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 ...

A statistical study of the hot streak

An international team of researchers has conducted a statistical analysis of hot streaks to learn more about this mysterious facet of human nature. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the group describes how they ...

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 ...

XMM-Newton takes astronomers to a black hole's edge

(PhysOrg.com) -- Using new data from ESA's XMM-Newton spaceborne observatory, astronomers have probed closer than ever to a supermassive black hole lying deep at the core of a distant active galaxy.

Statistical analysis aims to solve Greek volcano mystery

One of the largest volcanic eruptions in the Holocene epoch—as measured by the volume of material ejected—occurred on the Greek island of Santorini, traditionally known as Thera. It is considered a pivotal event in the ...

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 ...

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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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