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Famous Errors in Statistics

“A little knowledge is a dangerous thing,” said Alexander Pope in 1711; he could have been speaking of the use of statistics by experts in all fields. In this article, we look at three consequential mistakes in the field of statistics. Two of them are famous, the third required a deep dive into the corporate annual reports of

Puzzle: Surgery or Radiation

Several decades ago, the dominant therapies for lung cancer were radiation, which offered better short-term survival rates, and surgery, which offered better long-term rates. A thought experiment was conducted in which surgeons were randomly assigned to one of two groups and asked whether they would choose surgery.

Group 1 was told: The one-month survival rate is 90%.
Group 2 was told: There is 10% mortality in the first month.

Yes, the two statements say the same thing. What did the two physician groups choose?

Of Note: An outlier that lies in the middle of the data

An outlier or anomaly is typically defined as a case that is markedly distant or different from the bulk of the data.  Our July 28 blog on outliers and anomaly detection reported on one unusual case in which the outlier might lie fully within the typical data range. “In one aerospace project, for example, theContinue reading “Of Note: An outlier that lies in the middle of the data”

Aug 4: Statistics in Practice

In this week’s brief, we feature a data-detective story: The Case of the Faulty Generator.  Our spotlight is on our Analytics for Data Science certificate program*. See you in class! *Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Data Science and Analytics concurrently at Thomas Edison State University. Peter Bruce Founder, Author, and Senior Scientist Sira-Kvina Hydro PowerContinue reading “Aug 4: Statistics in Practice”