Celebrity Statistician Nate Silver Fields Questions from Data Wizards at Google

Maybe the biggest win­ner of the 2012 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, oth­er than Barack Oba­ma, was Nate Sil­ver, the young sta­tis­ti­cian who runs the 538 blog at the New York Times. As you may recall (it was only a few weeks ago), Sil­ver gave Pres­i­dent Oba­ma rough­ly an 80% — 90% chance of win­ning dur­ing the final days of Octo­ber. The talk­ing heads railed against Sil­ver, call­ing him an “ide­o­logue” and a “joke.” But, just as Sil­ver accu­rate­ly pre­dict­ed the out­come of every Sen­ate race dur­ing the 2008 elec­tion cycle, so did he pret­ty much nail the big race of 2012. He esti­mat­ed Oba­ma would receive 313 elec­toral votes, a touch below the 332 the pres­i­dent actu­al­ly received. Sil­ver was vin­di­cat­ed. It was time to take a vic­to­ry lap … and sell a few books.

In late Sep­tem­ber, Sil­ver shrewd­ly pub­lished a new book, The Sig­nal and the Noise: Why Most Pre­dic­tions Fail but Some Don’t. The book tour even­tu­al­ly, if not inevitably, brought him to Google, where the celebri­ty sta­tis­ti­cian field­ed ques­tions from data-lov­ing Googlers for an hour. A grand old time was had by all.

Free cours­es on Stats and Prob­a­bil­i­ty can be found in the Math sec­tion of our col­lec­tion of 550 Free Online Cours­es.

via Giz­mo­do



by | Permalink | Comments (1) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.