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## How Many Lottery Tickets?

Let’s say that your company is having a holiday party. As part of the festivities, they give gifts of lottery tickets. In Florida, we have a game called Lotto. The Florida Lotto has a person pick 6 numbers (numbers can be 1 to 53). A person wins a prize if he or...

## Swivel – Share and Explore Your Data

There is great potential for a new site called Swivel that allows people to upload and explore data. For example, if you are an Orlando Cepeda fan (played baseball from 1958 to 1974), you can download his player statistics for his career. There currently seems to be...

## One’s Enemy is the Best Teacher

As part of writing a syllabus for statistics courses, I attempt to inspire people who may be more afraid of statistics. One such inspiration I confabulated is that a Nobel Prize winner once said that we should buy gifts for our enemies because they teach us so much...

## BCS College Football Bowls

Slate magazine has a great story on the BCS College Football Bowl Championship. An earlier post on this blog discussed the error in all Sports’ playoff systems.Here is an excerpt from the Slate article:”No. The fact that the Wolverines are probably the...

## Wide and Long Data Formats

When creating a database of variables in a longitudinal study, there is often a question of how to format the data.Each row can be a person and for every new time he or she is tested a new variable is created (wide format):Or, a new row can be started for each new...

## Insurance and Risk Assessment

Having recently rented a rental vehicle, I had to decide whether I wanted to purchase the rental insurance. For only \$32, I could have a \$1,000,000 insurance policy (can I really do that much damage?). My choice was to not buy it, although I felt a great amount of...

## StatTalk

I really enjoy the podcast from UCLA on statistics. They give interesting tidbits and hints on statistical programs. They are actually quite entertaining. There are currently 8 episodes. I am not sure whether they plan more, but sending them nice emails telling them...

## Somebody Has Got to Win

Someone has always got to win the lottery.It is a very true statement that someone does win the lottery. However, the odds of me winning the lottery are extremely small. Another way to think about it is that it is highly unlikely that I will win the lottery, but it is...

## Diagnostic Tests

In many fields people try to predict group membership. One example includes making diagnostic predictions (e.g., does this person have a disease or diagnosis?). Another example is predicting who will attempt a terrorist act. Malcolm Gladwell, in the New Yorker, has an...

## Risk-Seeking and Framing of the Question

In the August 4, 2006 issue of Science, research discuss a study describing how framing a question can effect how people decide to act. In this study, researchers told participants they would receive a sum of money and then the researchers repeatedly posed them one of...