Meet-Up (10/22) – Mathematical Estimation As A Skeptical Tool

  • October 22, 2011 · 3:30 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

The Ann Arbor Science & Skeptics are having a meet-up on Saturday, October 22nd from 3:30 to 6:00pm at the Classic Cup Cafe. It will feature a presentation by Dr. Aaron Santos, physicist and author of How Many Licks?: Or, How to Estimate Damn Near Anything. The presentation will be about the value of using mathematical estimation as a skeptical tool.

We will also have a fun activity with prizes. The first part of the meet-up will be food/snacks/beverages and socializing with others. The presentation will begin at 4:30.

Special Request From the Speaker:  If there’s anyone who would like to get an estimation of something (anything), then please e-mail me your question, and I will forward it to Aaron for him to incorporate into the presentation.

Some examples of estimations he’s calculated:

  1. How sensitive would a shark’s nose have to be in order to detect a drop of blood from one mile away? (inspired by the Gillette ProGlide / Shark shaving commercial)
  2. How long would it take your body heat to raise the temperature of the room by 1° F? (inspired by the scene in Mission Impossible where Tom Cruise’s character is lowered into a room with temperature-sensitive alarms)

* - We are testing out the RSVP feature on our website, so if you could RSVP there as well, that'd be helpful.  Thanks!

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  • Anne K.

    A fun and informative meetup!

    October 23, 2011

  • Robert W.

    Very interesting speaker who was unflappable with any and all questions. He knew his "stuff" and presented it so anyone could understand it. Sure wish I had science teachers who taught like he did; I might have liked and understood science. Bob thought I would be bored with statistics but not so. Don't know where you keep finding these great speakers, but you're doing a wonderful job, Chris. One negative was that little children under a particular age should not be there. That was a huge distraction to me with a hearing loss already. Good arrangement of the room Chris. That was very thoughtful of you.

    October 23, 2011

  • Chris

    The topic was interesting, and the guest put together a nice presentation. I thought he combined enough interesting examples with relevance to why estimation can be useful as a tool for applying skepticism. Or at the least, to be aware when people are making claims about statistics that simple double-checking by applying estimation can help verify validity.

    The turnout was much larger than I'd expected, and such, the room was a bit small for the meet-up. If turnouts like this happen on a regular basis, then the group may need to look at having them at larger venues (that are likely to charge). But for now, I'm glad to see that people are interested enough to come out and participate.

    October 23, 2011

  • Lee R.

    Interest- will certainly try to make it - questions.

    October 9, 2011

  • Chris

    *corrected link to RSVP feature on website

    October 9, 2011

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