# Category Archives: Statistics

Kerfuffle There’s been a kerfuffle in the media recently (March 2012) about a blood test that will with “90  per cent accuracy” predict whether people over 70 will develop Alzheimer’s Disease within three years. You can Google “test Alzheimer” to … Continue reading

## How not to make money at a casino — or watch that denominator!

First, be assured, there is a sure-fire method for making money at a casino, but you’ll have to wait until (or skip ahead to) the end of the blog. The associated problem of how not to make money at roulette … Continue reading

## “Just say no”: Does chastity work?

The recent amazing discovery that teens like sex has led to campaigns promoting chastity among high school students. Advocates for this crusade condemn the promotion of condom use, claiming that avoidance of sex is the only way to prevent unwanted … Continue reading

## Which countries are research giants?

On its news website, the journal Nature recently published a graphic illustrating scientific research activity around the world as measured by the number of papers published from January to October 2011. Nature obligingly arranged the data by country. A glance … Continue reading

Posted in Research, Statistics | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

## WISE Math vs WNCP: Why your kids can’t do math.

“Would you like your children taught to read by a teacher who could read only at the Grade Five level?” That question (I paraphrased it) comes from Anna Stokke, a University of Winnipeg professor who teaches future teachers how to … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Mathematics and Logic, Statistics | | 1 Comment

## Another boy? A logical puzzle.

Here’s something to stir your neurons. You meet a woman who tells you that she has two children and that one of them is a boy. What is the probability that the other child is also a boy? Assume that … Continue reading

## What kind of cancer is the most common cause of death among women?

If you said breast cancer, you are wrong. In Canada, breast cancer accounts for the deaths of about 5100 women (and 55 men) annually. Lung cancer kills 9300. So why does breast cancer get all the publicity and mounds of … Continue reading

## Class size bias: the Tim Horton’s delusion

If you are an undergraduate university student, it should not take you long to make a list of peeves. Dislike your dorm? Check. Nurse a seething hatred of your roommate? Check. Loathe the food? Check. Even if some of those … Continue reading

## What’s a trillion?

Trillion. It’s such a pretty word, so easy to say.  And, recently, so common, especially when it comes to talking about government debt and deficits. A deficit is the difference between income and expenses in a particular year. The total … Continue reading

## Heteroscedasticity

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Statistics | Tagged | 4 Comments