Category Archives: Mathematics

Ferguson’s Imperial Model

A code review.

Good lord.

This reminds me an awful lot of the code that was leaked from CRU. S**t climate coding has done a lot of economic damage, but nowhere near as rapidly as this has, with tens of thousands of deaths to boot.

[Update a few minutes later]

A devastating conclusion:

All papers based on this code should be retracted immediately. Imperial’s modelling efforts should be reset with a new team that isn’t under Professor Ferguson, and which has a commitment to replicable results with published code from day one.

On a personal level, I’d go further and suggest that all academic epidemiology be defunded. This sort of work is best done by the insurance sector. Insurers employ modellers and data scientists, but also employ managers whose job is to decide whether a model is accurate enough for real world usage and professional software engineers to ensure model software is properly tested, understandable and so on. Academic efforts don’t have these people, and the results speak for themselves.

Same with climate modeling. Get it out of the universities. Particularly Penn State.

[Update a while later]

What Ferguson’s booty call tells us about our “elites.”

[Friday-afternoon update]

The model that panicked the world was junk.