Dany Adams

Dany Adams has written 24 posts for Lab Math

Kids remote learning? Fear not the math!

Terrified of teaching math, or even helping your kids with their math homework? This is a nice article from Tiffanie Wen: https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200506-how-to-tackle-your-anxiety-about-maths The BBC is also providing some teaching help for lockdown learning, including primary math https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/articles/zvryp4j

Can Geometry Rescue Representative Government?

Left: Cartoon by Elkanah Tisdale from the March 26, 1812 edition of the Federalist-leaning paper The Boston Gazette showing the Massachusetts district newly created to favor the Jeffersonian Republicans in upcoming elections. Right: the wing and clawless version of the map.  Thinking the actual district looked like a salamander, an editor at the paper declared [...]

Measurement appreciation day

Measurement appreciation day In the 2 July 2017 issue of Nature, there is an article in the Comment section about the science of measuring: http://www.nature.com/news/metrology-is-key-to-reproducing-results-1.22348 The moral of the article is that if we all actually measured properly it would go a long way towards fixing our reproducibility problem. Good point, that unfortunately has to [...]

Scale matters: always show your audience the size of the subject

A short, easy to read essay by Helena Jambor* on The Node, gives some good tips for adding scale bars to images.  She also gives a little history: interestingly, putting scale bars on images is not an age-old practice.  Apparently, there was a time when scientists (and many non-scientists) were assumed to know how big things were. But that [...]

GREAT charts! (not numbers, but, whatever)


Teach about confirmation bias. Please.

I am on a mission to spread the news of this transformational (yes!) exercise for all teachers of all subjects, but especially scientists. It is called the Wason* 2-4-6 Task, (I’ve seen it referred to as the 2-4-8 test). It is the best exercise I’ve ever seen for demonstrating the perils of confirmation bias.  It [...]


Hi Dany Spencer Adams, I think there might be an error in the equation for converting RCF to rpm on page 140 of the second edition, hardcover. Should the equation be: rpm= (RCF / (r x 1.118 x 10^-6))^1/2 instead of 10^-5? because the radius is measured in mm? … E. D. Dear E. D. [...]

Tabling Advice

How to Make Truly Terrible Tables: A Tutorial by David Streiner Part I: Be Too Accurate   No, your eyes are not deceiving you; the title of the blog has changed slightly, from “How to Make Truly Terrible Graphs” to “How to Make Truly Terrible Tables.” This reflects the fact that it is possible to [...]

Streiner does it again

David Streiner, my favorite statistician (if that’s not obvious from other posts here), has been writing short pieces (that I wish I could have written) about important but often misunderstood or forgotten statistical topics.   I just read one, about sample size and power, that makes these two uncomfortable topics very clear.  In particular, he [...]

The Patriots, the Nobel Laureate, and the power of uncertainty

Chemistry Nobel Laureate Roderick MacKinnon has done a wonderful (by which I mean numerically sound) analysis of the analysis of the Patriots’ footballs.  This is yet another example of the cost of not understanding uncertainty:  was it $2 million?  If Brady would like me to teach him, I’ll take a mere half of that. Analysis of [...]

Birth of the Blog

This blog, like the book Lab Math from which it springs (incompletely formed), will be about numbers. I will endeavor to:

1. showcase the basic and the practical, not the challenging or even the advanced;

2.. provide straightforward guidance for the unenthusiastic (“just do it exactly this way”);

3.. provide refreshers for those needing refreshment (whether they know it or not.)