What's up in

statistics

Illustration of researchers trying to reconstruct the shape of an epidemic curve from its distorted shadow on the floor.
COVID-19

Chasing the Elusive Numbers That Define Epidemics

March 22, 2021

Most modeling efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic have sought to address urgent practical concerns. But some groups aim to bolster the theoretical underpinnings of that work instead.

geometry

Statistics Postdoc Tames Decades-Old Geometry Problem

March 1, 2021

To the surprise of experts in the field, a postdoctoral statistician has solved one of the most important problems in high-dimensional convex geometry.

A rogue wave and a sailboat.
fluid dynamics

The Grand Unified Theory of Rogue Waves

February 5, 2020

Rogue waves — enigmatic giants of the sea — were thought to be caused by two different mechanisms. But a new idea that borrows from the hinterlands of probability theory has the potential to predict them all.

Art for "New Turmoil Over Weighing Genes’ Share of Complex Traits"
genomics

New Turmoil Over Predicting the Effects of Genes

April 23, 2019

Promising efforts at disentangling the effects of genes and the environment on complicated traits may have been confounded by statistical problems.

Art for "How Network Math Can Help You Make Friends"
Quantized Academy

How Network Math Can Help You Make Friends

August 20, 2018

Studying the structure of existing friendships in your community can help you forge the best connections when forming a new circle of friends.

Photo of mathematician Donald Richards sitting in a Pennsylvania State University classroom.
Q&A

A Revealer of Secrets in the Data of Life and the Universe

April 11, 2018

The statistician Donald Richards lives to uncover subtle patterns hiding in real-world data.

520px photo of Barbara Engelhardt
Q&A

A Statistical Search for Genomic Truths

February 27, 2018

The computer scientist Barbara Engelhardt develops machine-learning models and methods to scour human genomes for the elusive causes and mechanisms of disease.

520px illustration for scale=free networks
network science

Scant Evidence of Power Laws Found in Real-World Networks

February 15, 2018

A new study challenges one of the most celebrated and controversial ideas in network science.

Rebecca Goldin
Q&A

Why Math Is the Best Way to Make Sense of the World

September 11, 2017

To tell truth from fiction, start with quantitative thinking, argues the mathematician Rebecca Goldin.