# Articles on Statistics

## Numbers can kill: politicians should handle South Africa’s coronavirus data with care

We’d all love to know more about our neighbours – from COVID-19 data, census data and other official data sources – but we shouldn't.

## Want to know how many people have the coronavirus? Test randomly

Researchers and public health officials still don't know how widespread nor how deadly the coronavirus really is. Random testing is a way to quickly and easily learn this important information.

## Why coronavirus death rates can’t be summed up in one simple number

A lot of numbers are being tossed around about COVID-19 and what to expect in the future. They're being used to make critical public health decisions, but they aren't as simple as they appear.

## The bar necessities: 5 ways to understand coronavirus graphs

Struggling to tell your daily infections from your cumulative counts, or a linear from a log scale? Here are a few pointers to help you master the deluge of data about the COVID-19 pandemic.

## Coronavirus: country comparisons are pointless unless we account for these biases in testing

We need to update models on death rates or introduce truly random testing to understand the true impact of the coronavirus.

## The US census has its flaws – but so has every attempt to count people throughout history

Countries have been trying to count their populations since the Han dynasty in China.

## Roll up the Rim: How COVID-19 has changed the contest — and maybe your odds of winning

The Tim Hortons coffee chain has made some changes to its iconic Roll up the Rim contest, including the addition of "digital rolls." A statistician explains how this changes the odds of winning.

## Why having fewer OSHA inspectors matters

A reduction in OSHA inspectors may lead to a reduction in workplace safety.

## Less than one-fifth of reported rapes and sexual assaults lead to arrests

Harvey Weinstein's conviction isn't the norm for perpetrators of sexual violence.

## How hard is it to scramble Rubik’s Cube?

Scrambling it is much easier than solving it. But it still involves some fascinating questions, such as the number of random moves needed to consider the cube truly messed up.

## From election upsets to climate chaos, rolling the dice helps us appreciate the odds

Wages, starlight and polls can all be interpreted using statistics. While probabilities, medians and noise can be challenging, a simple dice can provide insights into statistics.

## Merry Christmaths: the statistics of Secret Santa

How likely is it that everyone in a family Kris Kringle will draw their own partner? It took a roomful of mathematicians to find out.

## Have we become too paranoid about mass shootings?

You're just as likely to be a victim of a mass shooting as you are to be struck by lightning. So why do nearly 50% of Americans say they're afraid of being caught in the crossfire?

## How one NHS anaesthetist is fighting international medical research fraud

John Carlisle's method for spotting potentially fraudulent figures has already been adopted by two top medical journals.

## What’s the most dangerous day of the year? Watch out on these ones

When asked to identify the most dangerous day of the year, we realised this research hadn’t been done.

## Polish village hasn’t seen a boy born in nearly 10 years – here’s how that computes

A little bit of statistics can explain the great mystery of why only girls are being born in Miejsce Odrzanskie.

## How population data can help countries plan and tweak policy

South Africa’s data collection is constantly improving. That's especially true when it comes to metrics that weren't collected or were distorted for political purposes during apartheid.

## Cricket’s Duckworth-Lewis method: how to work out who wins when rain interrupts

When bad weather hits, there's a complex formula organisers turn to to make lost game time fair.

## Teenage pregnancy doesn’t have to mean catastrophe – research shows it can be an opportunity

Despite what the statistics suggest, many teenage parents say having a baby has transformed their lives.

## An analysis of nearly 4 million pitches shows just how many mistakes umpires make

Umpires don't need to be replaced by robots, but some troubling findings indicate that they could use a little help.

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