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Statistics

Why are so many men pregnant?

Garbage in, garbage out the old adage goes. Nigel Hawkes, Director of Straight Statistics, describes a sort of statistical whistleblowing letter to the British…

A Future Without Key Social and Economic Statistics for the Country

Robert Groves, director of the U.S. Census Bureau, on the Appropriations Bill: The Appropriations Bill eliminates the Economic Census, which measures the health of our…

TV anachronisms

Princeton history graduate student Benjamin Schmidt explores changes in language through TV anachronisms. In Schmidt's most recent analysis, he examines Megan's use of "callback" in…

Why the American Community Survey is worth keeping

Jerzy Wieczorek, a statistician with the U.S. Census Bureau, explains why the American Community Survey is worthwhile. Besides the direct estimates from the ACS itself,…

House votes to cut the American Community Survey

Last month Republicans were pushing a bill to get rid of the American Community Survey, an 11-page questionnaire about housing, education, and other things. Yesterday,…

CNN transcript collection, 2000-2012

Thanks to the Internet Archive and CNN, thirteen years of transcripts, about a gigabyte compressed, is available to download as one file. For over a…

Common statistical fallacies

I've been reading papers on how people learn statistics (and thoughts on teaching the subject) and came across the frequently-cited work of mathematical psychologists Amos…

Hans Rosling makes Time 100 Most Influential

It was bound to happen at some point. Doctor and statistician Hans Rosling, best known for his sword-swallowing TED talk, among plenty of other things,…

Why $1m Netflix algorithm never went to production

Five and a half years ago, Netflix offered data and a $1 million prize to improve their recommendation system by at least ten percent. In…

The Accidental Statistician

George E.P. Box, a statistician known for his body of work in time series analysis and Bayesian inference (and his quotes), recounts how he became…

What a Pound of Change is Worth

After seeing his friend's CoinStar receipt for 27 pounds of coins that equalled $256.14, Dan Kozikowski dug deeper and estimated what a pound of change…

Fear of Big Brother and Government Surveys

Other than ten-year population estimates, the United States Census Bureau annually collects information about how people live in the country through the American Community Survey.…

1940 Census Individual Records Released

The 72-year mark has arrived, and the United States Census released individual records from 1940 yesterday. So you can now, for example, see that J.D.…

Freakonomics Critique and Rebuttal

Whoa. What did I just read? I think most of you know of Freakonomics, but in case you don't, it started as a book in…

New iPad battery size is huge

From Gizmodo, this shows battery size in the new iPad versus that of the iPad 2. The battery in the former is 70 percent bigger…

Stephen Colbert on Target and predictive analytics

"Target doesn't just know when you're buying sheets. They know what you're doing in between them." [Comedy Central via @alexlundry] …

Companies learn your secrets with data about you

In the 1980s, students and researchers at UCLA, led by marketing professor Alan Andreasen, found some interesting spending patterns when people approach major life events.…

Jeremy Lin is no fluke

Nate Silver looks at past players who have scored 20 or more points, had 6 or more assists, and shot better than 50 percent in…

An action plan for data science, a decade ago

Data science has been covered at length during the past couple of years, and we tend to think of it as a field of study…

Challenges measuring crime worldwide

You would think that something so concrete, carefully recorded by authorities, wouldn't be too tough to tabulate, even if at a large scale. Not so.…

Texting on the toilet

I thought this riveting post on the New York Times Bits blog about the rise of the toilet texter deserved a graphic. Since their graphics…

More people want to learn statistics

Data is hot right now, so as you would expect, more people are signing up and applying to learn about it. Quentin Hardy for The…