Chance News 7

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Revision as of 15:02, 28 September 2005 by Jls (talk | contribs) (→‎Forsooth)
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Sept 26 2005 to Oct 15 2005


While writing my book [Stochastic Processes] I had an argument with Feller [Introuction to Probability Theory and its Applications]. He asserted that everyone said "random variable" and I asserted that everyone said "chance variable." We obviously had to use the same name in our books, so we decided the issue by a stochastic procedure. That is, we tossed for it and he won.

Joe Doob
Statistical Science


Peter Winkler suggested our first forsooth.

Texas beats Ohio State in their opening game

of the season (Saturday Sept 10 2002). The sportscasters (legendary Brent Musburger on play-by-play or Gary Danielson on analysis) observed that of the 14 teams who have previously played in the championship game (at the end of each season) 5 have suffered an earlier defeat. "Thus," they conclude, "Ohio State can still make it to the championship game, but their chances are now less

than 50%."


What is wrong with this?

Here are two forsooths from a recent issue of RSS NEWS

Waiting time for foot surgery down by 500%

Fortune's Formula

Fortune's Formula: Wanna Bet?
New York Times Book Section, September 25, 2005
David Pogue

This must be the kind of review that every Science writer dreams of. Pogue ends his review with:

"Fortune's Formula" may be the world's first history book, gambling primer, mathematics text, economics manual, personal finance guide and joke book in a single volume. Poundstone comes across like the best college professor you ever had, someone who can turn almost any technical topic into an entertaining and zesty lecture. But every now and then, you can't help wishing there were some teaching assistants on hand to help.

More Later!

Which foods prevent cancer?

Which of these foods will stop cancer? (Not so fast)
New York Times, 27 September 2005, Sect. F, p. 1
Gina Kolata

Among other examples, the article includes a data graphic on purported benefits of dietary fiber in preventing colorectal cancer. Early observational studies indicated an association, but subsequent randomized experiments found no effect.

More to follow.