Study refutes claim that T. rex was three separate species

A new study refutes a provocative claim made earlier this year that fossils classified as the dinosaur Tyrannosaurus rex represent three separate species. The rebuttal, published today in the journal Evolutionary Biology ...

Potential energy surfaces of water mapped for the first time

Water is certainly the best-known liquid in the world. It plays a crucial role in all biological and many chemical processes. The water molecules themselves hardly hold any secrets. In school we learn that water consists ...

Cuttlefish camouflage may be more complex than previously thought

A new study published in Current Biology suggests that the European cuttlefish (sepia officinalis) may combine, as necessary, two distinct neural systems that process specific visual features from its local environment and ...

The aurora borealis can be heard even when it can't be seen

Professor Emeritus Unto K. Laine of Aalto University has made recordings of auroral sounds, showing that the phenomenon is much more common than previously believed and occurs even in the absence of visible northern lights. ...

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Statistics

Statistics is a mathematical science pertaining to the collection, analysis, interpretation or explanation, and presentation of data. Statisticians improve the quality of data with the design of experiments and survey sampling. Statistics also provides tools for prediction and forecasting using data and statistical models. Statistics is applicable to a wide variety of academic disciplines, including natural and social sciences, government, and business.

Statistical methods can be used to summarize or describe a collection of data; this is called descriptive statistics. This is useful in research, when communicating the results of experiments. In addition, patterns in the data may be modeled in a way that accounts for randomness and uncertainty in the observations, and are then used to draw inferences about the process or population being studied; this is called inferential statistics. Inference is a vital element of scientific advance, since it provides a prediction (based in data) for where a theory logically leads. To further prove the guiding theory, these predictions are tested as well, as part of the scientific method. If the inference holds true, then the descriptive statistics of the new data increase the soundness of that hypothesis. Descriptive statistics and inferential statistics (a.k.a., predictive statistics) together comprise applied statistics.

There is also a discipline called mathematical statistics, which is concerned with the theoretical basis of the subject.

The word statistics can either be singular or plural. In its singular form, statistics refers to the mathematical science discussed in this article. In its plural form, statistics is the plural of the word statistic, which refers to a quantity (such as a mean) calculated from a set of data.

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