# Portal:Statistics

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## Welcome to the statistics portal
Statistical methods are used to summarize and describe a collection of data; this is called Statistics arose no later than the 18th century from the need of states to collect data on their people and economies, in order to administer them. The meaning broadened in the early 19th century to include the collection and analysis of data in general. ## Selected article
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A polar area diagram by Florence Nightingale. The polar area diagram is similar to a pie chart, except that the sectors are each of an equal angle and differ rather in how far each sector extends from the centre of the circle, enabling multiple comparisons on one diagram. This "DIAGRAM of the CAUSES of MORTALITY in the ARMY in the EAST" was published in Notes on Matters Affecting the Health, Efficiency, and Hospital Administration of the British Army and sent to Queen Victoria in 1858. It shows the number of deaths due to preventable diseases (blue), wounds (red), and other causes (black).
## Did you know?- ...that the term
*bias*is not necessarily pejorative in statistics, since biased estimators may have desirable properties (such as a smaller mean squared error than any unbiased estimator), and that in extreme cases the only unbiased estimators are not even within the convex hull of the parameter space? - ...that William Sealy Gosset published under the pseudonym
*Student*in order to avoid detection by his employer, and so his most famous achievement is now referred to as Student's t-distribution, which might otherwise have been Gosset's t-distribution? - ...that in 1747, by dividing 12 men suffering from scurvy into six pairs and giving each group different additions to their basic diet for a period of two weeks, the surgeon James Lind conducted one of the first controlled experiments?
- ...that the Cauchy distribution is an example of a distribution which has no mean, variance or higher moments defined?
- ...that according to Benford's law, the first digit from many real-life sources of data is 1 almost one third of the time?
- ...that the Law of Truly Large Numbers of Diaconis and Mosteller states that with a sample size large enough, any outrageous thing is likely to happen?
- ...that for the number of shuffles needed to randomize a deck, Persi Diaconis concluded that for good shuffling technique, the deck did not start to become random until five good riffle shuffles, and was truly random after seven, in the precise sense of variation distance described in Markov chain mixing time?
- ...that for many standard probability distributions, there are infinitely many outcomes in the sample space, so that attempting to define probabilities for all possible subsets of such spaces would cause difficulties for 'badly-behaved' sets such as those which are nonmeasurable?
- ... that Jan Piekałkiewicz, a leading Polish statistician, became the Polish Underground State's Government Delegate, and died at the hands of Nazi Germany?
## Topics in Statistics
## Statistics categoriesClick an arrow symbol to expand any of the sub-categories: ## Wikimedia |