NATS 1500 2017W
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NATS 1500: Statistics and Reasoning in Modern Society 2017 W
Where there is no uncertainty there cannot be truth. -- Richard Feynman (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Feynman)
The best thing about being a statistician is that you get to play in everyone's backyard. -- John Tukey (http://www.princeton.edu/pr/news/00/q3/0727-tukey.htm)
Statistical literacy is a necessary precondition for an educated citizenship in a technological democracy -- Gerd Gigerenzer et al. in Helping Doctors and Patients Make Sense of Health Statistics (http://citrixweb.mpib-berlin.mpg.de/montez/upload/PaperLibrary/GG_etAl_Helping_doctors-1.pdf)
A certain elementary training in statistical method is becoming as necessary for anyone living in this world of today as reading and writing. – H. G. Wells in "The Informative Content of Education," The Presidential Address to the Educational Science Section of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, given on September 2nd, 1937.
Quick Links
- Calendar
- Course Description
- Course forum on Piazza (http://piazza.com/yorku.ca/winter2017/nats1500/home)
- Moodle for submitting some assignments and grades (https://moodle.yorku.ca/moodle/course/view.php?id=73792)
- Files (http://nross626.math.yorku.ca/NATS1500/2017/files/)
- Class videos (http://nross626.math.yorku.ca/NATS1500/2017/videos/) Updated versions of Chrome handle 'swf' files differently. If the video does not play when you click the '.swf' file, try clicking on the '.html' file.
Breaking News
Tentative Final Exam Date
The tentative date and time for the final exam is Sunday, April 9 at 9:00 AM
Room for midterm test
The room for the midterm test on Saturday, March 4, at 8 pm is ACW 109
Office hour change for February
Note a change to my office hours during the month of February:
Fridays 8 am to 10 am or at other times by appointment.
Except during the month of February 2017:
- Fridays 8 am to 9 am
- Mondays 5 pm to 6 pm
Table of contents |
Calendar
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1 | Monday, January 9
Slides:
Assignment:
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Wednesday, January 11
Readings for Monday:
Assignment: Due: Monday
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Tutorial
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2 | Monday, January 16
Note: There was an error in the weights for course components and they embarrassingly didn't sum to 100%. The error has been corrected and you should have a new look at the weights. Hans Rosling and global healthWhich of the following pairs of countries has the higher child mortality:
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Wednesday, January 18
Slides:
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Tutorial: Work on Team Project. | |||||||||||
3 | Monday, January 23
Slides:
Assignment: by Wednesday: Participate on Piazza to define and discuss:
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Wednesday, January 25
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Tutorial
Work on team project | |||||||||||
4 | Monday, January 30
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Wednesday, February 1
Individual Assignment 5 Due Monday, Feb. 13
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Tutorial | |||||||||||
5 | Monday, February 6
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Wednesday, February 8
Chapter 3 slides with notes (http://nross626.math.yorku.ca/NATS1500/2017/files/Chapter_03_2017_02_08.pdf) | |||||||||||
Tutorial | |||||||||||
6 | Monday, February 13
Individual Assignment 6 due Wednesday February 15:
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Wednesday, February 15
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Tutorial | |||||||||||
Reading Week: February 20 to February 24 | |||||||||||
7 | Monday, February 27 | ||||||||||
Wednesday, March 1 | |||||||||||
Tutorial | |||||||||||
Mid-term test: Saturday, March 4, 8 pm to 9 pm | |||||||||||
8 | Monday, March 6 | ||||||||||
Wednesday, March 8 | |||||||||||
Tutorial | |||||||||||
March 10: Last day to drop a course without a grade | |||||||||||
9 | Monday, March 13 | ||||||||||
Wednesday, March 15 | |||||||||||
Tutorial | |||||||||||
10 | Monday, March 20 | ||||||||||
Wednesday, March 22 | |||||||||||
Tutorial | |||||||||||
11 | Monday, March 27 | ||||||||||
Wednesday, March 29 | |||||||||||
Tutorial | |||||||||||
12 | Monday, April 3 | ||||||||||
Wednesday, April 5 (last class) | |||||||||||
Tutorial | |||||||||||
Final exam period: April 7 to 24
The specific dates for each course will be announced by the Registrar at the end of February |
Interesting links
Some places to look for Statistics in the News
- 538.com (http://fivethirtyeight.com/), a data journalism site founded by Nate Silver who is famous for his accurate predictions of U.S. elections.
- Toronto Star (http://www.thestar.com/news.html)
- Many articles in daily newspapers use data or make claims that benefit from a critical analysis.
- The Guardian (http://www.theguardian.com/us)
- The Guardian is one of two international newspapers that have a special reputation for the effective use and presentation of data. The other is:
- The New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/) (limit of 10 articles/month without a subscription)
- New York Time Opinion Pages (http://www.nytimes.com/pages/opinion/index.html) (doesn't require a subscription)
- New York Times online access through York (http://go.galegroup.com.ezproxy.library.yorku.ca/ps/infomark.do?serQuery=Locale%28en%2CUS%2C%29%3AFQE%3D%28jx%2CNone%2C16%29%22New+York+Times%22%24&queryType=PH&userGroupName=yorku_main&prodId=AONE&action=interpret&type=pubIssues&version=1.0&authCount=1&u=yorku_main)
- This is Statistics (http://thisisstatistics.org/), a site created by the American Statistical Association.
- Significance (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.ezproxy.library.yorku.ca/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1740-9713) published by the Royal Statistical Society.
- Stats Chat (http://www.statschat.org.nz/), a blog by Thomas Lumley
- Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference and Social Science (http://andrewgelman.com/) a blog by Andrew Gelman. This one is quite advanced, even graduate students find it challenging.
A few interesting articles
- Big data: are we making a big mistake? (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.ezproxy.library.yorku.ca/doi/10.1111/j.1740-9713.2014.00778.x/pdf) by economist, journalist and broadcaster Tim Harford in Significance (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.ezproxy.library.yorku.ca/doi/10.1111/sign.2014.11.issue-5/issuetoc) December 2014.
- Prosecutor's fallacy: flipping conditionals and the limitations of hypothesis testing (http://www.conceptstew.co.uk/PAGES/prosecutors_fallacy.html)
- Khan Academy on Correlation and Causation (https://www.khanacademy.org/math/probability/regression/regression-correlation/v/correlation-and-causality)
- The story of Sally Clark, wrongfully convicted by a bad p-value (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sally_Clark)
- How some Ontario nurses came close to suffering the same fate (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toronto_Hospital_Murders)
- A relevant XKCD cartoon (http://xkcd.com/1132/)
- Bayes in a GIF (http://simplystatistics.org/2014/10/17/bayes-rule-in-a-gif/)
- This is Statistics (http://thisisstatistics.org/) a site created by the ASA
- National Geographic on Eating Habits (http://www.nationalgeographic.com/what-the-world-eats/)
- When barcharts shouldn't start at zero (http://www.statschat.org.nz/2014/10/18/when-barcharts-shouldnt-start-at-zero/)
- Stats with Cats Blog: How to tell if correlation implies causation (http://statswithcats.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/how-to-tell-if-correlation-implies-causation/)
- MNAR (http://simplystatistics.org/2014/01/17/missing-not-at-random-data-makes-some-facebook-users-feel-sad/)
- The Best Jobs of 2014 (http://blogs.wsj.com/atwork/tag/best-jobs/)
Causality and Climate Change
- Playing Dumb on Climate Change by Naomi Oreskes, in the the New York Times, January 3, 2015 (http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/01/04/opinion/sunday/playing-dumb-on-climate-change.html?smid=tw-share&_r=1&referrer=)
- Naomi Oreskes is a Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University.
Relevant Books
- Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thinking,_Fast_and_Slow) examines human cognition to understand the roots of common errors in thinking. Interestingly, the book is a major contribution to statistical reasoning.
- Ben Goldacre (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Goldacre) has written two very interesting books on the application and misapplication of statistics:
- Bad Science (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bad_Science_%28book%29)
- Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bad_Pharma),
- as well as a column in The Guardian (http://www.theguardian.com/profile/bengoldacre),
- and a web site on Bad Science (http://www.badscience.net/).