# "statistics"

## World Cup Prediction Mathematics Explained

The World Cup is back, and everyone's got a pick for the winner. Gamblers have been predicting the outcome of sporting contests since the first foot race across the savannah, but in recent years a unique type of statistical analysis has taken over the prediction business.

June 11, 2014 — Michael Moyer

## Where Are the Real Errors in Political Polls?

"Clinton crushes Biden in hypothetical 2016 matchup: Poll." This was the headline of a MSNBC article on July 17, a full two years before the election in question.

November 4, 2014 — Meghana Ranganathan

## 5 Shortcuts to Keep Data on Risks in Perspective

“Risky” is definitely not a one-size-fits-all concept. It’s not just that we aren’t all at the same level of every risk.

October 13, 2014 — Hilda Bastian

## When Numbers Are Used for a Witch Hunt

I recently finished the excellent book Math on Trial by Leila Schneps and Coralie Colmez. In it, the authors collect examples where statistical errors have possibly altered the outcome of trials.

October 31, 2013 — Evelyn Lamb

## Sex Makes You Rich? Why We Keep Saying “Correlation Is Not Causation” Even Though It’s Annoying

On Saturday, my Twitter feed alerted me to a totally non-sensationalistic Gawker article called More Buck For Your Bang: People Who Have More Sex Make The Most Money.

August 20, 2013 — Evelyn Lamb

## Vacation: What’s the Point?

It’s not really news when a journalist goes cherry-picking for juicy tidbits to fit a narrative, is it? We all fall into the trap of going too easy on the things we want to believe.

July 24, 2014 — Hilda Bastian

## A Higher Murder Rate than New York and Los Angeles Combined

Today on the radio, I heard an announcer say, “Chicago has a higher murder rate than New York and Los Angeles combined.” The compassionate human being in me cringed, and the statistical pedant in me also cringed.

May 27, 2014 — Evelyn Lamb

## Science in the Abstract: Don't Judge a Study by its Cover

A competition for attention lies at the heart of the scientific enterprise. And the abstract is its “blurb.” A scientific abstract is a summary used to attract readers to an article and to get a piece of research accepted for a conference presentation.

May 12, 2014 — Hilda Bastian

## A Viewer’s Guide to Mammography Evidence Ping-Pong

You could get a very sore neck watching all the claims and counter-claims about mammography zing back and forth. It’s like a lot of evidence ping-pong matches.

May 1, 2014 — Hilda Bastian

## We Only Need to Fill Out 425 Brackets Each to Win Buffett’s Billion

Warren Buffett’s Bracket Challenge* has put even more of a spotlight than usual on March Madness, the annual NCAA basketball tournament.

March 17, 2014 — Evelyn Lamb

## 5 key things to know about meta-analysis

Knowledge accumulates. But studies can get contradictory or misleading along the way. You can’t just do a head count: 3 studies saying yes minus 1 saying no thumbs up.

January 20, 2014 — Hilda Bastian

## Statistician David J. Hand Shows How the Seemingly Improbable Becomes a Sure Thing

There are so many things in heaven and earth that coincidences become certainties

May 1, 2014 — Steve Mirsky

## The Pitfalls of Disease Prevention Strategies

Act I: An ounce of “prevention.” “Prevention is better than cure.” Aphorisms like this go back a long way. And most of our dramatic triumphs against disease come from prevention: clean water, making roads and workplaces safer, antiseptic routines in hospital, reducing smoking, immunization, stemming the spread of HIV.

March 23, 2014 — Hilda Bastian

## Statistical Flaw Punctuates Brain Research in Elite Journals

Neuroscientists need a statistics refresher. That is the message of a new analysis in Nature Neuroscience that shows that more than half of 314 articles on neuroscience in elite journals   during an 18-month period failed to take adequate measures to ensure that statistically significant study results were not, in fact, erroneous.

March 27, 2014 — Gary Stix

## Biomedical research: Believe it or not?

It’s not often that a research article barrels down the straight toward its one millionth view.Thousands of biomedical papers are publishedevery day.

December 16, 2013 — Hilda Bastian

## Has Anyone Ever Flipped Heads 76 Times in a Row?

Tom Stoppard’s absurdist play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead begins with one of them, Guildenstern (or is it Rosencrantz?), flipping coins.

January 27, 2014 — Evelyn Lamb

## Voices, silence, strength and Judith Lumley: A women in science mentoring tale

It began, as life changes often do, when I bought a book. It was in Sydney and I wrote the year in it: 1982. You know when it feels as though something could have been written just for you?

January 1, 2014 — Hilda Bastian

## Statistical significance and its part in science downfalls

Imagine if there were a simple single statistical measure everybody could use with any set of data and it would reliably separate true from false.

November 11, 2013 — Hilda Bastian

### Back to School

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