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Research help: What percentage of youth in foster care are born to parents who were at one point in foster care of themselves?
I'm looking for information on the prevalence of intergenerational child abuse and experiences of foster care. In addition to the question above, I am also interested in what percentage of perpetrators of child abuse were victims of child abuse themselves. I've done some digging myself and haven't been able to find any data on this.

I just started grad school, and I'm feeling overwhelmed with my Biostatistics class. Can you recommend some resources to keep me from falling behind? [more inside]

Our Google Analytics numbers are hugely inflated but we don't know why. [more inside]

I want to generate synthetic user-session data to predict how big a peak in application usage might be shortly before a weekly deadline (for timesheet submission - it's a time and labour tracking application). I've come up with a method that looks like it works - it involves a gamma distribution for the login time. But I don't have enough (in fact, any) statistical training to know whether I'm using that distribution meaningfully. Statisticians, please reassure me. Thanks! Excel functions inside... [more inside]

My teen aged niece has suddenly found a strong interest in statistics. What book would you recommend for a 14 year old who has good, but not advanced, math skills?

With deadline looming, stats consultant has bailed. Simple queries need resolution. Help?
I am working on a data graphic that involves statistical calculations about survival rates for startup businesses, correlated with certain tangible and intangible factors. The raw data (about survival/closure/merger outcomes) has already been investigated, and the original researchers (who are awesome) have generated some interesting correlations using univariate regressions and Cox regressions. For my output I am relying on their statistically significant findings, wanting to create comparisons among the univariate coefficients. Not sure my methods are kosher and would appreciate consultation. Avalanche inside. [more inside]

Does this exist? The popular myth is that 50% of marriages end in divorce, but those numbers are slippery. Is there a place with a good breakdown? [more inside]

I need help finding some statistics regarding workplace violence and - particularly separating out violence perpetrated by internal employees vs external 3rd parties. [more inside]

I have just completed my MSc in mathematics in Europe. I do enjoy math, but I spent my uni years feeling like a autodidact hippie marooned on an island full of Mr and Mrs I-Want-A-Good-Job. My main interests revolve around humanities (literature/history/anthropology) and economics (but not finance), and instead of starting a "stable" well-paying career I dream about something inter-disciplinary. I am very open to earning little money and relocating just to do kind of work that engages those skills. What are some random uses of my degree? [more inside]

What is the relationship between statistical power and the validity of an experiment in general? If I have low power, but a very low p value, am I still OK? [more inside]

My itty-bitty portfolio website traffic is almost all new visitors from Brazil. I don't have anything on my portfolio that would appeal to Brazilians. What is going on? Should I be worried? [more inside]

How many unique ways are there to put X rocks into Y boxes?
(Given two different sets of attributes for both the rocks and the boxes.) [more inside]

Does anyone know if there is a trial version of SPSS to download for a Mac? I tried downloading a free trial, but I didn't trust the website that I was on. Are there add-ons for excel that would allow me to do this? Any suggestions are welcome.

I play fantasy baseball in a league with friends, some of whom pay no attention and others who have baseball stats in their very DNA. I myself am moderately ok most of the time, but generally have a low-level understanding of what I'm doing, so when things go wrong my solution is usually to flail around with free agent players while watching my ship sink, week by week. I'd like to get off this plateau and actually learn more about the game, sabermetrics, etc so I can be a legit contender, but I'm lost in the morass: every resource I can find is super basic or way over my head. Help! [more inside]

Would Statistics masters make me competitive for research analyst jobs in state/county government agencies? [more inside]

This study and this article mention that there are more than 3,000 pharmaceuticals currently approved for prescription in the U.S and many compounds approved for OTC use. Where did they come up with that number or how might one come up that type of estimate? [more inside]

I have a spreadsheet with 120,000 or so rows & need to pull out some data. [more inside]

Looking for a community college that has an *online* statistics and/or women's lit course. [more inside]

I'm looking for a social science type book, probably an edited volume, that tackles an issue using lots of data & statistical tests / arguments to debate an issue. I am less concerned with the issue being debated, and more concerned with learning 1) what constitutes proper manipulation of data 2) what tests are appropriate and when 3) what proper inference is. I'm not afraid of math.

There's a well-known joke about statisticians. "Did you hear the one one about the statistician who drowned trying to wade across the river? He knew it was three feet deep...on average." I've searched for a source for this joke on the internet, but haven't found one. Does anyone have any idea where this joke originated? Call me an academic, but I feel the need to attribute it if I can.

I'm a scientist who deals with statistics all day, and my partner is a die-hard basketball fan. He follows some of the basketball stats nerds, and sometimes he wants to talk about basketball stats with me, but I can never find any decent statistical summaries - just a bunch of averages with no context provided. Are there any free resources that provide sports statistics with more than simple averages? [more inside]

I'm looking to take an intro to statistics class this fall or summer. I'd be up for taking it online or in person, if in person it would have to be in or near Washington DC. It could either be an undergraduate or graduate class, but not one where you have to know calculus. Has anyone taken a good introduction to statistics class in the DC area or online that they could recommend?

I want to learn SPSS. What are my options? [more inside]

Can/how can one improve the estimate for a chance of an event with a small historical sample size by utilizing the chance of a related event with a large historical sample size? Example and half-assed guess inside. [more inside]

I have 600 images tagged with keywords. In addition to nice pictures of tag clouds and frequency calculations, what sort of smart, insightful analysis can I do with these data that could reveal relationships between the tags and other (more formal) data attached to the images? Any advice on software tools (Windows, preferably FOSS) would be appreciated. I have some training in statistics and I have actually done textual statistics before but only briefly so I'm not familiar with the current tools and methods.

Hi Hivemind,
I'm currently enrolled in a PhD program for statistics and operations research, and in two more years I can grab that PhD. Alternatively, I can jump ship now with a MS, headed for the (inviting/inevitable) waters of industry.
Knowing that I have no interest in staying in academia, give me some motivation to finish. Or, tell me to quit because actual work experience is more valuable! What roles should I be looking at other than Data Scientist? Would it be feasible to get a position doing private research, and would that be awesome? Bonus points if you can tell me what skills I should be cultivating to be hire-able (software engineering)?
P.S. I will also do some more chatting with profs and former students to figure out how I should be directing myself, but I hope the HiveMind can provide some complementary ideas.

An NPR blog cites an NSF study which claims that 26 percent of Americans asked answered that the Sun goes around the Earth, rather than vice versa. Believing that 1 in 4 of my fellow citizens doesn't know that the Earth circles the Sun is hard enough. But thinking about that number, it seems worse than that: if 26% got a 50/50 question wrong, wouldn't another 26% have answered correctly just based on chance rather than knowledge? That would mean that roughly half of Americans didn't know (and then split evenly on their guess). The idea that half of Americans don't know seems intuitively ludicrous to me. Am I missing something in how I think about this? Please help my statistically challenged brain... [more inside]

Biologists and Staticians... what's going on here? There hasn't been a female born in my husband's family in two generations. Help solve the brothers' debate about what's causing this, and what the odds of our pregnancy being male or female is. [more inside]

There's a lot of statistics online about how many children are sexually abused, but not much about how many adults are doing the abusing. I did read one article that mentioned in passing that about 1 in 20 men and 1 in 3300 women have sexually abused a child, but I think that was referring to only prepubescent children, not minors in general. The article was pretty old too, and there was no source for where they got that information. If anyone knows where I can find a reliable statistic regarding the percent of adults that sexually abuse children then I would appreciate it. [more inside]

MS Excel's regression tools provide 95% lower/upper confidence results but how does one properly interpret and then express those as a single ± (plus/minus) figure? [more inside]

If I'm going to succeed in a field I am considering (bioinformatics), I'm going to need to learn a good deal of statistics. I have limited experience in the subject and have never found the details of it especially compelling. Can you recommend some books on statiistics (not necessarily light on the details) that are well written and interesting? Something designed to get the layman interested in the details could be good, but textbook recommendations would also be good.

I'm a daily MATLAB user for data analysis, and fairly fluent with most toolboxes, including Parallel Computing. I know I need to learn something new, though.* (MATLAB is great for prototyping but unwieldy for real data-crunching.) I'm taking a class (Bayesian stat methods) starting in January based around **R**. What's the best resource to get started with R for someone like me? [more inside]

I'm looking for every box score my favorite NBA team played in for this year and last. Where can I go to download this data? [more inside]

I have 50+ responses from large companies for a survey that I've written which has approximately 100 questions. There is no other data that can be linked to this survey. I need to know what I can do with these results and how to do it. [more inside]

I work in a University managing the broad based direct mail, email and calling programs. I have zero undergrad or graduate experience with math, business or the social sciences. (Aka, I can write a really nice essay...) I would like to chart a path to being recognized as an expert in predictive analytics. [more inside]

How do I use SPSS to analyze a range of approval ratings which vary by participant and correlate the skew to one demographic variable? [more inside]

I like math. Programming is OK, but I don't want to make it my thing. What careers should I be looking at? (Special snowflake details inside.) [more inside]

Have completed 2/3 of an undergrad course and want to transfer out. [more inside]

What percentage of English words have three syllables?

I'm trying to reconcile two numbers from the same national statistical agency. I'm looking for a dummy's guide for what defines the difference between the two numbers and how to use one to estimate the other. [more inside]

I'm thinking about setting up a tongue in cheek project for Halloween that involves showing numbers that are scary. What numbers (with the context of a description) make you anxious, or at least spook you a bit on first glance? [more inside]

How flexible is a master's degree in biostatistics compared to one in applied statistics? Is this even what I want to do? [more inside]

I have a statistics question about ranked lists. This is not a homework question. [more inside]

I have a list of 15 people. Each person has between 1 and 3 entries in a lottery, for a total of 35 entries. I need to select 9 people from the list of 15--nobody can win more than once.
What is the most transparent, most random, most low-tech way I can do this? [more inside]

I post a lot of URLs to social media sites (and since one of those is Twitter I often use url shorteners) that point to my own publishing company's website, and also directly to where I sell my books on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. I know services like ow.ly will track how many clickthroughs a url will get, and I think they can give me multiple shortened urls for the same target url. I'm wondering if any url shortening sites will also let me keep track of all of my shortened urls and give them nicknames or make notes (so I can note where I've used them) and give me a chart or spreadsheet or something that shows me which urls are getting the most traffic. Or if there's an app or separate website where I can enter the info that will then collect the tracking data. I'm trying to avoid having to manually check every url's visitors data.

I currently work for a growing company doing various social media marketing for small businesses. I have been finding that I receive a lot of satisfaction doing activities related to what I learned in library school. I enjoy collecting, organizing, and providing data and information for our internal staff and making things approachable. One weakness I see is that we are especially data rich and insight poor with social media. I would like to know if there are any recommended programs for data mining or statistical analysis? [more inside]

What is the longest streak of at-bats a fielder has played through without being part of a play?

I'm looking for a word-count tool that will allow me to: set a goal for words written by a specific date, enter in the words I have written each day, see how many words I remaining toward my goal, and how many words I will need to average each day to reach my goal. [more inside]

My office has recently had some funds open up and we are looking into investing in some statistical software to make our lives easier. We do a lot of work with distribution fitting, Monte Carlo analysis, and regression analysis with data sets that may contain left or right censored data. Unfortunately, we only have a few days to identify the best software package for our buck. Alternatively, the idea has been floated to download the free R software and spend the money on some training to get over the steep learning curve. What program or approach would be the best use of our money?