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A Sucker for Stats

What were the odds (sorry, I mean the probability) that I would enjoy World Statistics Day at NC State? Before you guess, maybe you should know that I nearly failed trigonometry in high school. I don’t know what trigonometry has to do with statistics (maybe that’s why I did so poorly) but I’m pretty sure that if you don’t understand trig, you’re not the kind of person who has Bayes’ Theorem tattooed on your shoulder.

As it turns out, World Statistics Day, which was celebrated on campus a couple of weeks ago, involved more than discrete random variables and regression equations. It involved chocolate.

Fun with Statistics, Oddly

Beth Ann Tidemann-Miller explains the penny-drop game on World Statistics Day.

Thanks to the generous and patient students in the Department of Statistics, the campus was treated to nearly an entire day of fun and games in and around SAS Hall demonstrating non-threatening ways to enjoy statistics. They even showed how games of chance rely on statistical principles, not just dumb luck.

In fairness, the students didn’t completely eliminate the mystery around math. I’m still trying to figure out how they computed my odds of winning the penny-drop game. But even with my imperfect understanding, I still managed to score two candy bars and a lollipop.

You could say it was dumb luck. Or you could say it was the result of conditional probability.

But maybe it was just good public relations.

Thanks for the candy. See you next World Statistics Day.

Taking Stats to the Masses


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