helen-louise (baratron) wrote,

  • Mood:

one down, how many to go?

Major thesis crisis number 2 has been averted. I was panicking so much, I didn't even get round to telling you about it. To cut a long story short, the reason different people were giving the results of the same method as H-1, 2H-2 and 2H-1 was that they were using different methods! The reason I hadn't noticed was that they are only subtly different - too subtle for a non-statistician to notice at 5am after not enough sleep.

Major thesis crisis number 1 continues to boil. To answer everyone who wondered why I didn't try a book, my problem concerns holes in data. The vast majority of stats books don't seem to consider that data could ever have holes in it. Ordinary stats books only use model data, and applied stats books... well, I went through the entire shelf of books on statistics as applied to the space / atmospheric / meterological sciences in the British Library, and only one of them gave any indication of what you're supposed to do with gaps in your time series. And their method cannot be applied to my data for reasons of chemistry. I looked at a couple of books about statistics as applied to economics (apart from astronomy and meterology, the other biggest user of time series is in economics - such as forecasting the Stock Exchange indexes), but economics is... not my science, and I couldn't make much headway.

As for asking someone at the university, I asked around the maths department 2 years ago when I was actually there most days, and was generally unsuccessful in finding anyone who would admit to knowing anything about statistics. There is a maths consulting service, but it costs money, operates for 2 hours one day a week, and you have to be registered staff or student - I'm only "writing up", which means I have to give the college money and in return get none of their facilities.

Will continue to plug away with the people on sci.stat.edu, and try nitoda's Toni.

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