Posts Tagged ‘ Just for Fun ’

Fundamental theorems of mathematics and statistics

February 12, 2014
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Although I currently work as a statistician, my original training was in mathematics. In many mathematical fields there is a result that is so profound that it earns the name "The Fundamental Theorem of ." A fundamental theorem is a deep (often surprising) result that connects two or more
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Secret Santa: What is the probability of pulling your own name from a hat?

December 4, 2013
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Secret Santa: What is the probability of pulling your own name from a hat?

Each year my siblings choose names for a Christmas gift exchange. It is not unusual for a sibling to pick her own name, whereupon the name is replaced into the hat and a new name is drawn. In fact, that "glitch" in the drawing process was a motivation for me
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Do dryer balls reduce drying time?

August 12, 2013
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Do dryer balls reduce drying time?

Editor's Note: My 8th grade son, David, created a poster that he submitted to the 2013 ASA Poster Competition. The competition encourages students to display "two or more related graphics that summarize a set of data, look at the data from different points of view, and answer specific questions about
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A fractal Christmas tree in SAS

December 14, 2012
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A fractal Christmas tree in SAS

In my previous post, I described how to implement an iterated function system (IFS) in the SAS/IML language to draw fractals. I used the famous Barnsley fern example to illustrate the technique. At the end of the article I issued a challenge: can you construct an IFS whose fractal attractor
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Iterated function systems and Barnsley’s fern in SAS

December 12, 2012
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Iterated function systems and Barnsley’s fern in SAS

Fractals. If you grew up in the 1980s or '90s and were interested in math and computers, chances are you played with computer generation of fractals. Who knows how many hours of computer time was spent computing Mandelbrot sets and Julia sets to ever-increasing resolutions? When I was a kid,
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Construct a magic square of any size

August 29, 2012
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Construct a magic square of any size

Magic squares are cool. Algorithms that create magic squares are even cooler. You probably remember magic squares from your childhood: they are n x n matrices that contain the numbers 1,2,...,n2 and for which the row sum, column sum, and the sum of both diagonals are the same value. There are many
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A statistically beautiful Father’s Day

June 18, 2012
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A statistically beautiful Father’s Day

To celebrate special occasions like Father's Day, I like to relax with a cup of coffee and read the newspaper. When I looked at the weather page, I was astonished by the seeming uniformity of temperatures across the contiguous US. The weather map in my newspaper was almost entirely yellow
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Convergence or divergence? A simple iteration with a random component

June 13, 2012
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Convergence or divergence? A simple iteration with a random component

A collegue who works with time series sent me the following code snippet. He said that the calculation was overflowing and wanted to know if this was a bug in SAS: data A(drop=m); call streaminit(12345); m = 2; x = 0; do i = 1 to 5000; x = m*x
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