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  1. null (Ed.)
    Abstract Across the social sciences, scholars regularly pool effects over substantial periods of time, a practice that produces faulty inferences if the underlying data generating process is dynamic. To help researchers better perform principled analyses of time-varying processes, we develop a two-stage procedure based upon techniques for permutation testing and statistical process monitoring. Given time series cross-sectional data, we break the role of time through permutation inference and produce a null distribution that reflects a time-invariant data generating process. The null distribution then serves as a stable reference point, enabling the detection of effect changepoints. In Monte Carlo simulations, our randomization technique outperforms alternatives for changepoint analysis. A particular benefit of our method is that, by establishing the bounds for time-invariant effects before interacting with actual estimates, it is able to differentiate stochastic fluctuations from genuine changes. We demonstrate the method’s utility by applying it to a popular study on the relationship between alliances and the initiation of militarized interstate disputes. The example illustrates how the technique can help researchers make inferences about where changes occur in dynamic relationships and ask important questions about such changes. 
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  2. The creation of multiarticulated mechanisms for use with minimally invasive surgical tools is difficult because of fabrication, assembly, and actuation challenges on the millimeter scale of these devices. Nevertheless, such mechanisms are desirable for granting surgeons greater precision and dexterity to manipulate and visualize tissue at the surgical site. Here, we describe the construction of a complex optoelectromechanical device that can be integrated with existing surgical tools to control the position of a fiber-delivered laser. By using modular assembly and a laminate fabrication method, we are able to create a smaller and higher-bandwidth device than the current state of the art while achieving a range of motion similar to existing tools. The device we present is 6 millimeters in diameter and 16 millimeters in length and is capable of focusing and steering a fiber-delivered laser beam at high speed (1.2-kilohertz bandwidth) over a large range (over ±10 degrees in both of two axes) with excellent static repeatability (200 micrometers).

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