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

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 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 [...]

I am aware that there are entire fields as well as high impact journals that overlook this mistake, but I want to bring up, (yes, again), why you should always use the standard deviation when drawing error bars or reporting the uncertainty about the data you actually collected; that is, why you should not report [...]

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. [...]

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 [...]

(A true story, with some added sarcasm, to illustrate that using equations is safer in the long run than trying to avoid using equations) My lab has a new centrifuge that I recently needed to use for the first time. Like most centrifuges, you can set the rotations per minute (RPM) and the number [...]

How to Make Truly Terrible Graphs: A Tutorial by David Streiner Part 4: Where’s the Y? In previous blogs, I described how to make terrible graphs using some of the features of leading graphing packages, such as pie charts and 3-D graphs. But, this is unfair to users of other programs that do not [...]

How to Make Truly Terrible Graphs: A Tutorial David L. Streiner, special guest contributor and co-author of excellent statistics texts Part 3 – 3D or not 3D In the two last blogs, we learned the first steps in making truly terrible graphs: by confusing the role of a visual with that of a table, and by [...]