Here is a fun combinatorial puzzle. I’ve probably seen this used to teach before, but let’s try to define or work this one from memory. I would love to hear more solutions/analyses of this problem. Suppose you have n kettles of soup labeled 0 through n-1. For our problem we […]

Estimated reading time: 14 minutes

We are sharing a chalk talk rehearsal on applied probability. We use basic notions of probability theory to work through the estimation of sample size needed to reliably estimate event rates. This expands basic calculations, and then moves to the ideas of: Sample size and power for rare events. Please […]

Estimated reading time: 33 seconds

In Gelman and Nolan’s paper “You Can Load a Die, But You Canâ€™t Bias a Coin” The American Statistician, November 2002, Vol. 56, No. 4 it is argued you can’t easily produce a coin that is biased when flipped (and caught). A number of variations that can be easily biased […]

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

Two of the most common methods of statistical inference are frequentism and Bayesianism (see Bayesian and Frequentist Approaches: Ask the Right Question for some good discussion). In both cases we are attempting to perform reliable inference of unknown quantities from related observations. And in both cases inference is made possible […]

Estimated reading time: 38 minutes

Elon Musk’s writing about a Tesla battery fire reminded me of some of the math related to trying to estimate the rate of a rare event from a single occurrence of the event (plus many non-event occurrences). In this article we work through some of the ideas.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

It occurred to us recently that we don’t have any articles about Bayesian approaches to statistics here. I’m not going to get into the “Bayesian versus Frequentist” war; in my opinion, which style of approach to use is less about philosophy, and more about figuring out the best way to […]

Estimated reading time: 20 minutes