Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #xkcd

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Should I send my ACT/SAT? I thought I would share some insights on this question in an attempt to add some transparency.
Submitting your test scores improves your chances of being admitted in the same way that eating more mozzarella improves your chances of earning a doctorate in civil engineering. The two may be related but not causal. Source:… Image
I'm going to attempt to show how flawed metrics of "who gets admitted" may lead you to an false conclusion. Cartoon by #xkcd Image
Read 15 tweets
These are uncertain times, and uncertainty makes us anxious and sad. That's probably why the mathematics of uncertainty are so developed, and so important. It's the point behind #XKCD's brilliant "Garbage Math" strip/explainer:…

The key to modeling uncertainty is Bayes's Theorem, which is also a subplot of my 2008 YA novel Little Brother. It's named after Thomas Bayes, the 18th century mathematician who is buried in Bunhill Cemetery, a beautiful and notorious plague pit near my old flat in London.

Bayesian stats are key to all kinds of modern computing applications, including machine learning, which is interesting because they were kind of obscure for centuries and revived by electronic calculators, which make short work out of the tedious computation they demand.

Read 9 tweets
In #XKCD 2295, "Garbage Math," Randall Munroe does a stellar job elucidating the uncertainty plaguing our ability to estimate when lockdown will end.

The thing is, several key variables are unknown and attempts to estimate them produce "garbage numbers." These include:

* What percentage of people have covid-19 antibodies

* What percentage of people who have covid-19 antibodies are immune to the disease, and for how long

* When we will develop a vaccine for covid-19

* How long production of the vaccine will take after it is developed

* When we will discover effective therapeutics for covid-19

* How long it will take to ramp up their production

Read 6 tweets
In few minutes, astronomers across the globe will hold six major press conferences simultaneously to announce the first results of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), which was designed precisely for that purpose Watch LIVE:
More about the Event Horizon Telescope, an international collaboration aiming to capture the first image of a black hole by creating a virtual Earth-sized telescope
Read 14 tweets

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