Estimation Principles

  • A joke to be used in teaching about the use of randomization in experiments or about the Pearson correlation coefficient. The idea for the joke came from Lawrence Mark Lesser of The University of Texas at El Paso.
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  • I know there are some polls out there saying this man has a 32% approval rating. But guys like us, we don't pay attention to the polls. We know that polls are just a collection of statistics that reflect what people are thinking in reality. And reality has a well-known liberal bias. is a quote by American political satirist Stephen Tyrone Colbert (1964 - ). The quote is from a performance on April 29, 2006 at the annual White House Correspondents' Association Dinner.
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  • Even trained statisticians often fail to appreciate the extent to which statistics are vitiated by the unrecorded assumptions of their interpreters is a quote by Irish playwright George Benard Shaw (1856 - 1950). The quote may be found in the author's preface to his 1906 play "The Doctor's Dilemma", that contains an essay on his views of statistics and quantitative literacy amongst the public.
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  • A song about examining the assumptions in statistical procedures especially dealing with skewed distributions. The lyrics were written by Robert Carver of Stonehill College and were awarded second place in the song category of the 2011 CAUSE A-Mu-sing competition. The song is a parody of the 1961 classic pop song "Runaround Sue" written by Ernie Maresca and Dion DiMucci and sung by Dion backed by the vocal group, The Del-Satins. Musical accompaniment realization and vocals are by Joshua Lintz from University of Texas at El Paso.
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  • There is no such thing as no chance is a quote by American businessman and founder of the Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford (1863-1947). The quote is from a speech given to the 1930 class of students at Edison Laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey. It is referred to on page 14 of the 1930 book "American Florist".
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  • Most real life statistical problems have one or more nonstandard features. There are no routine statistical question; only questionable statistical routines. is a quote by British Statistician Sir David R. Cox (1924 - ). The quote may be found on page 240 in Christopher Chatfield's 1991 article "Avoiding Statistical Pitfalls" in "Statistical Science".
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  • A cartoon to use when talking about confidence intervals. 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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  • ...experiment without mathematics will neither sufficiently discipline the mind or sufficiently extend our knowledge... is a quote by Scottish geophysicist Balfour Stewart (1828 - 1887). The quote is found in a letter from Stewart to Henry Roscoe of Owens College on June 2, 1870.
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  • The only relevant test of the validity of a hypothesis is comparison of prediction with experience. is a quote of American economist and statistician Milton Friedman (1912 - 2006). The quote can be found in the chapter "The methodology of positive economics" written by Dr. Friedman as an original article in his 1953 book "Essays in Positive Economics" containing a collection of his earlier articles.
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  • ...the most misleading assumptions are the ones you don't even know you're making is a quote by English author Douglas Noel Adams (1952-2001) that can be used in teaching the importance of understanding the assumptions being made that underlie statistical inference. The quote is from the 1990 book "Last Chance to See" that was co-written with Mark Carwardine. It is part of a passage that Adams wrote about his experience watching a silverback gorilla in Zaire and trying to imagine what the animal was thinking about him.
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