Wednesday, July 05, 2006

I'm NOT a fan of statistics

I spent the better portion of my day trying to do statistical analysis on one figure. ONE FIGURE!!! I have never been a fan of statistics. I took two stats classes in university and do you think I can remember any of it? All I remember from stats class was that the funky cowboy was my stats prof. He was this short, skinny man who wore these western type shirts but they weren't any old cowboy shirt Clint Eastwood would wear. No siree. These were bright, colourful cowboy shirts. It was like Rainbow Bright puked all over Clint Eastwood or something. That prof and his shirts solidified my theory that anyone who likes stats is crazy.

So as I was trying to figure out if I needed to do a Student's t-test or a One-way ANOVA on my data and Googling what the heck those tests are, I came across a website about the Student's t-test. It had a little history thrown into the stats explanation. Apparently the student who came up with the test was working in a brewery and he developed this test to solve some brewery problems. I'm convinced he was drunk (and probably crazy). Anyhoo, turns out it's a pretty good test. I didn't use it though. Seems I needed a One-way ANOVA. Righty. More Googling I did go. Finally after hours of swearing and telling myself this stats isn't going to get the better of me I got it done. Thanks, in no small part, to Excel and it's Data Analysis function. It wasn't all Excel though, I did have to figure out what all the numbers it spit out meant. So much for getting a lot done today. Stupid statistics.


Psycgirl said...

My Crazy Stats prof told us Student was actually Galton (maybe?) and he "published" the test under Student b/c he wasn't allowed to do so as himself as an employee of Guiness.

God only knows if that is true (well, Google might know). But all Stats Profs are absolutely nuts, I agree

DN Lee said...

I nkow exactly how you feel. The last week, I've been re-teaching myself SPSS, so that I can finally crunch my data and make sense of it (myself).

I'm a Ph.D. Candidate in Biology in St Louis, Missouri. As you can tell, I LOVE distracting myself with the internet.
Have a great and productive day.

CQ said...

I registered late for my freshman year at college, so I was stuck taking stats that very first fall. By week two I was perpetually lost, and decided to stop going...the only time my dad knew I'd be in my dorm room? From 8-9 every MWF, when I was supposed to be in stats class ;)

(when I took it the 2nd time for my degree in chemistry, I absolutely loved it - go figure!)