Tag Archives: Wiley

Wegman and Said leave Wiley journal and Said disappears from GMU

The saga of statistician turned climate science critic Edward Wegman and his protege Yasmin Said has taken yet another strange turn. The pair’s tenure as editors-in-chief at the Wiley journal they founded three years ago quietly came to an unceremonious end recently, while  release of the hard-cover encyclopedia based on the journal also appears to have been delayed. Not only that, but it now seems that Yasmin Said’s stint as research assistant professor at George Mason University ended at the same time.

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Said and Wegman 2009: Suboptimal Scholarship

Today I present an analysis of a 2009 article by Yasmin Said and Edward Wegman of George Mason University. “Roadmap for Optimization” was published in the inaugural edition of WIREs Comp Stats, one of a new family of Wiley publications conceived as a “serial encyclopedia”. Wegman and Said, along with David Scott of Rice University, are also editors of the journal; the three are best known as co-authors of the 2006 “hockey stick” report to Congress, commissioned by Rep. Joe Barton.

As the title implies, the article was meant to provide a broad overview of  mathematical optimization and set the stage for subsequent articles detailing various optimization techniques. However my analysis, entitled Suboptimal Scholarship: Antecedents of Said and Wegman 2009, demonstrates the highly problematic scholarship of the “Roadmap” article.

  • No fewer than 15 likely online antecedent sources, all unattributed, have been identified, including 13 articles from Wikipedia and two others from Prof. Tom Ferguson and Wolfram MathWorld.
  • Numerous errors have been identified, apparently arising from mistranscription, faulty rewording, or omission of key information.
  • The scanty list of references appears to have been “carried along” from the unattributed antecedents; thus, these references may well constitute false citations.

First, I’ll present an abridged version of Suboptimal Scholarship summary as an overview of the analysis. Then I’ll take a look at a few examples showing the derivation of “Roadmap” from its antecedents, including some remarkable errors introduced in the process.  And finally I’ll place this latest embarrassment in the context of the pattern of dubious scholarship evidenced by Wegman and Said over the last several years.

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