Posted on

Coronavirus baby bust?

Early in the pandemic, people started speculating about potential effects on birth rates. I started talking about news and research that asked the question, “Will coronavirus cause a baby boom, or is that just a myth?” At the time, I ended with a not-so-satisfying “we’ll know in about 9 months.”

Continue reading “Coronavirus baby bust?”
Coronavirus baby bust?
Posted on

Data speak louder than words

Nigeria is blessed with both natural and human resources. For this reason, it is often referred to as the giant of Africa. Harnessing these resources to increase the potential of Nigerians through increased employment, quality education and entrepreneurship cannot be down played.

Continue reading “Data speak louder than words”
Data speak louder than words
Posted on

One country’s problem, nobody’s problem, everybody’s problem

When we think about massive migrations and humanitarian crises in the last five to ten years, we probably first picture the migrant waves caused by the conflict in Syria that started in 2011. After 10 years of civil war, 6.6 million people have been forced out of that country, and, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), 6.7 million more remain internally displaced. More than 90% of Syrian migrants have found refuge in the neighboring countries of Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq. Migrants also flee to European countries like Greece, Germany, and Sweden. This unfortunate and sad episode of human suffering might eclipse the second largest migratory movement and humanitarian crisis of recent years: the Venezuelan diaspora.

Continue reading “One country’s problem, nobody’s problem, everybody’s problem”
One country’s problem, nobody’s problem, everybody’s problem
Posted on

Where will the rocket land?

“No, you are almost certainly not going to be hit by a 10-story, 23-ton piece of a rocket hurtling back to Earth. That said, the chances are not zero.”  Thus The New York Times on May 6 writing about the impending reentry of the first stage of the Chinese CZ-5B rocket, which had been launched the day before to test a spacecraft prototype.  Unlike most rockets sent into orbit these days, which are designed to either burn up in the atmosphere or land in the ocean, this rocket stage would experience an “uncontrolled re-entry” and crash in an unknown location.

Continue reading “Where will the rocket land?”
Where will the rocket land?
Posted on

Peanut butter, anyone?

There is a lot of talk about how this ghastly pandemic is affecting the economy. The other day, I came across an article in the The New York Times which focused on one facet of this topic: inflation in the UK. Forecasting inflation right now is difficult because of the pandemic: sudden changes in consumer spending, disruptions in supply chains, and government interventions ameliorate its effects.

Continue reading “Peanut butter, anyone?”
Peanut butter, anyone?
Posted on

How data privacy methods can hide the real data story

When state governments within the United States issued stay-at-home orders in 2020, companies started providing interactive data visualizations and dashboards to show how well or not so well certain regions of the United States were social distancing. Unacast, a technology company out of New York state, was one of them. They gathered smartphone data from up to 15 percent of people in every county of the United States, and then assigned grades to each state based on how much smartphone users traveled after COVID-19 related closures, compared to before.

Continue reading “How data privacy methods can hide the real data story”
How data privacy methods can hide the real data story
Posted on

Nuclear power and whale-hunting: The power of irrational thinking

Greenland holds parliamentary elections these days. Ample opportunities for a statistical mind to wonder if the world has gone mad. Being on the cusp of retiring from about 10 years in the political circus I do know well that the object of desire is not truth, but votes. I know that if a large enough segment of potential voters has a firm belief, it is risky to estrange them with facts.

Continue reading “Nuclear power and whale-hunting: The power of irrational thinking”
Nuclear power and whale-hunting: The power of irrational thinking
Posted on

Data Engineers and Data Scientists in Statistics Education: University programs and teamwork

Are “data scientist” and “data engineer” different titles for someone doing the same type of work?  Or do they present two different attitudes toward solving the same problems? Since data science has become a buzzword, internet discussions like this one have not stopped.  Recently, several bloggers used “Data Engineers versus Data Scientists” as titles for their articles to express their views on these “terminologies” or “professions.”  

Continue reading “Data Engineers and Data Scientists in Statistics Education: University programs and teamwork”
Data Engineers and Data Scientists in Statistics Education: University programs and teamwork
Posted on

Data for whom? Being mindful of racial disparities

As the United States makes progress towards a state of “normality,” the country has set an incredible pace for vaccine production and distribution. But what information is lost in the big picture?

Continue reading “Data for whom? Being mindful of racial disparities”
Data for whom? Being mindful of racial disparities
Posted on

Missing the evidence

A story in the Guardian on February 28 is headlined Pfizer vaccine may be less effective in people with obesity, says study. As the story says, the ‘study’ in question is a preprint. That’s not necessarily a problem; preprints have been a valuable source of up-to-date information during the Covid pandemic, at least when used with care.

Continue reading “Missing the evidence”
Missing the evidence