• by Lawrence Mark Lesser

    Math seeks
    structure once
    context boils off.
    Not in statistics
    where context informs method
    and interpretation.

    So when a statistician sits with context
    to write poetry,
    she can play
    in everyone’s yard,
    where sampling
    yields found poetry,

    where visualization
    yields imagery.
    Her couplets like matched pairs,
    even those imperfectly rhymed,
    a tail rhyme on a heavy tail.
    She picks

    poem size
    for higher power
    and adjusted R².
    With elliptical confidence,
    she settles for nothing
    but the best

    fitting line, jittering
    phonetics, poetics, semantics, and linguistics.
    Wrangling rawness, she scans and trims
    for robustness
    ‘til datum yields

  • by Sally Maughan

    Or, perchance, truth

    1. The data on walking while drunk are staggering.
    2. The data on swimwear fashions are revealing.
    3. The data on LED bulbs are enlightening.
    4. The data on trout fishing are streaming.
    5. ​The data on herding horses were wrangled.
    6. The data on excavations were mined.
    7. The data on feedback are suggestive.
    8. The data on laundromats are cleaned.
    9. The data on the presidential debates were not convincing.
    10. The data on embossers are impressive.
    11. The data on cardiac transplants are disheartening. 
    12. The data on neuroses are worrisome.
    13. The data on chiropractors are aligned.
    14. The data on towing services were broken dow​n.
    15. The data on windshields are clear.
    16. The data on numismatics are collected.
    17. The data on grift are corrupted.
    18. The data on undergarments are supportive.

    Pedagogical guidance: provide your students with a couple of the above examples of this type of joke and ask them to invent their own jokes of the form

    "The data on _____A_________ are _____B_____,"

    and then to explain what it means for data to be ___B____.


    Larry Lesser and Dennis Pearl