Stats Made Easy

Practical Tools for Effective Experimentation

Monday, December 24, 2007

Tidings and tools for Yule

I get asked all the time why experimenters should license our dedicated software for design of experiments (DOE) when their company already provides a general statistics program with DOE capability. My answer is that our package makes it incredibly easy to design experiments, analyze (and graph!) the results, and find the optimal system setup based on the resulting predictive models. In other words, it is just the right tool for the job. Similarly, although I can do wonders with a channel-lock wrench and a couple of screwdrivers (they do double duty for pounding things), a box full of specialized tools serves far better for making work handier.

Similarly, when it comes to shoveling snow off my driveway, an array of five specialized shovels works really well for me. The biggest one scoops large amounts very quickly and slides them over the berms that build up as the winter progresses. A low-energy twist dumps the load in a satisfactory puff of powder. Next I scrape the residue with my heavy plow shovel. An ice chopper takes up the tire-compressed remainders and a light aluminum shovel provides some cleanup around the edges. The worst part comes after the city plow clears our street. Then I get my scoop shovel and dig out – taking it slow in layers. My goal is to keep a pace of exercise that does not exceed my daily cardiovascular workout on an elliptical machine. I love the snow and enjoy our Minnesota winters!

PS. Happy tidings to all of you this holiday season! By the way, as I wrote this I happened to be watching The History Channel show “It’s a Wonderful Time to be Weird” (2005) which featured ‘Santa Math’ by statistician William Briggs. The TV hosts acted very goofy about all the numbers and equations, but I gathered that Briggs assumed some millions of children believe in Santa, but some must be subtracted due to being on the naughty list (not nice). After a lot of calculations, he figures that Santa’s Sleigh would be moving at such as speed that it would vaporize all the homes – not good. However, it turns out the by applying chaos theory in gift momentum and gift probability equations by Briggs (energized by Santa’s secret force), the requested gifts do get delivered every Christmas Season. Cheers!


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