Statistics

TED on Wrongful Convictions: Part I

I recently came across a series of good talks about the phenomenon of wrongful convictions. There are numerous reasons for the problem, some of which will be discussed in the videos. I’ll spread them out over six days, so that my readers can give each talk the thought that it might deserve. The speakers come […]

Multiple Guess

Test takers and givers have long debated whether it is wise to stick with your initial answer or switch when in doubt. The usual suggestion is to stick with your “gut reaction”, but does the data bear this out? Actually, no. This article at PSYBlog discusses the data, and conjectures about the reason. I’m sure […]

DHA Could Help Poor Readers

In a recent randomized double blind trial, adding the Omega-3 fatty acid DHA to a students diet resulted in improved reading scores. Here is a taste of a piece from STATS fellow Maia Szalavitz: Researchers at Oxford University’s Center for Evidence-Based Intervention studied 362 7- to 9-year-old children who had placed in the bottom third […]

What It Is Like to Live with Me?

You’d have to ask my wife, but a colleague shared this with me. (HT: Gene Chase)

Ted Davis on Theistic Evolution

In the debates on the origins of life, it is easy to argue with each other without understanding each others true positions. In that vein, Dr. Ted Davis, my colleague at Messiah College, offers his take on the tenets of Theistic Evolution as part of a series at the BioLogos Forums‘ site. He will eventually be […]

Does Smoking Pot Lower IQ?

Apparently, the answer is yes. (HT: Josh Wood) And worse, if you start young, it appears the brain is less able to regain the IQ points lost while smoking. We could have a discussion about the methodology used, and we should beware that correlation does not imply causation in an observational study such as this. […]

TED Talk Tuesday: Part 2

How statistics impacts jury trials and can lead to incorrect convictions.

Measuring Ministry Success without Worrying About Numbers

A nice piece on effective youth ministry from Kurt Willems today. (HT: Rob Martin) Willems talks about his experience early in his career as a youth pastor where he was basically told that the worth of his ministry was related to how many students showed up. Willems suggests a different economy: Many people ask me […]

Thoughts on the Criminal Justice System

In this TED Talk, Bryan Stevenson challenges his listeners to evaluate whether the current way that our criminal justice system is run is working. We spend billions of dollars, but rarely are willing to ask the hard questions about whether it is working. In short, I don’t think it is. Perhaps his best challenge: rather […]

We’ve Got Great Alumni

Here is the latest example of our great alumni in the Department of Information and Mathematical Sciences here at Messiah College. In the controversial rankings of 4th through 8th grade teachers in New York City, class of 2005 alumna Kelly (Toolan) Hudson is listed as the 10th best mathematics teacher in the city. She’s also […]