General

  • Two managers were taking a course in basic statistics. After an evening in class, one said to the other, "I've noticed that every time a new idea is introduced, I have to look up three or four words just to make sense out of the idea. Why do statisticians obfuscate their message with so much terminology? Why can't they simplify it instead?"
    The second manager replied, "I'll tell you, but only after I find out what 'obfuscate' means."

    Michael C. Thomsett

  • 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.

  • A student used his new digital camera to take a picture of himself at his job. The next week he taped the photo to his statistics midterm and left the test a half hour earlier than any other student. Even though he just put down his answers without any explanations, the professor had to give him full credit for showing his work.

  • What did the Statistics textbook say to the Math textbook?

    "Leave me alone, I've got my own problems!"

  • Dear diary: today I am fifty years old. I went to the club and it took me 10 minutes to swim 10 laps. I analyzed the data and conclude that I averaged one lap per minute. I also complained to the pool manager that we need a pool that is twice as large.

    Dear diary: today I am sixty years old. I went to the club and it took me 10 minutes to swim 10 laps. I analyzed the data from the last ten years and conclude that the variance in my swimming rate is zero. I also complained to the pool manager that we need a pool that is twice as large.

    Dear diary: today I am seventy years old. I went to the club but it took me 20 minutes to swim 10 laps. I analyzed the data and conclude that finally - after twenty years - the pool manager has responded to my complaints!

    Dennis Pearl

  • Multiple Choice: Which of the following is the most different?

    A) A Ph.D. in Mathematical Biology
    B) A Ph.D. in Theoretical Mathematics
    C) A Ph.D. in Statistics
    D) A large pepperoni pizza

    Answer: B - the other three can all feed a family of four.

  • During rush week, the statistics major decided not to pledge "Mu Mu" because their members are two mean or "Sigma, sigma, sigma, sigma, sigma, sigma" who are sometimes out of control and eventually pledged with "Chi-squared" because it seemed like a good fit.

    Michael Eaton, Larry Lesser, and Dennis Pearl

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