statistics

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Things Are Getting a Little Heated Over Election Forecasts

FiveThirtyEight editor Nate Silver goes on Twitter rant against Huffington Post

(Newser) - Nate Silver just unloaded on the Huffington Post after HuffPo writer Ryan Grim accused Silver of skewing polls to favor Donald Trump. HuffPo is currently predicting an almost certain victory for Hillary Clinton—two days before the election, it's calling a 98.3% chance for a Clinton victory. Silver'... More »

FBI: Murders Up 11% in 2015—but There's Context

Stats for violent crime, including rapes and robberies, still below rates from 20 years ago

(Newser) - The number of murders in the US rose 11% last year from 2014, while the number of violent crimes saw a modest increase of 4% after two years of decline, per an FBI press release . Rapes rose 6.3%, aggravated assaults increased 4.6%, and robberies rose by 1.4%... More »

Geographic Profiling Backs Theory on Identity of Banksy

Robin Gunningham appears to be artist's real name

(Newser) - His name is Robin Gunningham. That's the finding of British scientists who think they've confirmed the identity of Banksy using geographic profiling, the BBC reports. In the study published in the Journal of Spatial Science (one that was temporarily delayed by the artist's lawyers because he apparently... More »

Most Common Name in the US Is Identified

It's James Smith, according to two groups of analysts

(Newser) - Statistical experts at FiveThirtyEight.com undertook a project last week to discover the most common name in the US. Based on an investigation of Social Security Administration first-name records, Census data on last names, adjusted probabilities, and a number of statistical steps, the site ultimately estimated that "James Smith"... More »

We Can Find Malaysia Plane With ... Math?

Bayesian statistics have helped experts find planes, boats before

(Newser) - Forget satellite images and aerial searches—the best way to find Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 may be with mathematical techniques dating back to the 18th century, the BBC reports. That's how Air France flight 447 was found in 2009 , using "Bayesian statistics" to measure the probability of the... More »

Young, Healthy People Using ObamaCare? Not So Much

Obama administration releases its first user statistics

(Newser) - So far, most people signing up for ObamaCare are on the older side—a trend that could force insurance premiums to rise if younger, healthier enrollees remain a minority, the New York Times reports. The first official release of ObamaCare numbers shows that 2.2 million people enrolled in the... More »

And the Oscar Will Go To ...

Nate Silver brings cold, hard statistics to movies' biggest night

(Newser) - Nate Silver has quantified baseball, politics, and the Super Bowl (that last one not so successfully )—and now he turns his big geeky brain to the Academy Awards, trying to sort out the signal and the noise for the year's biggest movies in the New York Times . Just... More »

Nate Silver: I'll Stop if I Start Swaying Elections

Stats whiz says he doesn't want to influence voters

(Newser) - Nate Silver may have cemented his reputation as a political forecaster in the last election, but he doesn't want his reading of the polls to influence flesh-and-blood voters. And if it does, he might pull the plug on his FiveThirtyEight blog , reports Student Life , the college paper at Washington... More »

Math Hounds Sniff Out Bogus Online Reviews

False ratings warp distribution, helping to catch cheaters

(Newser) - Online reviews have become an increasingly important part of how we pick everything from hotels to electronics, but what's to stop an ambitious company from gaming the system with fake, glowing reviews? Math, at least for now. Researchers have come up with a statistical technique for finding false reviews,... More »

You're Probably Sub-Average

Bell curve may misrepresent human performance

(Newser) - We tend to think of human performance as fitting a bell curve: Most people's output is about average, while there are a few outliers who are either extremely talented or very much the opposite. But people might not work that way, a new study suggests. Researchers analyzed the performance... More »

Math Proves It: Usain Bolt Could Be Even Faster

Statistician shows how Bolt could beat his record time

(Newser) - Sure, Usain Bolt is probably the fastest man to ever live, but one Cambridge math professor doesn't think he's achieved his full potential. In a new study, John Barrow shows that Bolt could shave 0.13 seconds off his world record 9.58-second 100-meter time without doing a... More »

Do Super Bowls Really Predict Elections, Stocks?

Bizarre Super Bowl myths busted

(Newser) - Do Super Bowls really predict presidential elections? Or the stock market? Do they make you hit your wife? People have claimed all of these things over the years, so the Guardian decided to take a look at what it calls "Super Bowl-ology," the "science" of making weird... More »

City Ranking Lists Are Utter Nonsense

Cities' best qualities can't be quantified: Will Doig

(Newser) - Captivated by a list of America’s most romantic cities ? How about its dirtiest , or smartest ? Such lists may be "click-bait," but there’s not much truth to them, writes Will Doig in Salon . How, for example, can Memphis be both the sixth-happiest place to work... More »

Why Marriage at 23 Worked for Me

It's famously risky, but getting married young worked for one Californian

(Newser) - You can’t trust statistics. They’ll warn you of the high risk of divorce that comes with marrying young—but that didn’t stop Katie Arnold-Ratliff. At 29, she’s been married 6 years to a man she met at 15, and they couldn’t be a better match,... More »

Why Physicists Clean Up at Poker

To start, they understand numbers

(Newser) - What's the not-so-simple secret of playing poker? Quantum physics, finds NPR . It turns out that several top players are physicists—and that's no fluke. Physicists understand probability, statistics, and modeling. "I mean—when you think about it—they build models of the world," says Jennifer Ouellette, author of... More »

Family's 3 Kids Born on 8/8/08, 9/9/09, and 10/10/10

But it's not that strange, statisticians say

(Newser) - Barbara Soper managed a feat that seems like it should be impossible: She had her three children on 8/8/08, 9/9/09, and 10/10/10. No, she isn’t a mathematician who planned out her pregnancies to happen that way: Her first child was born full-term, but the next two were both born... More »

Women Spend 3 Years of Life Shopping

That's more than 25,000 hours over 63 years

(Newser) - It’s official: women shop a lot. A survey by a marketing firm finds that over a 63-year lifespan, the average female will spend about 2 years and 10 months—or 25,184 hours and 53 minutes—shopping for food, clothes, and the like. A spokesman says the results aren’... More »

New Jobs Bring Out New Job Seekers— and Boost Unemployment

Administration says trend is positive, if counterintuitive

(Newser) - As the economy generates more jobs, giving hope to previously “discouraged” workers, the jobless rate could actually spike instead of declining, the Washington Post reports. Still, what's happening in the economy is good, the White House says, laying the groundwork for the likelihood that job creation will lag behind... More »

Top Countries, Pages, and Other Surprising Facebook Stats

Average users has 130 friends, spends 55 minutes a day

(Newser) - Facebook's runaway growth is well documented, but some details still wow, and some are quite odd. Website Monitoring takes a look at the salient facts.
  • Popularity: The US has the most active users, but 70% of Facebookers are international. Sure, the UK comes in at No. 2, but No. 3
... More »

US on Pace to Win Most Olympic Medals

Based on projections and medals so far, US could edge out Canada

(Newser) - Based on an analysis of Olympics projections from across the board, the US could come out on top of the medal count at this year’s games for the first time since Lake Placid—in 1932. Nate Silver averaged medal projections from 9 sources; after two days the US has... More »

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