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Tag: xkcd

A Comic on Randomness in Sports

I recently heard the Radiolab episode entitled Stochasticity. My feelings on the episode are mixed, and I am currently preparing a post in which I review the episode with some reasonably detailed commentary. At one point in the episode, the 'hot-hand' fallacy is explored, and that triggered my memory of this apropos xkcd comic (there really does seem to be one for every occasion).

Also, all financial analysis. And, more directly, D&D.

Also, all financial analysis. And, more directly, D&D.
"Sports" - Copyright CC BY-NC 2.5 by Randall Munroe, xkcd.com
keywords: randomness; random number generator; sports;

(View the collection of statistics-related comics that I am curating here.)

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Another statistics comic

I can't believe I forgot to include this one in the statistics comic master post considering I've used it on an exam before.

Null Hypothesis

Hell, my eighth grade science class managed to conclusively reject it just based on a classroom experiment. It's pretty sad to hear about million-dollar research teams who can't even manage that.
"Null Hypothesis" - Copyright CC BY-NC 2.5 by Randall Munroe, xkcd.com
keywords: hypothesis testing; null hypothesis; study; reject;

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Statistics Comics Master Post

Below are comics related to probability and statistics that I've found. These prove useful for lecture slides, homework assignments, exams, etc. While I certainly prefer comics under open content licenses, I'll post any comics here for which I can obtain permission to do so. While the 'for educational purposes' fair use doctrine should allow one to use a wide variety of comics in materials restricted to students, this public blog doesn't seem to count for posting comics like Dilbert without paying a license fee (and so comics that are in circulation and are appropriate for this page probably will not end up here).

Below are comics, with the best attribution I can find, and organized by topic. If I find more comics, I'll include them in their own post and update this one. I'll try to include comics that are actually enjoyable and not just incidentally related to statistics. (For example, "Probability" on xkcd.com is certainly related to probability but is also appropriately somber. There is also a seemingly endless supply of humorous charts/graphs available online that aren't inherently statistical.)

Statistical Literacy

smbc_2080-20101201

Copyright Zach Weiner (SMBC). Used with permission.
keywords: statistical literacy; terrorists; airplanes; texting; texting and driving; rare events;

Probability


infinite time is distinct from infinity time, which is actually what i like to shout in a deep baritone just before kissing someone

"you can't see it, but in the last panel all the dinosaurs have had DIFFERENT BREAKFASTS." - Copyright 2005 by Ryan North, Dinosaur Comics
keywords: probability; expectation; impossible; long-run;

Random Number

RFC 1149.5 specifies 4 as the standard IEEE-vetted random number.
"Random Number" - Copyright CC BY-NC 2.5 by Randall Munroe, xkcd.com


you can show this comic to chronic gamblers and they will PUNCH YOU IN THE NECK
"gambling makes you appear more attractive in the eyes of women" - Copyright 2004 by Ryan North, Dinosaur Comics
keywords: probability; Gambler's Fallacy; dice; luck;

Wow! I've flipped five heads in a row. This next one's gotta be tails, then. Doesn't work like that. The previous results don't affect the probability of future events. The chances of flipping six heads in a row are 1 in 64 but the chances of flipping heads after 5 in a row are still 50:50. While you were busy lecturing, I flipped another 20 heads in a row. What's your logic say to that? Vegas road trip? I'll start packing.

The chances of 25 heads in a row are 1 in 33 million, which is still 6 times as likely as winning the Powerball jackpot. So, you've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?'
"#76 Dumb Luck" - Copyright 2008-2012, Tree Lobsters
keywords: gambling; Gambler's Fallacy; coin; coin flip; probability; luck;

Conditional Risk

'Dude, wait -- I'm not American! So my risk is basically zero!'
"Conditional Risk" - Copyright CC BY-NC 2.5 by Randall Munroe, xkcd.com
keywords: probability; conditional probability; descriptive statistics; printing uses lots of ink;

90's Flowchart
Freestyle rapping is basically applied Markov chains.
"90's Flowchart" - Copyright CC BY-NC 2.5 by Randall Munroe, xkcd.com
keywords: flowchart; Markov chain; probability;

Also, all financial analysis. And, more directly, D&D.

Also, all financial analysis. And, more directly, D&D.
"Sports" - Copyright CC BY-NC 2.5 by Randall Munroe, xkcd.com
keywords: randomness; random number generator; sports;

Descriptive Statistics

Boyfriend
... okay, but because you said that, we're breaking up.
"Boyfriend" - Copyright CC BY-NC 2.5 by Randall Munroe, xkcd.com
keywords: boxplot; box plot; box and whisker plot; statistical significance; outlier;

Election
Someday I'll be rich enough to hire Nate Silver to help make all my life decisions. 'Should I sleep with her?' 'Well, I'm showing a 35% chance it will end badly.'
"Election" - Copyright CC BY-NC 2.5 by Randall Munroe, xkcd.com
keywords: election; poll; margin of error;
(Note that while this is out of date now, the copyright license allows for the comic to be edited: it could be updated when used to show the next presidential election cycle to maintain relevance.)

Comic #2653
"No. 974" - Copyright CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 by David Morgan-Mar, irregularwebcomic.net
keywords: Poisson distribution; histogram;

Association

Correlation

Correlation doesn't imply causation, but it does waggle its eyebrows suggestively and gesture furtively while mouthing 'look over there'.
"Correlation" - Copyright CC BY-NC 2.5 by Randall Munroe, xkcd.com
keywords: correlation; causation;

I think I'm seeing a pattern here. There seems to be a correlation between the number of sensational and poorly-written science headlines, and the number of news outlets. Sure, but a lot of things have been trending upward over the past few decades. You could probably correlate bad science headlines with global water surface temperatures. Doesn't mean there's a causal relationship, though. (later) Science Reporters Cause Global Warming! (sigh)

The truth is that both global warming and bad science headlines are caused by an global decrease in hat-wearing. I read it on the internet, so it must be true.
"#130 Headlines" - Copyright 2008-2012, Tree Lobsters
keywords: correlation; causation; media;

The Overreactington Municipal School Board has voted overwhelmingly to remove all the other thing from its educational facilities.
"#361 This, That & The Other Thing" - Copyright 2008-2012, Tree Lobsters
keywords: correlation; causation; media;

Statistical Inference (Hypothesis Testing and Confidence Intervals)

Null Hypothesis

Hell, my eighth grade science class managed to conclusively reject it just based on a classroom experiment. It's pretty sad to hear about million-dollar research teams who can't even manage that.
"Null Hypothesis" - Copyright CC BY-NC 2.5 by Randall Munroe, xkcd.com
keywords: hypothesis testing; null hypothesis; study; reject;

Significant

'So, uh, we did the green study again and got no link. It was probably a--' 'RESEARCH CONFLICTED ON GREEN JELLY BEAN/ACNE LINK; MORE STUDY RECOMMENDED!'
"Significant" - Copyright CC BY-NC 2.5 by Randall Munroe, xkcd.com
keywords: hypothesis testing; Type I error; newspaper; p-value;

Comic #2653
"No. 2653" - Copyright CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 by David Morgan-Mar, irregularwebcomic.net
keywords: bootstrap; bootstrapping; Poisson distribution; stochastic process;

Regression Analysis

Extrapolating

By the third trimester, there will be hundreds of babies inside you.
"Extrapolating" - Copyright CC BY-NC 2.5 by Randall Munroe, xkcd.com
keywords: extrapolation; regression;

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