Category: Maths

Why Statistics?

An recent editorial from Science (warning: may be behind a paywall unless you are accessing from campus or via VPN) argues that statistics is important for all branches of science and even beyond — in public policy.

To quote the opening paragraph:

Popular media and science publications sound the drum: “Big Data” will drive our future, from translating genomic information into new therapies, to harnessing the Web to untangle complex social interactions, to detecting infectious disease outbreaks. Statistics is the science of learning from data, and of measuring, controlling, and communicating uncertainty; and it thereby provides the navigation essential for controlling the course of scientific and societal advances.

Numbers are up

First of all – following on from the last post, many congratulations to the Imperial College team for their successes in the Grand Final of the iGEM competition in Boston, in which they were runners-up. What a fantastic achievement!

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to see the team’s talk before they left of the US and was mightily impressed. Not just by the quality of the work in the project and the presentation, but also by the inclusion of some maths in their analyses, which was used to model the rate of production of plant growth hormones by their engineered bacteria.