Articles about statistics

Combinations? Permutations? Those words don't mean what you think they mean

Hello, wrong number At the heart of machine learning are patterns, and patterns are all about counting, so it's important to make sure we are counting the correct items in the correct way. Combinatorics is the branch of mathematics concerned with counting things; more specifically, all the wonderful ways you can count, arrange and manipulate finite …

BoJo, don't misuse stats then blurt disclaimers when you get rumbled

As we all know, there are "lies, damned lies, and statistics". No doubt that line will be pulled out again to bolster the case for British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson against Sir David Norgrove, head of the UK Statistics Authority, who has made it clear he's unimpressed with Boris's use of the stats. Norgrove criticised …
Jane Fae , 19 Sep 2017
Zombies photo via Shutterstock

Numbers war: How Bayesian vs frequentist statistics influence AI

If you want to develop your ML and AI skills, you will need to pick up some statistics and before you have got more than a few steps down that path you will find (whether you like it or not) that you have entered the Twilight Zone that is the frequentist/Bayesian religious war. I use the term "war" advisedly because war, by …
Mark Whitehorn, 22 Jun 2017
May front page photo via Shutterstock

From landslide to buried alive: Why 2017 election forecasts weren't wrong

In the aftermath of almost every recent election, two types of story get written based on the outcome. One is how the polls "got it wrong", how the forecast – surprise! – failed to match the actual result. The other, usually written by someone with at least basic statistical skills, explains why the polls mostly didn't "get it …
Jane Fae , 13 Jun 2017
Corbyn thumbs up photo via Shutterstock

Strong and stable? Theresa May's election poll lead succumbs to outlier syndrome

I hate to say I told you so but, tell a lie, I told you so. As the election campaign heads into the home straight, could the unthinkable be on the cards? Could Theresa May, who started some four weeks ago with what was widely regarded as an unassailable lead, be on the verge of losing? That's not the same as Labour winning – …
Jane Fae , 31 May 2017
Jimmy Carr

8 out of 10 cats fear statistics – AI doesn't have this problem

If statistics were a human being, it would have been in deep therapy all of its 350-year life. The sessions might go like this: Statistics: "Everyone hates me." Pause. Therapist: "I'm sure it's not everyone..." Statistics: "And they misunderstand me." Pause. Therapist: "Sorry, I didn't quite get what you meant there..." …
Mark Whitehorn, 24 May 2017
Yoda

Automated, insight cannot be: Jedi master of statistics was good – but beware the daft side

So, farewell then Hans Rosling, educator and "Jedi master of data visualisation". For in a world increasingly addicted to alternative facts, you pioneered software – Gapminder – and a viewer-friendly approach with bubble charts that allowed you to communicate simple important messages about the world through the medium of the …
Jane Fae , 21 Feb 2017
Poker all in

Cache flush: AI poker bot to compete against top players in tourney

Poker is the next game for AI to beat. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed Libratus, a computer program that will go head to head with top poker players at Rivers Casino, Pittsburgh, beginning next week. The hype around AI has been bubbling away for a while within the tech industry, and was brought to …

fMRI bugs could upend years of research

A whole pile of “this is how your brain looks like” fMRI-based science has been potentially invalidated because someone finally got around to checking the data. The problem is simple: to get from a high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging scan of the brain to a scientific conclusion, the brain is divided into tiny “voxels”. …

Oxford boffins publish fine-scale regional genetic map of UK

An international team of researchers have created a fine-scale genetic map of the UK, the first time such a map has been produced for any country in the world. The fine-scale genetic variation between human populations is of interest to researchers both as a means of tracking historical population movements, and for its …

Cricket's nervous nineties are a THING, say econo-boffins

Cricket's “nervous nineties”, in which batsmen hit the brakes as they approach milestones like a century, aren't just an invention of television and radio commentators. Queensland University of Technology (QUT) statisticians say it's a measurable thing. According to research from QUT's Business School, the numbers from 3,500 …
glow in the dark cat could cure aids

They've finally solved it: Schrödinger's cat is both ALIVE AND DEAD

An international group of quantum physics researchers reckons it's come up with an experimental validation of the reality of the wave-function. It's one of quantum mechanics' most elusive concepts, ever since Erwin Schrödinger crafted the famous “Schrödinger's cat” thought experiment. In the current experiment, led by Martin …
The Tanami Desert en route to Willowara

Australia: even more empty than you imagine

In a release that went largely unnoticed in the lead-up to Christmas, the Australian Bureau of Statistics launched a data product designed to simplify regional and international comparisons. The Australian Population Grid 2011 (that is, it uses the 2011 Census data) plots Australia's population against a 1km2 grid. Prior to …

BIG FAT Lies: Porky Pies about obesity

Worstall @ the Weekend I often wonder why it is that people bother publishing “research” papers that are obviously incorrect. Is it that they're getting paid to spout bollocks? So who ate all of these? Tax payers mainly Or, is there some thought that we're all too stupid to realise that they're teabagging great big hairy ones at us? The latest …
Tim Worstall, 23 Nov 2014
Sportsman with moderated rifle in snow. Pic: Juha Perovuo

Police stats inflate the number of guns actually stolen in Blighty

Analysis The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) has claimed that more legally owned firearms were lost or stolen over the last few years than appears to be the case, according to an exclusive analysis by The Register. The discrepancy casts doubt on a new initiative pillorying gun owners for being careless about gun security. …
Gareth Corfield, 20 Oct 2014

BOFH: My HELPDESK HELL - lies, phones lines and statistics

Episode 2 "I'm just a bit worried about these statistics," the Boss says, lurching into Mission Control with yet another swadge of meaningless numbers. "Told you so," I respond. [FLASHBACK TO A WEEK AGO] "I'm a bit worried about these weekly statistics," the Boss says, lurching into Mission Control with a swadge of meaningless numbers …
Simon Travaglia, 15 Mar 2013

Revolution weaves predictive analytics into Hortonworks Hadoop

Revolution Analytics, the commercializer of the open source R statistical analysis programming language with proprietary extensions that are closed source, has come up with a bunch of ways to integrate the Hadoop big data muncher with R. And it is testing the integration of its R Enterprise ScaleR predicative algorithms in …
The Register breaking news

Facebook continues to CONQUER THE WORLD

Facebook continues to extend its global social-networking hegemony, having established itself as the most-used such service in the vast majority of countries surveyed in a recent study. "Facebook with 1 billion active users has established its leadership position in 127 out of 137 countries analyzed," blogged Italian …
Rik Myslewski, 3 Jan 2013

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