Where time comes from

Posted to Statistics  |  Tags: ,  |  Nathan Yau

The Atlantic interviewed Dr. Demetrios Matsakis, Chief Scientist for Time Services at the US Naval Observatory about where time comes from, the precision required and how they obtain it, and why we need such precision. Five seconds into it, my wife commented, “That sounds nerdy.” That’s how you know it’s gonna be good.


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I call myself a statistician, because, well, I’m a statistics graduate student. However, the most important things I’ve learned are less formal, but have proven extremely useful when working/playing with data.

Marrying Age

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Life expectancy changes

The data goes back to 1960 and up to the most current estimates for 2009. Each line represents a country.