STAT 157: Possible topics for future lectures

These are my own notes re material on "other topics" that may be relevant for future lectures, or that I just want to record.


Probability and statistics are involved in many aspects of sports other than those in my "ranking and rating" lecture.

Probability and Algorithms


Comparing information without leaking it by Ronald Fagin and Moni Naor and Peter Winkler.
Can Random Coin Flips Speed Up a Computer? by David Zuckerman.
The power and weakness of randomness (when you are short on time) by Avi Wigderson.

Viewpoint Essays

On options and epidemics by Ian Ayres.
Life, chance and life chances by Lorraine Daston.
Unpredictability and chance in scientific progress by John Meurig Thomas.
Precautions and nature by Cass Sunstein.
The ethics of uncertainty by Christof Tannert, Horst-Dietrich Elvers and Burkhard Jandrig.
From Consolation to Commitment: Philosophy and Theology's role in meeting tomorrow's Public Policy challenges by Michael Oborne.
The dawning of the age of stochasticity by David Mumford.

Communicating Uncertainty

This concerns issues not discussed in the "risk for individuals" or "cognitive bias" lectures.


Quantifying probabilistic expressions by Frederick Mosteller and Cleo Youtz.
Guidance Note for Lead Authors of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report on Consistent Treatment of Uncertainties by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Critiques of Models


The network nonsense of Barabasi.
Climate Models as Economic Guides: Scientific Challenge or Quixotic Quest? by Andrea Saltelli, Philip B. Stark, William Becker, Pawel Stano.


Critical Truths About Power Laws by Michael P. H. Stumpf and Mason A. Porter.

Miscellaneous Probability Models


Some people have all the luck by Richard Arratia et al.
The birth-death-mutation process: A new paradigm for fat tailed distributions by Yosef E. Maruvka, David A. Kessler and Nadav M. Shnerb.
Waves in a Spatial Queue: Stop-and-Go at Airport Security by David Aldous.



Statistical problems in ESP research by Persi Diaconis.