Word these mathematical formulae.



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Unit 10

STATISTICS IS VERY SERIOUS!

    Reading and Vocabulary

1. Match the definitions/explanations in A (1–7) with the words in B (a–g):

A B
1 acceptable, well based, effective a valid
2 an official counting of a country’s total population b random
3 to judge how good, useful or successful something is c attempts
4 that cannot be avoided, that is sure to happen d inevitable
5 happening or chosen without any definite plan, aim or pattern, that cannot be avoided, that is sure to happen e profound
6 deep; needing, showing, having great knowledge f to evaluate = to assess
7 making an effort at; trying to do something, especially without succeeding g census(es)

Read the article below and complete it with a word from the task 1 (column B).

STATISTICS IS VERY SERIOUS!

    I am a first-year student at the University of Donetsk. I study at the Faculty of Mathematics and take a course in statistics.

    When I made up my mind to be a statistician my friends laughed at me. Some of them quoted Mark Twain: ‘There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies and statistics’. Others quoted Andrew Lang, ‘He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts – for support rather than illumination’. I’ll try to prove that statistics is used for illumination rather than support.

    A lot has changed since the times of Mark Twain. Today statistics is a science, a branch of applied mathematics. It is concerned with scientific methods for collecting, organizing, summarizing, presenting and analyzing data, as well as drawing 1_____ conclusions and making reasonable decisions on the basis of that analysis.

    It’s being used more and more in various applications. In government many people are involved in collecting data from 2_____ and surveys. Such data are often referred to as ‘official statistics’. They are used to 3_____ and improve current policies. On a smaller scale, statistics is used in medicine, for example, to assess which of two treatments is better or to aid in the diagnosis of a patient. Statisticians are involved in agriculture, with the comparison of different fertilizers; in geology, with the estimation of oil resources; in the analysis of psychological experiments; in the actuarial profession, with the establishment of suitable premiums; in market research, to discover and interpret trends and frequencies; and in industry, in optimization of production and formation of advertising policies.

    Statistical procedures can vary from the drawing and assessment of a few simple graphs to carrying out very complex mathematical analysis. There is clearly an 4_____ link between statistics and probability, which provides the mathematical basis for setting up models to describe 5_____ phenomena” .

    As you see my profession requires 6_____ knowledge of the theory of probability and calculus, and we study those subjects in our first and second year. In our third year specialization begins. We are given specialized courses in sampling theory, statistical estimation theory, statistical decision theory, correlation theory. Some students begin doing their own research under the supervision of their scientific advisers. So, at the end of our study at the university we are prepared to apply our knowledge to practice.

    You may ask me what a statistician actually does. The typical view is that you get data and hand it to a statistician. But this is a misconception. A good statistician will be integrated with projects right from the start, not sitting in a back room churning out numbers. Databases and special programming packages are the tools of the trade, but the main part of the job is the modeling phase where you build a model which 7_____ to describe the process which produces the data. With a model, you can answer questions such as whether a particular cancer treatment works.

    I seem to have proved that statistics is very serious. Nevertheless, in conclusion I’d like to offer another joke. Have you heard this definition of a statistician? It’s someone who has his bottom in the oven and his head in the freezer and who says that his body temperature is average.

 


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