Saturday 3 July 2010

Analysing the UK Lotto Results

On our web site we have set up a program for you to download to analyse the triples appearing in the UK Lotto since it started.

The triple which has appeared most frequently from the start (No 1) on Saturday 19th November 1994 to the draw (No 1514) on Wednesday 30th June 2010 is 2, 23, 40 - it has appeared 9 times.

The program and instructions are available on our web site

We have used the statistics from the excellent Merseyworld Lotto site:

We will be modifying the program to identify the quadruples and the quintuples but this analysis takes so what longer!

As a possible extension, it might be interesting to identify triples which have never occurred.

Sunday 14 March 2010

Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

Some while ago I was a Lecturer in Management and Computer Studies. For some of these courses I taught Statistics. My first lecture was 'How to lie with Statistics'. I was interested in showing my students that it is very easy to mislead people with statistics using a number of different techniques for all sorts of reasons.

Recently I have started to read The Skeptical Environmentalist by Bjørn Lomborg (this is the link to Wikipedia entry for the book and this is the link to the book at Amazon UK).

The early chapters are a scathing attack on world environmental bodies using misleading at best and sometimes deliberately dishonest statistics to bolster their cases that the world is in an environmentally 'sick' state. These statistics would have made a fascinating case study in my first lecture.

During my lecturing, I also used the book by Darrell Huff entitled How to Lie with Statistics (this is the link to Amazon UK). This is where I got the idea for the first lecture!

Where did the original quotation "Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics" come from? Both Disraeli and Mark Twain are attributed but read this link for a full exposition.

That reminds me of when I was a little lad at school. I was asked to explain the comparative forms of ill. My problem was that illest did not sound right, so in my young mind I said "ill, iller, dead"! I know that this produced some hilarity in my teachers, who reminded me of it later in my schooling!

Sunday 28 February 2010

Ten Ideas that need development

These are 10 ideas which might make some money:

  1. A mobile download idea
  2. Making Gray Squirrels infertile
  3. Recycling software licences
  4. An e-mail address directory (like a telephone directory)
  5. Reduce lighting on motorways
  6. Making cheaper solar panels
  7. Thermo-plugs
  8. Overcoming boredom on planes
  9. Supplying Ethnic cookery books
  10. Can crushing
Since producing this list I have had an additional idea associated with item 4. We have telephone directories for landlines and there are a whole host of Directory enquiry services both on the internet and by phone. Why is there not a directory for mobiles?

Thursday 25 February 2010

Is IT ageist?

My experience is that IT is ageist.

Why do I say this?

Two reasons:
  • Staff are expected to learn about the new programming languages and new analysis techniques even if they are managers
  • During redundancy exercises which involve scoring often technical skills are used to determine an overall score in a redundancy pool of all staff below senior managers