• 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.

  • by Lawrence Mark Lesser

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

  • 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
    from thousands picked by chance.

    (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!

  • 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.

  • 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!


  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.