Has the hidden matter of the universe been discovered?

Astrophysicists consider that around 40% of the ordinary matter that makes up stars, planets and galaxies remains undetected, concealed in the form of a hot gas in the complex cosmic web. Today, scientists at the Institut ...

Italian nurse acquitted of murder after statistical analysis

Italian nurse Daniela Poggiali was arrested and convicted of murdering two hospital patients in 2014. Her case attracted the attention of Leiden statistician Richard Gill. After his investigation, together with an Italian ...

12 matter particles suffice in nature

How many matter particles exist in nature? Particle physicists have been dealing with this question for a long time. The 12 matter particles contained in the standard model of particle physics? Or are there further particles ...

Mathematicians develop new statistical indicator

Most of us know this phenomenon only too well: when it's hot outside, you feel the urge for a cooling ice cream. But would you have thought that mathematics could be involved?

Softwares for fMRI yield erroneous results

Common statistical methods used to analyse brain activity through images taken with MRI scanners cannot be trusted, as shown by Anders Eklund and Hans Knutsson of Linköping University, and Thomas Nichols of the University ...

CERN and colliding theories

Findings that showed faster-than-light travel were released to the public too soon.

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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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