Bayesian predictions for Super Bowl XLIX

Written by Alex Crease & Matt Wismer on . Posted in Sports

With the Super Bowl coming up this Sunday, everyone is probably wondering where to place their bets. Fortunately, we've developed a model that uses Bayesian statistics to predict the results of football matches based upon prior season data of each team. We then used our model to predict a game between the Seahawks and the Patriots.

Opening the archives: a significant development

Written by Brian Tarran on . Posted in Significance

Significance was launched in March 2004 with a clear remit: to demonstrate the importance of statistics and the contributions it makes in all areas of life. As founding editor Helen Joyce put it: ‘Significance is not intended to be a self-congratulatory advertisement for the statistician, but rather a medium for accessing a profession which much of the general public still consider dull and grey and unfathomable.’

How America responded to all 339 lines in the State of the Union

Written by Emma Pierson on . Posted in Politics

Which parts of Obama’s address particularly resonated with the public? One can judge the congressional response to each line by listening to applause in the chamber, but it's harder to know what the country as a whole thought. One way to find out is to look up every single sentence in the speech on Twitter and study each response. Yes, this took a while, and yes, I should probably find other hobbies, but the results were worth it.

Polls, polls and damn statistics…

Written by Robert Ford, Will Jennings, Mark Pickup & Christopher Wlezien on . Posted in Politics

The fallout has still not subsided from the shock YouGov poll during the Scottish Independence referendum that put the Yes camp in the lead by 51% to 49%. This single poll was enough to prompt the Prime Minister to claim he wanted to sue the polling companies for his stomach ulcers and led to a last minute revamping of the offer - 'the vow' - made to Scotland as part of the deal for remaining in the Union. Most recently, a Labour peer tabled a bill in the House of Lords that would create a statutory regulator of the polling industry.

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