Probability Paradoxes IRL

  • June 21, 2013 · 12:30 PM
  • USF

Speaker: Alon Amit

Probability and statistics have a delightful capacity to confound and confuse. After demonstrating this capacity with a few toy examples, we will present several impossible statistical situations that actually occurred - in sports statistics, class-action lawsuits and various situations at some well-known software companies. Building on those examples we will try to demonstrate the importance - and subtlety - of properly choosing and interpreting metrics, both for machine learning and for human consumption.

Alon Amit received a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, where he also obtained an M.Sc. in Mathematics and a B.Sc. in Mathematics, Computer Science and Physics. He is a Co-founder and VP of Product at Origami Logic, a data exploration startup, and has previously worked as a Product Manager at Facebook and Google and as Vice President at Compugen, a biotechnology firm.

Alon is a frequent speaker at math circles around the San Francisco Bay Area, an officer of the Golden Section of the MAA, and a contributor to Quoramath.SE and Mathoverflow.

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  • Kate K

    Thanks for the lecture! it was really interesting.

    June 23, 2013

  • Ira S.

    UCBAdmissions {datasets}

    Another great talk!

    For those who would like to take a closer look at the data, it is available in R.­

    Suggested Google search: R Berkeley admissions data

    Reference: Bickel, P. J., Hammel, E. A., and O'Connell, J. W. (1975) Sex bias in graduate admissions: Data from Berkeley. Science, 187, 398–403.

    2 · June 21, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    A most excellent lecture! So informative and Alon scared the crap out of me that simple statistics can mislead so easily. Alon mentioned this book:­

    And here is a link to Jeremy Kubica's research page for that upcoming paper:­

    June 21, 2013

  • Lisa Dawn C.

    sad to be missing this. next time!

    June 20, 2013

  • Mike S

    Will wait listed people be able to attend? It will take me a while to get there and I'd hate to get turned away at the door...

    June 20, 2013

    • Ira S.

      My experience at this Meetup is there is always space.

      June 20, 2013

  • W. Allan G.

    USF Alum

    1 · June 17, 2013

    • W. Allan G.

      Applied Economics. What was yours?

      June 18, 2013

  • Scott

    I'm Business Analyst for a software company in San Mateo.

    June 9, 2013

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