Thursday, October 28, 2004

Mathematics vs Statistics

This amusing excerpt is from an interview of Bradley Efron, inventor of the bootstrap method in statistics:
I thought I was going to be a mathematician. I went to CalTech, and I think I would have stayed a mathematician if mathematics was like it was a hundred years ago where you computed things, but I have no talent at all for modern abstract mathematics. And so I wanted to go into something that was more computational. After CalTech I came to Stanford. And statistics was definitely better.
Incidentally, Efron's book is a very nice introduction to the bootstrap method, striking that delicate balance between 'So how do I use this stuff' and 'So why does this really work'

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