# History

• ### Statistical Clerihews

by Lawrence Mark Lesser

Reverend Thomas Bayes
learned probability’s ways:
a minister, not friar,
he used what came prior.

William Playfair
made charts you display there:
a British spy with zeal
who stormed the Bastille.

William Sealy Gosset
turned on the faucet,
sampled the beer:
law of error got clear.

Sir Ronald Fisher
tested a mixture
of milk and tea:
did milk precede?

Jerome Cornfield—
his fame was more sealed
by proving the answer
that smoking brings cancer.

• ### Celebration of the American Statistical Association

by Lawrence Mark Lesser

So much more than math
ASA illuminates
like Nightingale’s lamp

• ### Random Sample

lyric © 2017 Lawrence M. Lesser
sing to the tune of the KC & the Sunshine Band hit “(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty”

Two…. million readers
picked Landon to
advance;
Gallup
disagreed
from thousands picked by chance.

CHORUS:
(Shake, shake, shake,
shake, shake, shake:
random sample,
random sample)2x

Ahhh, you think
you can pick them
very well,
But drafting
for Vietnam
wasn’t swell.

(Repeat Chorus)

Shake, shake, shake
shake, shake, shake:
iPod Shuffle,
quick pick lotto.
Shake, shake, shake,
take, take, take:
random sample!

• ### Divvy up the Stakes

lyric © 2017 Lawrence M. Lesser
sing to the tune of “Every Breath You Take” (Sting)

For a two-man game
where chances are the same.
to win each frame,
you just play the game to a score agreed to.

If you take a break,
divvy up the stakes.
For fairness’ sake,
you may only take what is due to you.

Now we did see  in 17th-century:
Pascal and Fermat gave  a solution they made

Well, their letters say
just how many ways
the unfinished frames
could have been played and how odds accrue.

Problem solved, thanks to Pascal and Fermat,
but there is more that their answer did unlock:
Just look around at the theory that we use
of probability and its allied tools.
Let’s rejoice this problem of the points…….

Divvy up the stakes
for an unfinished game:
For fairness’ sake,
you may only take what is mu for you.

• ### Take Me Out to the Brew'ry

Lyric © 2017 Lawrence M. Lesser
may sing to the tune of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" (Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tilzer)

Take me out to the brew'ry,
biggest one in the world:
Guinness used data to lead the pack--
boost the taste and keep costs on track!
But with few, few samples for testing,
mean's error was so unexplained:
then came William Gosset's result
under Student's name!

• ### Slip Slidin' to the Mean

Lyric © 2017 Lawrence M. Lesser
may be sung to the tune of “Slip Slidin’ Away” by Paul Simon

CHORUS: Slip slidin’ to the mean, slip slidin’ to the mean,
You know the less your correlation, the more you’re slip slidin’ to the mean.

Well parents have daughter or son—
Their heights were all observed by England’s Francis Galton:
Extreme parents he did see
Had kids that regressed toward mediocrity!

(Repeat Chorus)

And I know a teacher who gave high praise
To the students whose midterms were the highest As;
Those failing badly received rebuke—
But the next test showed those extremes were a partial fluke!

(Repeat Chorus)

And I know a rookie who made the All-Star team
And the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine.
You can imagine what the coach thinks
When the star has sophomore slump as if there was a jinx!

(Repeat Chorus)

Watch the video

• ### Florence

Lyric ©2017 Lawrence Mark Lesser
To the tune of “From a Distance” by Julie Gold

With statistics,
many soldiers were saved
in the Crimean War.
With statistics,
Florence Nightingale
found what made the death rate soar.
With statistics, Florence graphed the data
in innovative ways:
A rose diagram, circular histogram,
a polar area display.

With statistics,
uncleanliness was found
to have caused those extra deaths.
With statistics,
Florence led reform
to implement what was best.
With statistics, she founded modern nursing
with brilliance and compassion:
She gave herself to the cause of health,
she took bold action.

God is teaching us, God is teaching us,
God is teaching us through statistics.

With statistics,
England and India
were healthier places to live.
Oh, statistics
shone like the lamp
Florence brought from bed to bed.
With statistics, she set an example
of vision and of strength:
More than pie charts, her mind and heart
would light and lead the way.

• ### Gallup's First Poll

Q: Why did someone think the first scientific opinion poll was done by a knight?

A: Because he heard it was a SIR-vey, by George!

Larry Lesser

• ### The Empassioned Statistician

by Eveline Pye

War-like as the robin, territorial, blooded,
her reputation bleached pencil-pale
to create a sweet-sounding nightingale,
an icon of care in the carnage of Crimea.

No milksop angel offering only
deathbed solace, Longfellow’s lady
of the lamp sat in the glimmering gloom
classifying the dead, drawing up tables.

The robin’s song is not loud, it has no
fancy trills and whistles; Florence
talked the simple truth of numbers.
Statistics saved a legion of soldiers.