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Statistics....

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Che Guava, Mar 30, 2006.

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Statistics are...

  1. the devil incarnate!

    3 vote(s)
    5.2%
  2. fibs wrapped in lies!

    6 vote(s)
    10.3%
  3. useful but unpleasant...

    27 vote(s)
    46.6%
  4. Fun for the whole family

    22 vote(s)
    37.9%
  1. Che Guava

    Che Guava The Juicy Revolutionary

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
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    5,955
    Location:
    Hali-town,
    A little thread inspired by a graduate course in Ecological Statistics I recently completed:

    I have a love-hate relationship with stats. I love being able to find trends and differences in data (particularly in ecology) but the methodology required for most of the analyses just drives me insane!!!!! I can spend an entire day working on nothing but statistics, hating every minute of it, yet unable to stop. :crazyeye:


    For those of you that have to deal with complex statistics for your work/studies, how do you feel about statistical analysis?
     
  2. BCLG100

    BCLG100 Music Master

    Joined:
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    16,650
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    Lahndan
    only really use stats in physics, which i find immensly boring so while there useful they are unpleasant.
     
  3. Tank_Guy#3

    Tank_Guy#3 Lion of Lehistan

    Joined:
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    Vivat Sobieski!
    I believe I am required to take a statistics course in order to get my degree. I dread the though.
     
  4. pboily

    pboily fingerlickinmathematickin

    Joined:
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    Wakefield, Canada
    mathematicians need statistics like elephants need ballroom dancing
     
  5. Sidhe

    Sidhe Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
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    12,987
    Location:
    England
    There are Lies, damn lies and statistics

    Mark twain

    is that what you meant?

    I find statistical math fairly dull but I supose we wouldn't have a forecast of predicted population of Sea gulls on the west coast of Scotland without them, so they have their uses. Fortunately physics is mostly stat free.
     
  6. crabapple

    crabapple I am watching

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2002
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    1,080
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    Finland or Sweden
    Statistics are the most boring subject on earth to study :p luckly I am done with that part of my education and never have to touch it again
     
  7. The Last Conformist

    The Last Conformist Irresistibly Attractive

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Not on your side
    "[Statistics is] the most important science in the whole world: for upon it depends the practical application of every other science and of every art: the one science essential to all political and social administration, all education, all organization based on experience, for it only gives results of our experience."
    -- Florence Nightingale
     
  8. Perfection

    Perfection The Great Head.

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    Location:
    Salisbury Plain
  9. downtown

    downtown Crafternoon Delight

    Joined:
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    19,514
    Location:
    Chicago
    Actually, i rather enjoyed my stats class that i took last semester. It was the first math i took in a long time that I felt that really applied to what I'm studying. I'm sure I'll take another one soon
     
  10. luiz

    luiz Trendy Revolutionary

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2001
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    19,977
    I love them.
     
  11. anarres

    anarres anarchist revolutionary

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    Stats is actually quite beautiful, if you don't abuse it.
     
  12. Ayatollah So

    Ayatollah So the spoof'll set you free

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2002
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    4,388
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    SE Michigan
    As a mechanical engineer by training and jack-of-all-trades researcher/engineer by actual work, I have to say that statistics courses were probably the most useful that I ever took. Not so much for the gory details of the math - we have computer programs for that, provided that you understand a few key terms. Mostly for the concepts, and some elementary math like Bayes's theorem.

    They don't just help at work. Lots of news and gossip relies on probabilistic reasoning, even if it's not couched in numbers. And knowing even a little statistics helps a lot, because you start to notice things like self-selected samples, or ignored base rates.
     
  13. Desmond Hawkins

    Desmond Hawkins Chieftain

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    Agreed, statistics is probably the single most useful course, and the one you will consciously miss the most in your other applied sciences/business classes if you lack the skills.

    How are you suppose to understand any of the empirical findings in any papers?
     
  14. Mirc

    Mirc Not mIRC!!!

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Düsseldorf, ->Germany, E.U.
    My opinion isn't there :(. I love listening to them and knowing them, but I think they are useless. So my vote would be I like them but I find them useless.
     
  15. SonicX

    SonicX Chieftain

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    Republic of Flanders (Be)
    As a political science student, I can safely say they're useful and useless at the same time.
    They're usually good for seeing evolutions, but useless if you need to find causal relationships. For my presentation and debate I have to do on the Kyoto protocol it's the same thing. Statistics are generally meaningless, but they can such a powerful persuasive tool if handled correctly (which ofcourse means false, but credible)
     
  16. Taliesin

    Taliesin Puttin' on the Ritz

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    Montréal
    Sadistics, as I believe many students refer to it.

    I enjoy the basic level of statistical awareness I gained in intro psych, as well as the superiority said basic intelligence allows me to feel over the plebs.
     
  17. sourboy

    sourboy Awakening...

    Joined:
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    Minnesota
    I do the same. Drives me insane, though I'd admit a greater insanity trying to 'dumb' myself to the average person's lifestyle/thoughts. :p

    If you haven't already seen it, check out the movie "Pi" (or actually it's the symbol... theta).
     
  18. Masquerouge

    Masquerouge Chieftain

    Joined:
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    Mountain View, CA
    Statistics are Teh Sh1T.
     
  19. newfangle

    newfangle hates you.

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    Waterloo, ON
    Stochastic theory is really interesting (that's probability). Statistics is depressing soft-science. :p
     
  20. carniflex

    carniflex Stratêgos

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
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    Location:
    Athinai
    Instructive as long as you know how they were made, then what they does mean.

    Else, useless or propaganda.
     

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