Category Archives: Statistics

That’s an emphatic NO!

all 49% of it. Seen via math-fail.com I was curious about the source and google pointed me here. To restore our sanity, here’s a neat problem from the 2012 AMC 8: Let R be a set of 9 distinct integers. … Continue reading

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How to Lie with Statistics – that illusive 0.1%

Cut out the following from a newspaper ad for a company IPO. 8% is a great yield by current standards but I just loved how the bar chart showed such an impressive growth from 7.9% to 8.0%. If the chart … Continue reading

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Lies, damned lies and statistics

a report on manipulating p-values in medical/clinical “research”. http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=3978 the oft-quoted title is due to Benjamin Disraeli.

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Statistics and student behaviour 2

continuation of a previous post. Last year, for the very first time I had my full lecture series made available as webcasts. I’ve always not been a fan of doing this and managed to avoid it so far because I … Continue reading

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Statistics and student behaviour 1

I have a couple of statistics that I compiled this year for my 400 student course on linear algebra. Submitting in class worksheets. I set 10 worksheets over the the semester and distributed them to students during lectures to be … Continue reading

Posted in Linear Algebra, Statistics, Teaching | 1 Comment

Nefarious Numbers

is an article by Douglas Arnold and Kristine Fowler (a librarian whom I guess did most of the digging) about how impact factors can be manipulated. They pull no punches and it’s worth your time reading if you are impacted … Continue reading

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mean wealth

An interesting report appeared in the local papers about Singapore being the fourth wealthiest nation in terms of estimated net worth. The news in itself was not as interesting as the actual figures that was estimated. Mean net worth : … Continue reading

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World Environment Day and 17291

Yesterday (5th June) was World Environment Day. I wouldn’t say I’m a green fanatic but I do try my best to recycle, use the air conditioner only when it is unbearable and bring my own non-plastic shopping bags whenever I … Continue reading

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Mathematical constants

If for some reason, you wanted the values of certain mathematical constants to a few billion digits, numberworld.org might be a site for you. Well known ones like [tex]\sqrt{2}, \frac{\sqrt{5}-1}{2}, e, \pi, \log(2), \log(10), \zeta(3), \gamma [/tex] are all there … Continue reading

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What’s in a name …

while a rose by any other name may smell as sweet, a mathematician might just be discriminated by his/her name. The perceived ability of a mathematician (as well as most academics) is by publications. There are two norms in listing … Continue reading

Posted in Books, General, Statistics | 1 Comment

Reporter or reported innumeracy

In the midst of recession and oil prices falling from $145 to below $80, the ridiculous power company announced that electricity prices are going up by 21%, based forward oil pricing. The best thing is that our electricity are generated … Continue reading

Posted in Probability, Statistics | 2 Comments

understanding randomness

Most people tend to confuse randomness with uniformly distributed. They believed that if you toss a coin 100 times you would get 50 heads and 50 tails. Lots of people have discussed this, gave examples of how they detected pseudo … Continue reading

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Always check your data

I read in the local newspaper that 54.2% of bioengineering graduates last year found jobs not related to their field of study. Ha, great fodder for me to attack the crazy obsession with life sciences. But since we live in … Continue reading

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The Tail Wagging the Dog

A headline in a local newspaper read “Want higher salary? Get master’s degree” Woe is me, for a master’s I possess not. The reporter wrote based on a ministry of manpower study which I tried in vain to locate. So … Continue reading

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Counting Tanks

A very nice guardian article on how the British used statistics to count German tanks. (via Mathforge.) I particularly like this bit: The statisticians believed that the Germans, being Germans, had logically numbered their tanks in the order in which … Continue reading

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How To Lie With Statistics – Fat Green Pipe

The latest advertising campaign of a local internet service provider is tauting their service as the Fat Green Pipe. (Allusions to Super Mario Bros?) It is classical Darrell Huff. The numerical data states 95% vs 65% which is measured by … Continue reading

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The Lady Tasting Tea – David Salsburg

Honestly, I know next to nothing about statistics. It’s no wonder that I have not heard of this book, and most of the actors in the stories within. This is a good book that tells the tales of the origin … Continue reading

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Freakonomics

by Steven D Levitt and Stephen Dubner. A local bestseller that attempts to find the hidden answers from (not necessarily economic) data. The answers presented are controversial to say the least, but yet not quite far fetched. That’s I guess … Continue reading

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Forecasts

My previous job was doing operations research in a big logistic company. The problem of the day was making accurate forecasts. For example, the amount of work fluctuated significantly from day to day and we needed an accurate gauge of … Continue reading

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Dangerous Living Room

One headline of the local newspaper reads “Living Room is the Most Dangerous Place for Kids”. In the report, they quoted a study which showed that 30% of accidents involving children occurred in the living room. This is a classic … Continue reading

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