# Articles on Probability

## Curious Kids: could our entire reality be part of a simulation created by some other beings?

Philosopher Nick Bostrom's theory suggests there's a one-in-three probability we live in a simulation.

## Coronavirus is significant, but is it a true black swan event?

The danger of treating COVID-19 as an astronomically rare and improbable event is that we will treat it as such and fail to prepare for the next pandemic. And there will be another pandemic.

## Here’s how I cracked Roll up the Rim and won (almost) every time

Tim Hortons changed Roll up the Rim to include a digital element. A statistician correctly predicted that playing on the last day of the contest would dramatically increase the odds of winning.

## Polly knows probability: this parrot can predict the chances of something happening

Kea were able to correctly guess the most probable scenarios, by evaluating various physical and social cues. Previously, only great apes and humans were known to be able to understand probability.

## 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.

## How sports fans respond to their teams’ wavering odds of winning

Watching the chances of victory change injects life into sports, both real and fantasy.

## 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.

## Why drug trials are only part of the answer to making sure medicines work

Clinical trials are used to establish that medicines work. But these don't take into account the genetic differences between us that can mean very different outcomes for different patients.

## You can’t control what you can’t find: Detecting invasive species while they’re still scarce

It's cheaper to prevent biological invasions than to react after they happen. But it's hard to detect invaders while there are still just a few of them. Knowing when and where to look can help.

## Can the Big Bash League’s backyard cricket bat flip truly be fair?

Whether it's a toss of the coin or a flip of the bat, can any method to decide who plays first in cricket be unbiased?

## Innovation decoherence

The study of innovation in large companies and start-ups would benefit from being inspired by physics, which mobilizes different sets of laws for large masses and particles.

## McDonald’s Monopoly: A statistician explains the real odds of winning

McDonald's Canada has brought back its popular Monopoly game. A statistician explains the odds of winning the top prizes and how that compares to the odds we confront in everyday life.

## We’ve crunched the numbers in McDonald’s Monopoly challenge to find your chance of winning

With some big prizes are on offer in the latest competition from the fast food giant, best to see what the numbers say.

## How to cheat at dice – from an expert in games

Cheating at dice games is possible – but it does require some skills.

## What are the odds of Trump surviving 2018 in office? An expert crunches the numbers

Never mind three more years – some people think just one might be a tall order.

## New statistical methods would let researchers deal with data in better, more robust ways

Any field that collects and analyzes data relies on statistical techniques to make sense of it all. Modern, more accurate methods should supplant the old ways... but in many cases, they haven't yet.

## Bayes’ Theorem: the maths tool we probably use every day, but what is it?

The decisions we make in life often come down to Bayes' Theorem, but most of us don't even realise what it is. So how does it work?

## Worried about shark attacks or terrorism? Here’s how to think about the real risk of rare events

We naturally overestimate the risk of rare events, like shark attacks or terrorism. But there are things you can do to think more rationally about the real risk.

## Momentum isn’t magic – vindicating the hot hand with the mathematics of streaks

For 30 years, sports fans have been told to forget about streaks because the 'hot hand' is a fallacy. But a reanalysis says not so fast: Statistics show players really are in the zone sometimes.

## Regression to the mean, or why perfection rarely lasts

Things tend to revert back to their typical state over time, so we should be careful not to mistake that for some other trend.