What Are the Chances?

Musings on everyday probability

Why Swine Flu is not a bunch of hogwash

October 29, 2009 By Alan J. Salzberg
This updates my previous blog: "Why Swine flu is a bunch of hogwash?"   Thing...

Redskins are lucky to play bad teams, but how lucky?

October 15, 2009 By Alan J. Salzberg
A recent article in Yahoo Sports pointed out that the Washington Red...

Unemployment down but joblessness is up?

August 12, 2009 By Alan J. Salzberg
There was a bit of interesting news that came out Friday--the nations unemployment rate actually declined, from 9.5% to 9.4%. This is true despite the fact that there was a net loss of jobs of 247,00...

Riding a bike? Wear a helmet.

June 12, 2009 By Alan J. Salzberg
Now that the sun has finally come out in NYC today after what seems like weeks of rain and cold weather, it seems an appropriate time to talk about one of my favorite summer recreational activities--r...

Why Swine Flu is a bunch of hogwash.

May 18, 2009 By Alan J. Salzberg
I first thought of writing about this a couple of weeks ago, when the nationwide hysteria concerning swine flu was just beginning, but then, as quickly as it came, it went. Now, with the first death...

Facebook and grades

April 28, 2009 By Alan J. Salzberg
I don't have a long post for today, but I want to briefly discuss the discussion of a study on Facebook and grades. It was the subject of the Wall Street Journal's Numbers Guy blog last week:

How big a sample?

March 23, 2009 By Alan J. Salzberg
Suppose we want to figure out what percentage of BIGbank's 1,000,000 loans are bad. We also want to look at smallbank, with 100,000 loans. Many people seem to think you'd need to look at...

7 letter scrabble word redux

March 18, 2009 By Alan J. Salzberg
A recent article by the Wall Street Journal's "Numbers Guy" has re-surfaced one of my old

Are same-sex classes better?

March 12, 2009 By Alan J. Salzberg
Yesterday's New York Times had an article, "Boys and Girls Together, Taught Separately in Public School,"

The age-old NY subway question--unlimited or pay-per-ride?

February 3, 2009 By Alan J. Salzberg
Before you get onto the New York City subway these days, you have to purchase a metro card. For us daily commuters, the choice would appear to be...

Nutty about Peanuts.

January 20, 2009 By Alan J. Salzberg
Visiting South Carolina this weekend, I picked up an old Southern favorite from Publix: peanut butter cookies (I didn't see my real favorite: boiled peanuts). No sooner had I returned hom...

Are we entering "unprecedented" territory?

December 5, 2008 By Alan J. Salzberg

Election Prediction Explained

October 31, 2008 By Alan J. Salzberg
So here's the explanation.   I am following 3 major websites now:   www.electoral-vote.com – This consolidates po...

Election Prediction

October 31, 2008 By Alan J. Salzberg
Ok, sure I waited until nearly the end, but here's my prediction: Obama wins, with 401 Electoral votes.   I'll explain why tomorrow.

Election Polls

October 8, 2008 By Alan J. Salzberg
A short note about election polls, which I've been following somewhat religiously for the last few weeks.   Election polls differ in at least four significant ways from actual v...