Tag Archives: statistical models

[Conference Report] A First Course on Statistical Thinking II: Common Flaws in News Reports

Long time no update...I should apologize for this.

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This post is about the conference report I presented last month (26th, May) in the 5th China-R Conference at Renmin University of China, Beijing.

The talk contains several intuitive examples about the misuse of numbers in news reports. Basic statistics knowledge is not hard to learn, but pretty easy to forget. In the slides, I picked some popular pieces of news which mislead the public intentionally. I aimed at telling people how to keep a clear mind - consequently you will be able to distinguish between tricks and real statistical models.

The incentive for me to deliver a presentation like this is to show students how interesting statistics could be, therefore hopefully some of them will grow more interests in this subject and hence go further in their studies. Knowledge is always easy to learn and hard to apply - but without applications, what's the point of studying? Why are you paying much a great cost (of time) on studying in school?

The original slides can be found here: http://cos.name/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/8-chenliyun-rumor.zip (in Chinese).

An easier version of this topic was presented earlier at a popular science training lecture hosted by Songshuhui.net, an NGO in China works on popular science. The full record in Chinese can be visited on their website: http://s-camp.songshuhui.net/events/s-workshop/class008_part-1/