Statistics

Kim Keegan via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/bpGvm3

With the final four now chosen, the frenzy of March Madness is more or less over - and by now, your bracket...may not be looking so good.  But what were the chances you'd get it right anyway? Despite the odds, some folks have managed to take their brackets pretty darn far. Today, we look at three very different strategies for predicting college ball.

And, from waiting for rides at Disney World, to standing for days in hopes of getting the first iPhone, we'll explore at the relatively short history of everybody's least favorite activity: waiting in line.

christopher.woo via Flickr Creative Commons

We spoke with Freakonomics co-author Stephen Dubner about three issues that have been dominating headlines lately. In case you’ve missed them and need to catch up quickly, we’ve compiled the highlights so you can be a champion of serious water-cooler discussions.

The major take-away? Dubner urges you to think like a freak, and to listen to more public radio.

M. McMurray, V. Prescott, T. Quimby, Z. Nugent, S. Thomas, L. Shannon

We’ve all heard it all before:  Lightning never strikes twice in the same place. That was a one in a million shot! It’s a miracle! But is there any truth behind these sayings?

Today on Word of Mouth: improbability…it’s more common than you think.

Plus, Ellen’s star-studded Oscar selfie has been retweeted over three million times, setting a new record for twitter shares. Ellen may have posted it, but Bradley Cooper snapped the photo. We’re going to look into who exactly owns the rights to the now iconic pic.

Listen to the full show and click Read More for individual segments!


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.

Guest:

  • Charles Wheelan - Professor at Dartmouth College, author of the international best-seller Naked Economics and the new Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data
alanwoo via flickr Creative Commons

Nate Silver opened the public’s eyes to the power of predictive statistics… now, having already conquered politics, marketing, and social media, data-crunchers are taking on their next big challenge: Hollywood. Brooks Barnes is a media reporter for the New York Times – he recently wrote about Vinny Bruzzese, a statistician and former professor who’s using big data to slice and dice Hollywood screenplays