limits, and Applications", at CGIS Knafel Building (K354) - 12-1:30 pm, Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Abstract: Recent radical evolution in distributed sensing, computation, communication, and actuation has fostered the emergence of cyber-physical network systems. Examples cut across a broad spectrum of engineering and societal fields such as power grids, swarm robotics, air/ground transportation systems, green buildings, and other societal networks. Regardless of the specific application, one central goal is to shape the network collective behavior through the design of admissible local decision-making algorithms. This is nontrivial especially due to the challenges...

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Kosuke Imai presents "Automated Coding of Political Campaign Advertisement Videos: An Empirical Validation Study", at CGIS Knafel Building (K354) - 12-1:30 pm, Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Abstract: Television advertisements play an essential role in modern political campaigns with several billion dollars spent in the 2018 general election.  For more than two decades, political scientists have studied TV ads by analyzing the hand-coded data from the Wisconsin Advertising Project (WAP) and its successor, the Wesleyan Media Project (WMP).  Unfortunately, manually coding hundreds of variables, such as issue mentions, opponent appearance, and negativity, for many videos is a laborious and expensive process.  We propose to automatically code...

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Michael Levin presents "Decision-making without brains: how biological systems process information" , at 12-1:30 pm - K354 - CGIS Knafel Building, Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Abstract: The cognitive powers of the brain evolved from much more ancient processes in which cells, tissues, and even molecular networks had to make decisions to optimize their function in a challenging world. In this talk, I will discuss the field of primitive cognition, focusing on a number of examples in which non-neural biological systems process information and make decisions. These include a) cells during embryogenesis, regeneration, and cancer, b) unicellular organisms such as slime molds, and c) synthetic organisms. I will also discuss non-neural bioelectricity...

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Mathias Sinning presents "Estimating Quantiles of the Distribution of Treatment Effects", at CGIS Knafel Building (K354) - 12-1:30 pm, Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Abstract: This paper proposes an approach to estimate quantiles of the distribution of treatment effects under the identifying assumption that treatment assignment is based on  observed characteristics. We use a matching approach to derive the distribution of treatment effects from differences in outcomes between matched treatment and control units.  Our parameters of interest may be interpreted as generalized versions of the quantile treatment effect (QTE) and the quantile treatment effect on the treated (QTT), which can be identified without imposing a rank...

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