Tim Harford

5 posts
Scientists with bad data

Tim Harford warns against bad data in science: Some frauds seem comical. In the 1970s, a researcher named William Summerlin claimed to have found a way to prevent skin grafts from being rejected by the recipient. He demonstrated his results by showing a white mouse with a dark patch of fur, apparently a graft from a black mouse. It transpired that the dark patch had been coloured with a felt-tip...

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The Data Detective

Tim Harford has a new book coming out tomorrow called The Data Detective: Ten Easy Rules to Make Sense of Statistics. Today we think statistics are the enemy, numbers used to mislead and confuse us. That’s a mistake, Tim Harford says in The Data Detective. We shouldn’t be suspicious of statistics—we need to understand what they mean and how they can improve our lives: they are, at heart, human behavior...

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Placement matching algorithms

Students want to get into a school, and schools want certain students. Match. Med students want to get into a specific residency program, and certain programs want specific students. Match. Tim Harford explains the role of matching algorithms to make picking fair for all parties. The process gets messy when you start looking at thousands of individuals and organizations with multiple preferences each. The deferred acceptance algorithm is just the...

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