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The Cult of Statistical Significance Cover

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The Cult of Statistical Significance

How the Standard Error Costs Us Jobs, Justice, and Lives

Stephen T. Ziliak and Deirdre N. McCloskey

“McCloskey and Ziliak have been pushing this very elementary, very correct, very important argument through several articles over several years and for reasons I cannot fathom it is still resisted. If it takes a book to get it across, I hope this book will do it. It ought to.” —Thomas Schelling, Distinguished University Professor, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland, and 2005 Nobel Prize Laureate in Economics “With humor, insight, piercing logic and a nod to history, Ziliak and McCloskey show how economists—and other scientists—suffer from a mass delusion about statistical analysis. The quest for statistical significance that pervades science today is a deeply flawed substitute for thoughtful analysis. . . . Yet few participants in the scientific bureaucracy have been willing to admit what Ziliak and McCloskey make clear: the emperor has no clothes.” —Kenneth Rothman, Professor of Epidemiology, Boston University School of Health The Cult of Statistical Significance shows, field by field, how “statistical significance,” a technique that dominates many sciences, has been a huge mistake. The authors find that researchers in a broad spectrum of fields, from agronomy to zoology, employ “testing” that doesn’t test and “estimating” that doesn’t estimate. The facts will startle the outside reader: how could a group of brilliant scientists wander so far from scientific magnitudes? This study will encourage scientists who want to know how to get the statistical sciences back on track and fulfill their quantitative promise. The book shows for the first time how wide the disaster is, and how bad for science, and it traces the problem to its historical, sociological, and philosophical roots. Stephen T. Ziliak is the author or editor of many articles and two books. He currently lives in Chicago, where he is Professor of Economics at Roosevelt University. Deirdre N. McCloskey, Distinguished Professor of Economics, History, English, and Communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago, is the author of twenty books and three hundred scholarly articles. She has held Guggenheim and National Humanities Fellowships. She is best known for How to Be Human* Though an Economist (University of Michigan Press, 2000) and her most recent book, The Bourgeois Virtues: Ethics for an Age of Commerce (2006).

Does Measurement Measure Up? Cover

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Does Measurement Measure Up?

How Numbers Reveal and Conceal the Truth

John M. Henshaw

There was once a time when we could not measure sound, color, blood pressure, or even time. We now find ourselves in the throes of a measurement revolution, from the laboratory to the sports arena, from the classroom to the courtroom, from a strand of DNA to the far reaches of outer space. Measurement controls our lives at work, at school, at home, and even at play. But does all this measurement really measure up? Here, John Henshaw examines the ways in which measurement makes sense or creates nonsense. Henshaw tells the controversial story of intelligence measurement from Plato to Binet to the early days of the SAT to today's super-quantified world of No Child Left Behind. He clears away the fog on issues of measurement in the environment, such as global warming, hurricanes, and tsunamis, and in the world of computers, from digital photos to MRI to the ballot systems used in Florida during the 2000 presidential election. From cycling and car racing to baseball, tennis, and track-and-field, he chronicles the ever-growing role of measurement in sports, raising important questions about performance and the folly of comparing today's athletes to yesterday's records. We can't quite measure everything, at least not yet. What could be more difficult to quantify than reasonable doubt? However, even our justice system is yielding to the measurement revolution with new forensic technologies such as DNA fingerprinting. As we evolve from unquantified ignorance to an imperfect but everpresent state of measured awareness, Henshaw gives us a critical perspective from which we can "measure up" the measurements that have come to affect our lives so greatly.

Elementary Set Theory, Part I Cover

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Elementary Set Theory, Part I

K.T. Leung ,Doris Lai-chue Chen

This book provides students of mathematics with the minimum amount of knowledge in logic and set theory needed for a profitable continuation of their studies. There is a chapter on statement calculus, followed by eight chapters on set theory.

Elementary Set Theory, Part I/II Cover

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Elementary Set Theory, Part I/II

K.T. Leung ,Doris Lai-chue Chen

This book provides students of mathematics with the minimum amount of knowledge in logic and set theory needed for a profitable continuation of their studies. There is a chapter on statement calculus, followed by eight chapters on set theory.

Equations from God Cover

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Equations from God

Pure Mathematics and Victorian Faith

Daniel J. Cohen

Throughout history, application rather than abstraction has been the prominent driving force in mathematics. From the compass and sextant to partial differential equations, mathematical advances were spurred by the desire for better navigation tools, weaponry, and construction methods. But the religious upheaval in Victorian England and the fledgling United States opened the way for the rediscovery of pure mathematics, a tradition rooted in Ancient Greece. In Equations from God, Daniel J. Cohen captures the origins of the rebirth of abstract mathematics in the intellectual quest to rise above common existence and touch the mind of the deity. Using an array of published and private sources, Cohen shows how philosophers and mathematicians seized upon the beautiful simplicity inherent in mathematical laws to reconnect with the divine and traces the route by which the divinely inspired mathematics of the Victorian era begot later secular philosophies.

Fast Car Physics Cover

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Fast Car Physics

Chuck Edmondson

Revving engines, smoking tires, and high speeds. Car racing enthusiasts and race drivers alike know the thrill of competition, the push to perform better, and the agony—and dangers—of bad decisions. But driving faster and better involves more than just high horsepower and tightly tuned engines. Physicist and amateur racer Chuck Edmondson thoroughly discusses the physics underlying car racing and explains just what’s going on during any race, why, and how a driver can improve control and ultimately win. The world of motorsports is rich with excitement and competition—and physics. Edmondson applies common mathematical theories to real-world racing situations to reveal the secrets behind successful fast driving. He explains such key concepts as how to tune your car and why it matters, how to calculate 0 to 60 mph times and quarter-mile times and why they are important, and where, when, why, and how to use kinematics in road racing. He wraps it up with insight into the impact and benefit of green technologies in racing. In each case, Edmondson’s in-depth explanations and worked equations link the physics principles to qualitative racing advice. From selecting shifting points to load transfer in car control and beyond, Fast Car Physics is the ideal source to consult before buckling up and cinching down the belts on your racing harness.

Fundamental Concepts of Mathematics Cover

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Fundamental Concepts of Mathematics

K.T. Leung ,P.H. Cheung

Basic concepts of number theory are discussed. Topics include set theory, mathematical induction, com-binatorics, arithmetic, real numbers, limit and convergence, and complex numbers.

Gliding for Gold Cover

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Gliding for Gold

The Physics of Winter Sports

Mark Denny

As anyone from cold climates knows, frequently occurring ice and snow lead to a special appreciation of sports such as skiing, sledding, and skating. Prolific physics popularizer Mark Denny’s take on winter athletics lays out the physical principles that govern glaciated game play. After discussing the physical properties of ice and snow and how physics describes sliding friction and aerodynamic drag, Denny applies these concepts to such sports as bobsledding, snowboarding, and curling. He explains why clap skates would only hinder hockey players, how a curling rock curls, the forces that control luge speed, how steering differs in skiing and snowboarding, and much more. With characteristic accuracy and a touch of wit, Denny provides fans, competitors, and coaches with handy, applicable insight into the games they love. His separate section of technical notes offers an original and mathematically rigorous exploration of the key aspects of winter sports physics. A physics-driven exploration of sports played on ice and snow that is truly fun and informative, Gliding for Gold is the perfect primer for understanding the science behind cold weather athletics.

Good Vibrations Cover

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Good Vibrations

The Physics of Music

Barry Parker

Why does a harpsichord sound different from a piano? For that matter, why does middle C on a piano differ from middle C on a tuning fork, a trombone, or a flute? Good Vibrations explains in clear, friendly language the out-of-sight physics responsible not only for these differences but also for the whole range of noises we call music. The physical properties and history of sound are fascinating to study. Barry Parker's tour of the physics of music details the science of how instruments, the acoustics of rooms, electronics, and humans create and alter the varied sounds we hear. Using physics as a base, Parker discusses the history of music, how sounds are made and perceived, and the various effects of acting on sounds. In the process, he demonstrates what acoustics can teach us about quantum theory and explains the relationship between harmonics and the theory of waves. Peppered throughout with anecdotes and examples illustrating key concepts, this invitingly written book provides a firm grounding in the actual and theoretical physics of music.

Hasard, nombres aléatoires et méthode Monte Carlo Cover

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Hasard, nombres aléatoires et méthode Monte Carlo

L'univers de l'homme moderne, si pétri de rationalisme, si environné de technologies et d'artéfacts rassurants, est néanmoins imprégné de hasard, davantage que ne l'était celui de ses ancêtres. L'auteur traite des séries de nombres aléatoires, de leurs propriétés, leur test, leur génération, leur application dans l'estimation Monte Carlo, une méthode qui utilise massivement les capacités de calcul de l'ordinateur pour trouver des solutions numériques approximatives à des problèmes complexes.

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