Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"The big catch," by Karen Schmidt. New Scientist, 22 March 2003, pages44-47.

This article discusses the use of Bayesian statistical methods in the modelingof changes in fish populations. These methods are named after the Englishamateur mathematician Thomas Bayes, who in the mid-18th century "came up with amathematical formula for judging the probability of future events based on thepast, and for revising this probability as new information comes in," thearticle says. A fisheries scientist quoted in the article remarks that fishare not very predictable, so "Bayesian analysis helps elucidate theuncertainties."

--- Allyn Jackson

American Mathematical Society