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Data Skeptic

The Data Skeptic Podcast features interviews and discussion of topics related to data science, statistics, machine learning, artificial intelligence and the like, all from the perspective of applying critical thinking and the scientific method to evaluate the veracity of claims and efficacy of approaches.


Last Episode Date: 20 May 2024

Total Episodes: 530

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20 May 2024
HMMs for Behavior

Théo Michelot has made a career out of tackling tough ecological questions using time-series data. How do scientists turn a series of GPS location observations over time into useful behavioral data? GPS tech has improved to the point that modern data sets are large and comp...

45 min
14 May 2024
Bioinspired Engineering

Brian Taylor shares his research on magnetoreception. Animals like birds and sea turtles use magnetoreception to use the Earth’s magnetic field for navigation, but it’s not a sense that’s well understood. Brian uses animal magnetoreception to engineer new ways to navig...

38 min
9 May 2024
Modelling Evolution

Modeling evolutionary processes goes way beyond the Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium we all learned in biology class. Natural selection comes from many sources like resources availability, mate preferences, competition. Modeling entire populations of organisms of different species...

41 min
30 April 2024
Behavioral Genetics

It’s almost impossible to think about animal behavior without thinking of dogs! Our canine friends are a subspecies of wolf that has been co-evolving with us for tens of thousands of years. The transition from wolf to pet has required intense natural and artificial selecti...

47 min
25 April 2024
Signal in the Noise

In this episode, we are joined by Barbara Webb and Anna Hadjitofi. Barbara runs the Insect Robotics lab at the University of Edinburgh, and Anna is a PhD student at the School of Informatics at the university. She is interested in studying and understanding the neural mechan...

41 min
16 April 2024
Pose Tracking

Many researchers and students have painstakingly labeled precise details about the body positions of the creatures they study. Can AI be used for this labeling? Of course it can! Today's episode discusses Social LEAP Estimates Animal Poses (SLEAP), a software solution to tra...

50 min
8 April 2024
Modeling Group Behavior

Our guest in this episode is Sebastien Motsch, an assistant professor at Arizona State University, working in the School of Mathematical and Statistical Science. He works on modeling self-organized biological systems to understand how complex patterns emerge.

40 min
25 March 2024
Advances in Data Loggers

Our guest in this episode is Ryan Hanscom. Ryan is a Ph.D. candidate in a joint doctoral evolution program at San Diego State University and the University of California, Riverside. He is a terrestrial ecologist with a focus on herpetology and mammalogy.  Ryan discussed how...

35 min
20 March 2024
What You Know About Intelligence is Wrong (fixed)

We are joined by Hank Schlinger, a professor of psychology at California State University, Los Angeles. His research revolves around theoretical issues in psychology and behavioral analysis.  Hank establishes that words have references and questions the reference for intell...

41 min
12 March 2024
Animal Decision Making

On today’s episode, we are joined by Aimee Dunlap. Aimee is an assistant professor at the University of Missouri–St. Louis and the interim director at the Whitney R. Harris World Ecology Center. Aimee discussed how animals perceive information and what they use it for. S...

37 min
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