Articles on Statistics

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Hurricane Irma descends on the Caribbean islands. NOAA National Weather Service National Hurricane Center/Handout via Reuters

Are catastrophic disasters striking more often?

Saturated media coverage of hurricanes like Harvey and Irma can make it seem like disasters happen all the time. Is the frequency of billion-dollar disasters really rising?
Image of a five-knot tori algorithmically. Tanaka Juuyoh/Flickr

Don’t blame it on algorithms: what they really are and how they can fuel progress in the life sciences

Today algorithms are ubiquitous, yet often misunderstood. Rather than mysterious entities, they're closer to recipes, and the quality of the output depends on the input – in their case, data.
file lwc. CEA

Cracking big data with statistical physics

Methods stemming from decades of research on disordered materials are used to describe algorithmic phase transitions, and to design new algorithms in machine-learning problems.
Latvian Jelena Ostapenko won this year’s French Open at the age of just 20. Reuters/Benoit Tessier

Why women’s tennis rankings need an overhaul

The unpredictability of women's tennis in 2017 should make us strongly question the performance of the official rankings – and not simply the players’ performance.
Statistics and probability can sometimes yield mind bending results. Shutterstock

Paradoxes of probability and other statistical strangeness

Sometimes statistics and probability can produce unexpected or counter-intuitive results. If we're hoping to use numbers to make good decisions, we should be wary of the traps.

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