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Statistics in the Real World


Statistics is the art of gathering, analyzing and making conclusions from data. Most of the significant development in the theory of statistics didn't occur until the late nineteenth century and early twentieth centuries. Francis Galton and Karl Pearson began the study of making inferences from data with their work in the late nineteenth century. They advanced statistics by inventing with their followers standard devieation, correlation, and correlation, and coefficient.

Next came the work of R.A. Fisher in about 1915 he began to develop methods appropriate for small samples and several other items. The third period of development began about 1928 with the publication of joint papers of Jerzy Neyman and Egon Pearson. During this period Statistics began to take on a more application approach, which was in correlation with quality control. Also there became an interest in taking surveys.

The fourth period began in 1939 with the work of Abraham Wald. He showed a new way to look at statistics, he said statistics can be regarded as a game with the opponent being nature. Most statisticians have began to take this approach. Computers have made a vast increase in the use of statistics because of the increase of computing power. They have made large data sets more easily used.

With the application of statistics in the third period and the use of computors have made statistics more usable in many jobs today. There are many career choices available today, most of which require the knowledge of math in some capacity. Several jobs require a kind of math called statistics. People choosing careers in journalism and news broadcasting use statistics to make numbers make more sense for their audience, sometimes they use charts to prove points.

Sports recruiters use statistics to check out potential athletes. Sports teams also use statistics to prepare for upcoming opponents. They look to see which players on the opposing teams are doing well at that time. They also use statistics to decide which players are doing well and they try to predict which players will bring the best results for the game.

The people who pick out merchandise for retail stores also use statistics. They look to find out what styles and colors sold the best in previous seasons and then they decide what to buy. Police officers also use statistics in several ways. The first way is to find out what intersections have the highest accident rate and then they are able to watch those intersections and reduce the number of accidents. They also study the crime rates in different neighborhoods to show the need for additional police force.

These are just a few examples of how statistics are used on an every day basis. These jobs also are using math in real world situations and answer the question, "Why do we have to learn this?"

Contributed by DeAnn Nelson


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