- Prof Dev
Q: Why did the statistics teacher spend far more time on mean and median than on standard deviation and variance?
A: The department chair said to focus on central concepts.
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.
by Eveline Pye
We talk of beautiful words, art, buildings
when they‘re not part of the natural world.
An x in Algebra is no more abstract than
an idea in philosophy, just more useful.
It can’t be use that makes the difference.
Keats found beauty in a Grecian urn,
surely practical at some stage of its life:
no one is blind to the beauty of symmetry.
We understand Blake’s awe of the tiger’s stripes.
Why not awe at Gaussian curves? Of course,
I know there is no great beauty in a single number,
in a four or a seven or an eight, but it’s the same
with the alphabet. Where is the wonder in a b
or a k or a t? It’s sublime combinations,
relationships between letters
that create words and sounds we love.
Look. See the numbers shine in my eyes.
I understand that the average lifespan of a horse is 27 years with a standard deviation of about 4 years. Thus, it is pretty rare for a horse to live past 40 - but the Guinness Book of World Records says there was one horse named “Old Billy” that used to pull barges up and down canals in England. That horse was born in 1760 and lived to be 62 years old. I had a medical appointment on my 62nd birthday and the doctor said I was healthy as a horse. That’s when I decided to slow down. I want to be healthy as a giant tortoise.
Information is the oil of the 21st century, and analytics is the combustion engine.
Peter Sondergaard (1965 - )
Lyric © 2015-2016 Lawrence M. Lesser
Sung to the tune of: "Home on the Range"
Oh give me a range where the cattle all graze
By the range of the mountains nearby.
You may have heard other types of this word
Like where missiles and bullets do fly:
CHORUS: Oh, give me the range,
Like the range of the notes of this song.
When melody's scanned, just one octave is spanned,
That helps us to sing along!
Let's look at the facts -- first, label the max
And the minimum value you see.
Then you subtract and report back
Their positive dif'rence to me! (Repeat Chorus)
Oh it's the first tool we learn of in school
To measure variation:
Its units align with the data assigned,
But an outlier causes inflation! (Repeat Chorus)