The World of Statistics

What is Statistics?

When many people hear the word "statistics," they think of either sports-related numbers or the college class they took and barely passed. While statistics can be thought about in these terms, there is more to the relationship between you and statistics than you probably imagine.

So, what is statistics? Several informal definitions are offered in the book A Career in Statistics: Beyond the Numbers by Gerald Hahn and Necip Doganaksoy:

  • The science of learning from (or making sense out of) data
  • The theory and methods of extracting information from observational data for solving real-world problems
  • The science of uncertainty
  • The quintessential interdisciplinary science
  • The art of telling a story with [numerical] data

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Stats LifeThumbnail image for We Need to Rethink How We Teach Statistics from the Ground Up

The American Statistical Association recently published a thorough and thoughtful report, edited by N. J. Horton, setting out guidelines for U.S. undergraduate programs in statistics. I admire and applaud the Horton report for its careful attention to where we are and where we should try to go, and I urge any readers who have not yet seen it to take a serious look - it will repay your attention.

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StatsLife is the news, opinion and resource website of the Royal Statistical Society.

World Population Clock
Activities

Below are The World of Statistics participating organization events and activities around the world that will be conducted during September. To see the complete list of activities for 2015, please click here.

World of Statistics Blog

By Alexey Ponomarenko

On August 19, 1872, the headlines of St. Petersburg newspapers focused on the outcomes of one large-scale international meeting that had just concluded in the then-Russian capital: the 8th International Statistical Congress.

The conference’s key outcomes were worth discussing. Participants had finally agreed, among other things, to set up a permanent commission that would implement the resolutions of the congress and to produce an international publication on comparative statistics.

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Significance MagazineThumbnail image for House Prices: Regional Variations and the Impact of Help-to-Buy

'House prices in England and Wales hit record high’ ran a headline from last month as the housing market overtook its pre-financial crisis peak. But beneath the surface of this news lies vast variation in the growth of property prices across the different regions of Britain.

Of those who have owned property since the mid-90s or earlier, some have seen modest gains, while others have struck it lucky with unexpected supercharged growth. It’s impossible to say for sure where these trends are headed in the years ahead. But journalists reporting on the record prices were able to find some ‘experts’ who caution that ‘boom and bust’ is still a worry, while some believe the housing market is ‘robust’.

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Significance is a publication of the Royal Statistical Society and the American Statistical Association.

Census at School

Challenge Yourself Today!

We are proud to introduce Stats2013AtSchool—a Royal Statistical Society Centre for Statistical Education and American Statistical Association special project expressly designed for schools and students worldwide in support of The World of Statistics.

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Census at School is a free, web-based classroom project that engages primary and secondary school students in statistical problemsolving using their own data. This international educational initiative, launched in 2000 in the United Kingdom by the Royal Statistical Society Centre for Statistical Education, has programs operating in several countries.

Click here to view the Census at School program in your country or others around the world.

Statistician Job of the WeekThumbnail image for Bev Grunden: The Ideal Employee, Colleague and Friend

By Harry J. Khamis, Ph.D., PStat

As a full-time consultant in the Statistical Consulting Center at Wright State University, Beverly Grunden has distinguished herself as an energetic, enthusiastic, efficient, productive statistical scientist and consultant. Her performance is exemplary in every aspect of a consultant’s life:

  • interpersonal, social, and customer service skills
  • technical expertise
  • attention to administrative detail and documentation
  • teamwork skills
  • innovation and leadership
  • teaching skills
  • ability to work well with any kind of client

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