Heteroscedasticity (pronounced — and sometimes spelled — heteroskedasticity) has nothing to do with kinky sex. Sorry about that. It is a statistical term meaning variation in variation. For example, the variation in the weights of elephants is much greater than the variation in the weights of army ants. Animal weights are strongly heteroscedastic. It’s an appropriate title: although the blog looks at statistical and mathematical phenomena, you can expect a lot of variation in the topics.

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## About aharmlessdrudge

Way back during the late Bronze age -- actually it was the 1950s -- all of us in high school had to take a vocational test to determine our interests and, supposedly, our future careers. I cannot remember the outcome, but I do recall one question that gave me pause. "If you were to win a Nobel prize, would it be in literature or in physics?" I hesitated over the question: although I enjoyed mathematics and science more than English class, I did have a couple of unfinished (and very bad) novels hidden away at home. I cannot remember what I chose back then, but the dilemma followed me to university, where I switched from mathematics to English and -- after a five-year stint in journalism -- back to mathematics. I recently retired as a professor of statistics. Retirement. What a good chance to revive my literary ambitions. I have finished a novel -- more about that in good time -- and a rubble of drafts of articles about mathematics and statistics is taking up space on my hard disk.

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Love your blog so far. Simple, interesting ideas well explained. What more can anyone ask?

Thanks for your encouraging words, Serena. This blog is one of my retirement projects.

I checked out your blog and learned that you (1) love math and (2) are off to Berkeley this fall. Good combination, but there’s something to watch out for, a troll under the bridge so to speak. You may find professors and counsellors who discourage you from taking the challenging math courses simply because you are female. As my own daughter discovered in her first year, sexism is alive and well in academia and it takes the form of the myth that women can’t do math. I’m not sure where that fable originates. In my years of teaching math and stats, most of the students who came up with original ideas have been women. So choose your courses carefully and don’t underestimate yourself. Good luck.

Alan Donald (aharmlessdrudge)

Sorry I didn’t reply sooner, I only just saw this. Thank you for the valuable advice. In high school, I didn’t allow my all male classes to deter me and I sure as hell am not going to start now. Thanks again.