Posts written by Chris Triggs (6)


Professor Chris Triggs came to the department in 1990 from the former DSIR. Chris graduated PhD from Auckland. Chris's current research interests include experimental design, biometrics, and multivariate analysis.

May 22, 2012

80% of our students are above average

In Lake Wobegon all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.   We laugh because it is impossible for everybody to be above average.  It is quite possible, however, for 80% of the population to be above average. Take ten people two of whom die at birth and eight die on their hundredth birthdays. In our sample the average life expectancy is 80, and 80% live longer than average. Even if our two unfortunates live until they are 99, 80% still live longer than average.  So for any fraction, p%, other than 0% or 100% it is entirely possible for “p% of the population to be taller /shorter/ fatter / thinner / longer lived / or… than average.”


November 4, 2011

Data Science a sport? – a very profitable one

From the Sydney Morning Herald, Making Statistics a Sport

August 2, 2011

Question-wording effects in surveys

David Farrar at Kiwiblog provides some new local examples and discussion of question-wording effects in surveys, including the gender/pay issue and same sex marriage.

“With poll questions there is rarely a clearly “right” or “wrong” question. There can be a dozen different ways to ask a question. The important thing is that the poll results make it very clear the exact question that was asked, and that reporting of the results does the same.”

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August 1, 2011

Telling Data Stories: Essential Dialogues for Comparative Reasoning

We congratulate our colleagues Maxine Pfannkuch, Matt Regan, Chris Wild and Nick Horton who have been recognised by the American Statistical Association for the best paper in 2011 in the Journal of Statistical Education, Telling Data Stories: Essential Dialogues for Comparative Reasoning.

This is the second major recognition on the world stage in the last year for this group, following on from their read paper before the Royal Statistical Society on World Statistics Day, 20/10/2010.

June 10, 2011

If you haven’t seen it yet…

April 15, 2011

Public Perception of Risk Interview

David Spiegelhalter: Winton Professor of the Public Perception of Risk at Cambridge University was interviewed by Kathryn Ryan on Nine to Noon on Tuesday:

You can follow the link or download the podcast for your iPod or mp3 player.