What are some of the challenges in teaching Bayesian methods compared to

classical methods?

>> I guess, I see challenges a little bit on both sides, so I teach, for example,

an introductory frequentist course, and I find that students don't really understand

what P values are They're really complicated to explain and

they really want them to be posterior probability.

So I certainly see on the one hand challenges in teaching

frequentist methods.

On the other hand, some of the challenges I run into with Bayesian methods are more

to do with after you've taught someone and you run into a journal editor,

who just doesn't believe in Bayesian statistics at all.

And so, we had a silly paper actually a few years ago,

where we used a well known national study.

It was a survey, and we were in the study,

we had people that said they'd had babies but they never had sexual intercourse and

they hadn't used any assisted reproduction.

And so, this was a paper for a Christmas issue of a prestigious medical journal.

The Christmas issue sort of joke papers, and so this was one of them.

We estimated a prevalence of half a percent of virgin births in the US.

And so, what we did was we thought this was a great teaching example,

we'll use a Bayesian analysis, we'll use a prior distribution.

And so, we got on Wikipedia and estimated how many people lived on planet Earth.

And we had a couple different priors.

We had a prior where we said, we have our Christian prior where Jesus is the only

person whose been born of a virgin.

But then if you look at other traditions there’s some Greek gods,

there’s some Indian deities.

Maybe 100 others who were also purported to be born of virgins.

And use that as a prior distribution and we thought this is great,

this shrinks our estimated way off half a percent which no one

believes down to reasonable number very close to zero.

But the journal actually refused to publish it.

So they said that the Bayesian analysis was not rigorous science.

And our responses was really think half a percent

of purse to purse is rigorous science.

But they really refused to budge so I think that's one of the biggest challenges

is thinking about what a reviewer says who's maybe a little old fashioned and

doesn't understand what the methods would do,

if we had a really complicated frequentist method that took into account.

Measurement error and bias and response, I'm sure we would had an easier time of

the paper even though it wasn't quite as elegant as the solutions.

>> Yeah.

Great.

Well, thank you so much for being here.

>> Thank you. >> Thank you.

[LAUGH]