egaze has written 28 posts for thinkingquantitatively

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

Murder Rates Up! Or just up?

Rhetoric in an election season is of course filled with exaggeration, but it is not just the candidates who engage in hyperbole.  The article, Murder Rates Rose in a Quarter of the Nation’s 100 Largest Cities, uses  FBI crime data to explore whether the real increase in homicides in our nation’s largest cities was indeed … Continue reading

Recurring Flooding

In 2012 the Virginia General Assembly passed a bill to study sea level rise, but only if the phrase “sea level rise” was replaced with “recurrent flooding”.   Four years later, with sea levels still rising, Virginia was happy to accept $100 million from the Federal Government to help safeguard Norfolk, VA from recurrent flooding.  The … Continue reading

Bloomin’ Innumeracy

Each semester I start my class off with a short article on Innumeracy, Why American Consumers Can’t Add.  It’s from 2009 but the information is still relevant today, especially the message the “there is a hidden epidemic in our country, innumeracy, and the consequences are dire.”  I assign a new article each week, and require … Continue reading

Power and Law

The issue of race in our society continues to dominate headlines, and remains a hotly debated topic on many college and university campuses.  I assigned the article, Chicago Police Department Plagues with Systemic Racism, to facilitate this conversation in my class.  As with stereotype threat, it is not enough to ask students whether they feel … Continue reading

xy Bias

I have been reading the excellent book, Whistling Vivaldi, on stereotype threat by Claude Steele; and so was “happy” to find this article on gender bias, XY Bias: How Male Biology Students See Their Female Peers.  In Whistling Vivaldi, Claude Steele takes us through the historical development of the research that led to identifying “stereotype threat.” … Continue reading

This Expensive Life

The article, Why Are Poor Americans Dying so Much Earlier than Rich Americans?, references a Brookings study which contains the following chart: Note the disturbing trend of life expectancy increasing the higher up you are in the income distribution.  This is probably not surprising to many, wealth buys you better medical care and money concerns are … Continue reading


We discussed the lead in the water crisis in Flint Michigan.  The article, What the Science Says About Long Term Damage from Lead, was a perfect match for the material this week on units, rates and conversions.  I couldn’t make these units up if I wanted to: micrograms per deciliter, which use Latin prefixes and … Continue reading