mathematics

When will Australia’s coal run out?

26 October 2010

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) estimates that Australia has 90 years of coal left. But they don’t seem to understand exponential growth. If production continues to grow, it won’t last nearly this long.

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Natural frequencies

22 October 2010

In my last post, I made a passing reference to Gerd Gigerenzer’s idea of using “natural frequencies” instead of probabilities to make assessing risks a little easier. My brief description of the idea did not really do justice to it, so here I will briefly outline an example from Gigerenzer’s book Reckoning With Risk. The […]

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The Mule goes SURFing

30 July 2010

A month ago I posted about “SURF”, the newly-established Sydney R user forum (R being an excellent open-source statistics tool). Shortly after publishing that post, I attended the inaugural forum meeting. While we waited for attendees to arrive, a few people introduced themselves, explaining why they were interested in R and how much experience they […]

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Surf

25 June 2010

A new R user group has launched in Sydney. It aims to bring together both experienced R users and complete beginners. The forum will meet monthly with talks on a wide range of subjects exploring all of the facets of this powerful tool.

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The Monty Hall Problem

21 June 2010

A look at the famous and controversial probability puzzle, the Monty Hall problem. Cars or goats anyone?

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Eliminating the irrelevant

10 June 2010

Part two of the “Tuesday’s Child” probability puzzle: why I think that the classical solution is wrong.

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Tuesday’s Child

8 June 2010

Following on from the teasers in the probability paradoxes post, here is a closer look at “Tuesday’s child”. While it may not strictly be a paradox, it still has the rich potential for generating controversy.

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Probability Paradoxes

7 June 2010
Thumbnail image of a goat

Tuesday’s child, Monty Hall and the Envelope…a look at three famous probability paradoxes. I will discuss my thoughts on each of these in future posts. Meanwhile, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

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Vale Martin Gardner

28 May 2010

I was saddened to hear today that Martin Gardner has passed away at the age of 95. Born in 1914, Gardner was a prolific and gifted writer. He is best known for his mathematical and scientific writing, but he also dabbled in magic and philosophy. His The Annoted Alice is perhaps the ultimate edition of […]

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