Math in the Media

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Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"Flying and Driving after the September 11 Attacks," by Michael Sivak andMichael J. Flannagan. AmericanScientist, January-February 2003, pages 6-8.

Sivak and Flannagan use some basic statistics to compare the risks involved inflying to those involved in driving. The authors looked at airline and ruralhighway fatalities (rural highways were used because they are the safest) andconcluded that flying is about 65 times safer than driving. The methods usedand assumptions made in the investigation are clearly stated so anyoneinterested in making a more precise assessment of the risks could.

--- Mike Breen