About this blog
Rick Wicklin, PhD, is a distinguished researcher in computational statistics at SAS and is a principal developer of PROC IML and SAS/IML Studio. His areas of expertise include computational statistics, statistical graphics, statistical simulation, and modern methods in statistical data analysis. Rick is author of the books Statistical Programming with SAS/IML Software and Simulating Data with SAS.
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The tail of a probability distribution is an important notion in probability and statistics, but did you know that there is not a rigorous definition for the "tail"? The term is primarily used intuitively to mean the part of a distribution that is far from the distribution's peak or center. […]Post a Comment
Wisdom has built her house; She has hewn out her seven pillars. – Proverbs 9:1 At the 2014 Joint Statistical Meetings in Boston, Stephen Stigler gave the ASA President's Invited Address. In forty short minutes, Stigler laid out his response to the age-old question "What is statistics?" His answer was […]Post a Comment
As the International Year of Statistics comes to a close, I've been reflecting on the role statistics plays in our modern society. Of course, statistics provides estimates, forecasts, and the like, but to me the great contribution of statistics is that it enables us to deal with uncertainty in a […]Post a Comment
Should you ever guess on the SAT® or PSAT standardized tests? My son is getting ready to take the preliminary SAT (PSAT), which is a practice test for the SAT. A teacher gave his class this advice regarding guessing: For a multiple-choice questions, if you can eliminate one or two […]Post a Comment
This week I read an interesting blog post that led to a discussion about specifying the frequencies of observations in a regression model. In SAS software, many of the analysis procedures contain a FREQ statement for specifying frequencies and a WEIGHT statement for specifying weights in a weighted regression. Theis […]Post a Comment
As I wrote in my previous post, a SAS customer noticed that he was getting some duplicate values when he used the RAND function to generate a large number of random uniform values on the interval [0,1]. He wanted to know if this result indicates a bug in the RAND […]Post a Comment
Tossing dice is a simple and familiar process, yet it can illustrate deep and counterintuitive aspects of random numbers. For example, if you toss four identical six-sided dice, what is the probability that the faces are all distinct, as shown to the left? Many people would guess that the probability […]Post a Comment
I often see variations of the following question posted on statistical discussion forums: I want to bin the X variable into a small number of values. For each bin, I want to draw the quartiles of the Y variable for that bin. Then I want to connect the corresponding quartile […]Post a Comment
In this International Year of Statistics, I'd like to describe the major role of statistics in public health advances. In our modern society, it is sometimes difficult to recall the huge advances in health and medicine in the 20th century. To name a few: penicillin was discovered in 1928, risk […]Post a Comment
This is a third post on newspaper stories that I recently read. Today's post deals with science, politics, and rising sea levels. Incidentally, the title is a blatant reference to John Allen Paulos's brilliant book, A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper. Senate approves law that challenges sea-level science The NC legislature […]Post a Comment