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2010 Italian Stata meeting recap

David Drukker and I just got back from the Italian Stata Users Group meeting in Bologna, arranged by TStat, the Stata distributor for Italy. It was wonderful, in part because of the beauty of Bologna, and the tasty food. The scientific committee and TStat did great jobs of selecting papers and organizing a smooth, interesting meeting.

The first day of the meeting had talks by users and StataCorp. There was good variety, with topics like investigating disease clustering, classification of prehistoric artifacts, small-area analysis, and the careful interpretation of marginal effects. This year, all the talks were in English — and it was once again amazing to see how well people can present in a second (or third) language. If you would like to see the slides which accompanied the talks, you can find them at http://www.stata.com/meeting/italy10/abstracts.html.

Recently, I have been thinking about how to interpret results from nonlinear models, so I found Maarten Buis’s talk on “Extracting effects from non-linear models” and David’s talk on “Estimating partial effects using margins in Stata 11” really useful. Both Maarten and David have thought carefully about this problem and each of them presented great introductions and easy to apply solutions. What is interesting is they favor different solutions. Maarten leaned more towards estimating and interpreting ratios that did not vary with the covariates. David recommended using the potential outcome framework which can be implemented using the margins command. The similarities and differences in these two talks made them even more informative.

As is typical for the Italian meetings, the second day had two training sessions, one given by David on programming your own estimation command in Stata (starting from the basics of Stata programming), and one given by Laura Antolini from the Università di Milano Bicocca on competing risks in survival analysis. Both courses were booked full.

I was a Stata user for 15 years before I started working at Stata, and the most fun parts of the meeting are the same now as when I was a user: the wishes and grumbles followed by the conference dinner. The wishes and grumbles session is always interesting; it shows the wide variety of approaches to using Stata. The conference dinner is always fun, because of the conversation over excellent food. In Italy, of course, the food is beyond excellent; strolling through Bologna on marble sidewalks under colonnades while talking statistics, programming and Stata made the evening, if in a intellectual fashion.

Statalist

I just want to take a moment to plug Statalist. I’m a member and I hope to convince you to join Statalist, too, but even if I don’t succeed, you need to know about the web-based Statalist Archives because they’re a great resource for finding answers to questions about Stata, and you don’t have to join Statalist to access them.

Statalist’s Archives are found at http://www.stata.com/statalist/archive/, or you can click on “Statalist archives” on the right of this blog page, under Links.

Once at the Archives page, you can click on a year and month to get an idea of the flavor of Statalist. More importantly, you can search the archives. The search is Powered by Google and works well for highly specific, directed inquiries. For generic searches such as random numbers or survival analysis, however, I prefer to go to Advanced Search and ask that the results be sorted by date instead of relevance. It’s usually the most recent postings that are the most interesting, and by-date results are listed in just that order.

Anyway, the next time you are puzzling over something in Stata, I suggest that Read more…

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2011 Mexican Stata Users Group meeting — call for presentations

The 2011 Mexican Stata Users Group meeting has been scheduled for May 12, 2011.

The Mexican Stata Users Group meeting is a one-day international conference about the use of Stata in a wide breadth of fields and environments, mixing theory and practice. The bulk of the conference is made up of selected submitted presentations. Together with the keynote address and a featured presentation by a member of StataCorp’s technical staff, these sessions provide fertile ground for learning about statistics and Stata. All users are encouraged to submit abstracts for possible presentations.

For the full meeting details, submission guidelines, and registration information, please see www.stata.com/meeting/mexico11/.

Date: May 12, 2011
Venue: Institute for Economic Research, National Autonomous University of
Mexico, Circuito Mario de la Cueva, Ciudad de la Investigación
Humanidades, Ciudad Universitaria, C.P.04510, México, D.F.
Submission deadline: March 19, 2011
More information: click here

Scientific committee:

Alfonso Miranda (chair)
Institute of Education, University of London
Email: A.Miranda@ioe.ac.uk

Armando Sánchez Vargas
Institute for Economic Research, National Autonomous University of Mexico
Email: sva@economia.unam.mx

Graciela Teruel Belismelis
Economics Department, Iberoamerican University
Email: graciela.teruel@s2.uia.mx


Logistics organizer:

MultiON Consulting SA de CV, distributor of Stata in Mexico and Central America
Victoria Leon
Email: vleon@multion.com.mx
Phone: +52 (55) 5559 4050 x 160

Visit Stata at APHA 2010

StataCorp will have a booth in the exhibit hall at the American Public Health Association’s Annual Meeting & Exposition.

APHA’s 2010 meeting will be in Denver, Colorado, from November 6 through 10. For more information, visit www.apha.org/meetings/highlights/.

Stata representatives, including Roberto G. Gutierrez, Director of Statistics, will be available at the Stata booth to answer your questions about all things Stata. Stop by booth #1603 to visit with the people who develop and support the software and to get 20% off your purchase of Stata Press books and Stata Journal subscriptions.

Also make plans to attend our brief seminar, “Stata 11: Statistical Software for the Health Sciences”, led by Roberto G. Gutierrez. The workshop will be held Monday, November 8, at 4:00 PM in the APHA Exhibitor Theatre, booth #2093.