Statisticians are a gloomy bunch!

It’s a really exciting week this week, as we have ResBaz here in Dunedin! I didn’t know what I was signing up for, but it has been a great opportunity to meet a whole lot of really interesting people. I have been privileged to meet and chat with a number of professional statisticians and one thing really stands out, they are a bunch of skeptical and gloomy people!

OK, OK, I am being unfair there. They are actually great people who are incredibly passionate about their work. But they are professional skeptics, they have this inherent ability to sniff out sources of bias and uncertainty. And this is a great trait.

As someone who has come to data science from a non-statistical background, I am all too aware of the need to continually improve my understanding of statistics. But I realised today, that it isn’t really the statistics that I need to work on (theory is relatively straight forward right?). What I really need to develop is this inherent intuition around bias and uncertainty that statisticians possess.  I am looking forward to talking to my supervisor about this one some more.

The rest of the day was great as well. We had a great lecture from a climate scientist at NIWA. She was really really interesting, and clearly loves what she does. And I really enjoyed the workshop on advanced shell scripting in linux. I learned some really neat tricks at the terminal that I didn’t know before, and more than anything it was thoroughly enjoyable to participate in a workshop that was led with such enthusiasm by Daivd Eyers, Computer Sciene, University of Otago.

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2 comments

  1. My computing work in the UK brought me into contact with statisticians from the Government Statistical Service – not being well versed in statistics but very aware of the need to identify bias (from an historical, qualitative point of view), I was in awe of these very clever guys! I endorse your comments 🙂 Good to hear you are still searching, learning and enjoying!

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  2. Hi Clare! “Awe” is quite an appropriate word I think – quite intimidating 🙂 Hope things are well with everyone back home.

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