Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"Vital Statistics," by Dana Mackenzie. New Scientist, 26 June 2004,pages 36-41.

"The boldest claims about the universe rely on physicists sifting the truthfrom the millions of measurements they make," the article states. What thismeans is that, order to understand the phenomena they study, physicists have tounderstand the data they glean from measurements. As this data becomesincreasingly sophisticated and complex, physicists are beginning to realizetheir need for powerful tools from statistics. The article examines threeexamples from modern day physics in which statistical tools---or the lackthereof---made a crucial difference.

--- Allyn Jackson