Statistics in court: An interview with a juror

Jury box

Statisticians have a crucial role to play in ensuring fairness and justice in the legal system, particularly where the assessment and interpretation of forensic evidence is concerned (see our April 2019 special issue for more on this topic). In court, statisticians may serve as expert witnesses – but they may also find themselves serving in an entirely different capacity: as a member of a jury.

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Cooking up statistics: The science and the art

Making dough

Letisha Smith – winner of the 2018 Award for Statistical Excellence in Early-Career Writing – started the year with the resolve to eat smarter, with less food and less money going to waste. She turned to machine learning to help streamline her meal plans.

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Playing with risk

Playing Borel

Imagine you hold three six-sided dice in your hand. Now throw them, and before they come to a stop, answer me this: do you think you will roll at least two of the same number? Yes or no. More importantly, how much do you want to bet on that outcome?

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How times have changed for teenagers: Baby names and degrees


In our December 2018 print edition, Jeff Ralph, the Royal Statistical Society's William Guy schools' lecturer for the 2017-18 academic year, explains how times have changed for teenagers, as told through official statistics. The print article tackles the subjects of life expectancy, household income, household expenditure and inflation. In this web-exclusive piece, Ralph explains how baby names have changed over the past hundred years, and how the number of undergraduate degrees awarded have gone up and up.

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Does Taylor Swift have a big (and bad) reputation? Twitter scraping using R

Taylor Swift

"Big reputation, big reputation, ooh you and me we’ve got big reputations." Taylor Swift released her sixth studio album, Reputation, in November last year. The old Taylor is dead, and in her place is a new, edgier Taylor, toughened from the years of media scrutiny, turbulent relationships and high-profile celebrity feuds. Whether you like the album or not (personally, I love it), this article is not really about Taylor Swift. This is about my first experience delving into the world of Twitter scraping.

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