Chance News 8

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Oct 15 to Oct 30


One more fagot of these adamantine bandages, is, the new science of Statistics. It is a rule, that the most casual and extraordinary events -- if the basis of population is broad enough -- become matter of fixed calculation. It would not be safe to say when a captain like Bonaparte, a singer like Jenny Lind, or a navigator like Bowditch, would be born in Boston: but, on a population of twenty or two hundred millions, something like accuracy may be had. Ralph Waldo Emerson Fate


Here's another Forsooth from the October issue of RSS News.

Your'e more likely to die in a fire in Strathclyde than anywhere else in the country

BBC1 mews bullietin
11 May 2005

The Poisson Distribution and the Supreme Court

The Poisson Distributioin and the Supreme Court
Journal of the American Statistical Association 31, no. 195 ,(1936), 376-80
W. Allen Wallis

Supreme Cout Appointments as a Poisson Distribution
American Journal of Political Science, 26,No.1, Feb 1982
S. Sidney Ulmer

This is not current news but since Supreme Court appointments are in the news we felt that these articles might make an interesting class discussion.

In 1936 Allen Wallis suggested that the number of supreme court appointments in a given year can be approximated by a Poisson distribution with meen .5. He first provided the number appointed in each year over the intervals with different numbers of Justices on the Supreme Coourt: 1790-1806 (6) 1807-1836 (7), and 1837-1932 (9).

to be continued


To be added.