Math & Stats on Science Borealis 22.09.2014

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by Steph Taylor

Math and Stats subject editor

We’re looking for a Math and Stats editor! If you’re interested in joining the editorial team or know of someone who may be interested, please get in touch with us.


In the meantime, here’s some good reading from the Math and Stats section.

  • Data analysis is all the rage these days, with data journalism quickly becoming ubiquitous. Artem Kaznatcheev has an excellent reading list on the ethics of Big Data, with brief summaries, and some great stuff in there.
  • Also by Kaznatcheev, this meditation on theoretical work and the divisions between applied math and the philosophy of science is an interesting read.
  • Statistics work, like many other types of scientific research, frequently involves lots of coding. How do you edit someone else’s code? (Rewriting it yourself while muttering irritably is, unsurprisingly, not recommended.)
  • How do climate change deniers read the same papers as climate scientists and draw wildly different conclusions? How can one set of statistics be interpreted in two opposite ways? Simon Goring uses the citations of the IPCC reports and a climate
    change denying rebuttal report for insight into the world of scientific report writing, and has a follow up.
  • On the lighter side of things: there are an astonishing 68,000 ways to precisely identify what sort of disease, injury, or ailment has sent you to a doctor, which is critical for public health researchers’ ability to collect accurate statistics.
    While being extremely specific is important for epidemiology, some of the more obscure codes are quite amusing.
  • It’s old news now, but the Fields Medal winners this year include Maryam Mirzakhani, the first woman to win the prize in its 80 year history, and the Hamilton-born Manjul Bhargava. Quanta magazine has in-depth profiles of Mirzakhani, Bhargava, and
    the other two winners. The Fields Medal is considered the Nobel Prize of mathematics, and is named after the Canadian mathematician John Charles Fields.
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