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Author Archives: Dan Ma
A normal bell curve made with humans
A group of students are stacked according to their heights. The result resembles a normal bell curve. Who are the students in the picture? The image is from the statistics and actuarial science department of Simon Fraser University. These students … Continue reading
Making sense of Powerball data
Collecting data on the Powerball lottery depends on one’s perspective. Of course, for anyone who purchased a ticket, the first set of data points would be the winning numbers – checking to see if the numbers on the ticket match … Continue reading
Posted in Descriptive statistics, Games of chance
Tagged Descriptive statistics, Lottery, Powerball
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The probability of breaking the bank
What is the likelihood of a gambler winning all the cash in a casino? A better question is: what is the likelihood of a gambler losing all the money he or she brings into the casino? There had been casinos … Continue reading
Is your public pool free from urine?
Some people believe that the answer to the question posted in the title of the blog post is no. Now there is evidence to back it up. The study profiled here also gives an indication of how serious the problem … Continue reading
Is there anything we can do to avoid the flu?
In many places, influenza activity peaks during the period in between December and February. What are some of the best practices to reduce the spread of the flu and to minimize the risk of catching it? The standard recommendations are: … Continue reading
Looking at Spread
In the previous post Two Statisticians in a Battlefield, we discussed the importance of reporting a spread in addition to an average when describing data. In this post we look at three specific notions of spread. They are measures that … Continue reading
Two Statisticians in a Battlefield
Two soldiers, both statisticians, were fighting side by side in a battlefield. They spotted an enemy soldier and they both fired their rifles. One statistician soldier fired one foot to the left of the enemy soldier and the other statistician … Continue reading
The Tax Return of Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney is currently a candidate for the 2012 Republican Party nomination for U.S. President. He recently, bowed to pressure from another presidential candidate in the Republican Party, had to release his past tax returns. The release of these tax … Continue reading
Food scientists need to make sense of numbers
Food – the part of the economy that encompasses the production, the processing and the marketing of foods – is big business. In fact, the successes of the food industry depend in no small measure on the use of statistics. … Continue reading →