egaze has written 35 posts for thinkingquantitatively

False Positives

“Doctors are surprisingly bad at reading lab results.  And it is putting us all at risk.”  Hmmm, not what you want to see for a headline, but that is the disturbing message that Daniel Morgan shares with us in his article “What the Tests Don’t Show“.  He states: “But my research has found that many … Continue reading


I came across the term, “majority_minority nation” and as a mathematician was confused.  You can’t be both a majority and a minority at the same time!  Joel Best drives home that definitions matter in the social construction of statistics, but the definition of majority and minority seems beyond ambiguity, the majority is the largest group … Continue reading

Student Debt and Definitions

I know it has been awhile since the last post but this one will hopefully be worth the wait.  Assigning the article, The Student Debt Problem is Worse Than We Imagined, was a great way to start the semester with my QR class and get them thinking about the social construction of statistics a la … Continue reading

Drugs and Labor

I recently came across some economic good news, there is a labor shortage for construction and factory jobs in the U.S., which is driving up wages.  Unfortunately some are attributing part of the shortage of skilled laborers to growing drug addiction and incarceration rates in the traditional male demographic filling these jobs. I had to … Continue reading

Hotter Summers

As we are wrapping up a record setting two week arctic cold spell across the northern regions of the country, I thought it would be nice to think about warmer times to come.  The article, It’s Not Your Imagination: Summers are Getting Hotter, also includes some nice histograms if you are covering statistics in your … Continue reading


Hurricane Harvey dumped more water in one storm than any previously recorded storm in continental U.S. with 3-4 day totals over 40 inches of rain in multiple areas, and Cedar Bayou registering a record breaking 51.88 inches!  The National Weather Service had to introduce new colors to map the deluge: How to put all this … Continue reading

Canary in the Art Market

Financial literacy is a common component of many QR courses.  Faculty cover basic material on loans and investment, with compound interest providing a great example of exponential growth.  Students tend to come into our classes very un-savvy with respect to financial planning, not really having any idea what a stock or bond is and even … Continue reading

Marathon of Numbers

Great article, Do the Math: Our Problem with Numbers, on being a critical consumer of statistics as “hard facts”.  The Chicago Tribune stated a rough estimate of crowd size at the Chicago marathon as being 1.7 million people.  So what would this look like along a 26.2 mile route?  Would this mean a dense crowd … Continue reading

The Liberal or the City?

Which came first, the city or the liberal?  It is an interesting question.  Looking at the political map from the recent election we see blue (liberal) surrounding cities and quickly turning red (conservative) the farther you travel from downtown. I like this map showing just the areas that voted for Clinton in 2016, basically small … Continue reading

Inequality Not Worse

I thought we should finish out 2016 with some good news, and yes I have to reach back to September for this, but America’s middle class (as in the exact middle i.e. 50th percentile) income of $56, 516 did increase by 5.2% in 2015!  Which definitely deserves a Wooooohooooo!  As this was the first raise … Continue reading