As Yogi Berra, once said: ‘It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future’. Like most future events, it is impossible to know for certain who will win the 2015 Rugby World Cup, but we can estimate probabilities of various outcomes occurring. We do this by building a rating system for international rugby matches and using these ratings to estimate expected score margins (like who will win and by how much.) We can then characterize uncertainty around these predictions.
In September this year, the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will come to an end and a new set, running from 2015 to 2030, will be the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The MDGs included goals of eradicating extreme poverty and achieving universal primary education. Each goal had underlying numerical, and most importantly, measurable targets. But there was no target on the impact of disasters in the MDGs.
The transfer market in football is a strange beast. For anyone who doesn't know how it works, clubs are allowed to buy and sell players during two windows each year: one during January (a maximum of four weeks long during the playing season) and another during the summer (approximately from June to the first few days in September, this time with a maximum length of 12 weeks).
'House prices in England and Wales hit record high’ ran a headline from last month as the housing market overtook its pre-financial crisis peak. But beneath the surface of this news lies vast variation in the growth of property prices across the different regions of Britain.
In a 2010 New York Times column, mathematician John Allen Paulos wrote about stories and statistics and the conflict and tension between them. He explained: 'The focus of stories is on individual people rather than averages, on motives rather than movements, on point of view rather than the view from nowhere, context rather than raw data'.