Statistics without the struggle: In a new book, Dartmouth professor Charles Wheelan explains how to make sense of the proliferation of data in this digital age, a task he calls “fascinating” and even “fun”! Wheelan also points out the pitfalls, how research can be skewed by biased parties. We’ll study up on the state of statistics.
Yitang Zhang has been lecturing in the Department of Mathematics at UNH for the past decade. And for the past three years, in between lesson plans and lectures, he’s been trying to solve one of the math world’s most vexing mysteries: the twin prime conjecture. Two weeks ago, his hard work paid off. Here to discuss the proof and what it might mean for us is Jordan Ellenberg, a professor of mathematics at the University of Wisconsin. He wrote about professor Zhang’s meteoric rise to math celebrity for slate.com.
Math has had a good run. Its virtues were extolled during the presidential debates and in endless news stories calculated fiscal scenarios. New York Times blogger Nate Silver was pilloried by math, then vindicated. Still, mathematics and the data-driven statistics that guide decisions from Wall Street to the dugout to your insurance rates are woefully misunderstood.
The latest round of international testing shows mediocre results for American students, compared with many other countries. Meanwhile, states including New Hampshire are adopting a more rigorous approach, and the Granite State is also considering more math coursework in high school. We’ll explore what’s in store for math students.