Predicting Olympic Records

An article in the New York Times, “Which Records Get Shattered?“, analyzes the prospects for record-breaking at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Nate Silver returns to sports analysis – his old stomping ground before he started the FiveThirtyEight blog which covers election polling. Michael Phelps, 4x100m relay, Beijing 2008 Olympics John Nunn winning his […]

Reporting on reported results may increase confusion

I had decided not to comment on political polling during this election season. Although this post concerns the election, it isn’t about polling. It isn’t directly about research, but it does show the problems that can happen when numeric results are reported imperfectly, and, even more important, when reporting on the report confuses instead of […]

Researchers: remember, honesty is the best policy

A tale of three types of cheating. If you are going to fudge the numbers, you’d better be very clever. Last December’s Annual Year in Ideas issue of the New York Times magazine included an idea titled “Forensic Polling Analysis” describing how Nate Silver analyzed results published by a polling firm called Strategic Vision. Silver […]

SurveyMonkey acquired – what does this mean?

SurveyMonkey is being acquired by an investor group.  Dave Goldberg, who previously led Yahoo’s music business, will take over as CEO, but founders Ryan (current CEO) and Chris Finley will remain with the company according to the news.  The company will be opening an office in Menlo Park, CA, where Goldberg is based.  From the […]

Time to cool it? (your tea that is)

As a tea-drinking Brit I was fascinated by a study about tea drinking in Northern Iran concluding that drinking very hot tea is strongly associated with higher risk of oesophageal cancer. Digging in further, I was struck by a number of points: The article I first noticed, by Karen Kaplan of the Los Angeles Times, […]

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