712 posts tagged with statistics.
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Help me not screw up teaching my students about p-values

I am a TA in an introductory college biology lab. Soon, I have to teach a class of mostly freshmen about t-tests and p-values in conjunction with a field experiment that they are conducting and on which they will have to write a report. I want to make sure I do this right—help me! [more inside]
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The on Mar 25, 2015 - 14 answers

How to give myself a remedial science education

So I was recently faced with a serious health care decision, and the people advising me strongly disagreed with each other, which made me realize something: I don't know enough science to make well-reasoned decisions for myself and my family. Help me figure out a DIY way to make up the gaps. [more inside]
posted by feets on Mar 24, 2015 - 15 answers

Extremely basic statistical question

My state has 709 zip codes. I want to draw reasonably well-grounded conclusions about the entire population of my state (having to do with insurance coverage and ACA subsidies, if you're interested). How many zip codes should I sample? [more inside]
posted by Mr. Justice on Feb 24, 2015 - 18 answers

Probability distributions and their practical applications

I am looking for a resource that lists probability distributions and their common real-world applications. For example, I'd expect to see: Lognormal - daily returns in the stock market. Poisson - failure rates for mechanical equipment, ... [more inside]
posted by wivy on Feb 19, 2015 - 6 answers

The amount of autistic people in the United States

If autism is diagnosed in 1 of 68 children, and there are 381 million people in the country, can I use these two facts to find out how many people in the US are autistic?
posted by motioncityshakespeare on Feb 19, 2015 - 10 answers

Best or most appropriate Statistic method to Use.

I have a statistics and/or probability question and the last time I took a statistics class Vanilla Ice and Andrew "Dice Clay" were multi-millionaires. I am not looking for a problem to be solved, I am asking what statistical technique should I use to determine if a time series of data is due to randomness or not. [more inside]
posted by otto42 on Jan 27, 2015 - 12 answers

Gameshow Inspired Statistics Question

I recently came up with a statistical thought experiment from watching too many reality game shows, but I'm having trouble remembering how to solve a problem like this. Help me figure out this problem that's been bugging me (and by extension relearn some statistics I've forgotten). [more inside]
posted by fremen on Jan 21, 2015 - 4 answers

Statistics are hard.

How do you calculate the probability of something when it's not as simple as "do it a bunch of times"? Specifics inside. [more inside]
posted by Dilligas on Jan 17, 2015 - 9 answers

Help me find a particular book on statistics.

Years ago I came across an introductory book on statistics that introduced the topic by means of a metaphor of a pile of sand (possibly dirt) dropped off in a front yard. As I recall, the author drew the parallel that statistics was the effort to describe the shape and size of the pile of sand. This is all that I can remember of the book (other than my wish that I'd bought it). Does this decription ring any bells?
posted by jperkins on Jan 8, 2015 - 4 answers

Statistics 101

I have 754 tickets in our development ticket system. All tickets are considered "minor" so they are not very disparate (you would not get one ticket with 4 hours, and another ticket of 4 days). Given that I have ~200 of these items estimate by hand, how can I generate estimates for the rest of the items? [more inside]
posted by geoff. on Jan 7, 2015 - 13 answers

Fruit salad for statisticians

What formula do I need to determine the probability that a set of size N contains two elements, each appearing with a specific frequency? [more inside]
posted by Ender's Friend on Jan 4, 2015 - 16 answers

Math Problem

Please help with this probability related math problem. [more inside]
posted by BeaverTerror on Dec 4, 2014 - 9 answers

Help me understand the concept of "85th Percentile."

I am part of a group working on a policy document for the mitigation of traffic issues (e.g. speeding). Stakeholders are having a hard time with a particular criteria which reads as follows: "85th percentile speed is in excess of the signed speed limit by 5 mph or more." [more inside]
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! on Nov 26, 2014 - 22 answers

How do I explain sample size in layman's terms?

How do I explain the principles of minimum detectable effect, statistical power, and statistical significance to a client? [more inside]
posted by Avenger50 on Nov 12, 2014 - 13 answers

Has a major lottery ever produced a result that doesn't look random?

Every outcome in a fair lottery is equally probable, yet some results display obvious patterns and feel less likely to the statistically uninformed. Nobody would blink if a six-number lotto draw came up with (3,12,27,31,40,44), but a result of (1,2,3,4,5,6) would probably make the news. Has this ever happened in a major lottery? If yes, what was the public responce?
posted by Dr Dracator on Nov 6, 2014 - 10 answers

Looking for an online traffic counter I can query with curl

I am searching for a live traffic flow counter which is on the net and reachable by http, or some webpage that displays hourly or cumulative vehicle statistics. [more inside]
posted by thewalrus on Oct 28, 2014 - 4 answers

Math, sweet sweet math

I have a set of data: D(t). 5000 samples. Scatter-graphing makes some patterns clear (D-mean increases with t, for instance). D and t are always positive. I want to characterize these, statistically. [more inside]
posted by IAmBroom on Oct 16, 2014 - 11 answers

What percentage of youth in foster care have parents who were in FC?

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.
posted by chefscotticus on Sep 21, 2014 - 5 answers

What is the statistical probability of me passing this class?

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]
posted by bluloo on Sep 11, 2014 - 10 answers

Our server and Google Analytics really disagree on stats.

Our Google Analytics numbers are hugely inflated but we don't know why. [more inside]
posted by johnofjack on Sep 11, 2014 - 9 answers

is this a good use case for a gamma distribution?

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]
posted by rd45 on Sep 10, 2014 - 3 answers

Statistics Book for an interested teen

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?
posted by honestcoyote on Aug 15, 2014 - 18 answers

Help! Can I normalize statistical coefficients?

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]
posted by GrammarMoses on Aug 13, 2014 - 2 answers

Good Source for Relationship Statistics

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]
posted by Athene on Aug 6, 2014 - 9 answers

Gun Violence Statistics - Workplace Edition

I need help finding some statistics regarding workplace violence and - particularly separating out violence perpetrated by internal employees vs external 3rd parties. [more inside]
posted by Suffocating Kitty on Aug 1, 2014 - 9 answers

What are inter-disciplinary and atypical uses for math MSc?

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]
posted by desultory_banyan on Jul 28, 2014 - 12 answers

Statistical power and the validity of experimental results

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]
posted by pH Indicating Socks on Jul 27, 2014 - 7 answers

Do my Brazil heavy website stats indicate something nefarious?

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]
posted by Foam Pants on Jul 24, 2014 - 18 answers

2 problems of combinations and permutations.

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]
posted by CustooFintel on Jun 4, 2014 - 18 answers

SPSS for a Mac

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.
posted by nidora on Jun 4, 2014 - 4 answers

Help me up my pNERD (where p = player).

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]
posted by AthenaPolias on May 29, 2014 - 4 answers

Is Statistics MS a good background for research in government agencies?

Would Statistics masters make me competitive for research analyst jobs in state/county government agencies? [more inside]
posted by ichomp on May 23, 2014 - 7 answers

How many pharmaceuticals available for Rx or OTC in the US?

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]
posted by GPF on May 13, 2014 - 1 answer

Parsing statistical data

I have a spreadsheet with 120,000 or so rows & need to pull out some data. [more inside]
posted by woodman on May 12, 2014 - 12 answers

Online statistics and literature course at a community college?

Looking for a community college that has an online statistics and/or women's lit course. [more inside]
posted by zardoz on May 7, 2014 - 3 answers

Social Science anthologies that use statistics?

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.
posted by MisantropicPainforest on May 7, 2014 - 12 answers

Source of well-known joke about statisticians?

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.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike on May 4, 2014 - 2 answers

Looking for the best basketball statistics resources

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]
posted by dialetheia on Apr 29, 2014 - 11 answers

Good introduction to statistics class in the DC area or online?

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?
posted by catquas on Apr 18, 2014 - 5 answers

How can I learn SPSS?

I want to learn SPSS. What are my options? [more inside]
posted by synecdoche on Mar 22, 2014 - 9 answers

Chance of event with small sample size, based on larger related sample?

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]
posted by Flunkie on Mar 20, 2014 - 16 answers

Ideas for tag cloud analysis

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.
posted by elgilito on Mar 11, 2014 - 2 answers

The Mid-PhD Crisis

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.
posted by zscore on Feb 16, 2014 - 12 answers

Not my stats homework, I swear

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]
posted by tyllwin on Feb 15, 2014 - 17 answers

King Henry VIII's dream come true...

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]
posted by jrobin276 on Feb 11, 2014 - 16 answers

What percent of adults have sexually abused a minor?

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]
posted by sam_harms on Feb 4, 2014 - 11 answers

Using Excel's regression tools to determine the 95% confidence interval

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]
posted by kartguy on Jan 26, 2014 - 4 answers

Paging Mr. Edward Tufte!

What is the lie factor of this graph?
posted by Tom-B on Jan 12, 2014 - 4 answers

Books to make Statistics Interesting

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.
posted by garuda on Dec 20, 2013 - 20 answers

A pirate's favorite programming language... and mine too?

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]
posted by supercres on Dec 12, 2013 - 14 answers

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