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Statistical Topic

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  • USA Today has come out with a new survey - apparently three out of four people make up 75 percent of the population. Quote from comedian and late night talk show host David Letterman (1947 - ).
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  • I feel like a fugitive from the law of averages. A quote of soldier and U.S. cartoonist William H. Mauldin (1921 - 2003) from a cartoon caption in the first published collection of his work, "Up Front" (H. Holt and Co., 1945)
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  • Luck is probability taken personally. It is the excitement of bad math. A quote of comedian and illusionist Penn F. Jillette (1955 - )
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  • A knowledge of statistics is like a knowledge of foreign languages or of algebra; it may prove of use at any time under any circumstances. Quote from "Elements of Statistics" by English statistician, economist and early proponent of using statistics in the social sciences, Sir Arthur Lyon Bowley (1869 - 1957).
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  • Life is a school of probability. A quote attributed to English journalist and longtime editor of "The Economist" newspaper, Walter Bagehot (1826 - 1877). The quote is found in "The World of Mathematics", J.R. Newman (ed.); Simon and Schuster, 1956 p. 1360.
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  • Statistics play an important role in genetics. For instance, statistics prove that the number of offspring you will have is an inherited trait. If your parents didn't have any kids, odds are you won't either. Joke #137 of Gary Ramseyer's "First Internet Gallery of Statistics Jokes" contributed by Hugh W. Graham of Abbott Labs.
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  • What do you call a tea party with more than 30 people? A Z party! This is joke #123 on http://www.ilstu.edu/~gcramsey/Gallery.html Gary Ramseyer's First Internet Gallery of Statistics Jokes and is attributed by the gallery to Stacey Ecott.
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  • The individual source of the statistics may easily be the weakest link. Harold Cox tells a story of his life as a young man in India. He quoted some statistics to a Judge, an Englishman, and a very good fellow. His friend said, Cox, when you are a bit older, you will not quote Indian statistics with that assurance. The Government are very keen on amassing statistics ... they collect them, add them, raise them to the nth power, take the cube root and prepare wonderful diagrams. But what you must never forget is that every one of these figures comes in the first place from the `chowty dar` [village watchman], who just puts down what he damn pleases." Quoted from "Some Economic Factors in Modern Life" (King and Son, 1929; p. 258) by Sir Josiah Charles Stamp (1880 - 1941), British economist, statistician, director of the Bank of England and president of the Royal Statistical Society.
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  • This textbook for medical statistics covers many topics such as: Data display and summary; Mean and standard deviation; Populations and samples; Statements of probability and confidence intervals; Differences between means: type I and type II errors and power; Differences between percentages and paired alternatives; The t tests; The chi-squared tests; Exact probabilty test; Rank score tests; Correlation and regression; Survival analysis; Study design and choosing a statistical test.
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  • A cartoon that can be used in teaching about summary statistics. Cartoon by John Landers (www.landers.co.uk) based on an idea from Dennis Pearl (The Ohio State University). Free to use in the classroom and on course web sites.
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