Student Talk Series: Mark Meyer, January 28th @ 12 noon in Olin 268


Title:  I’m all about that Bayes, ’bout that Bayes.

Abstract:  A September 2014 New York Times article titled “The Odds, Continually Updated” discusses the growing popularity of Bayesian statistics both within and outside of the statistical community. This expansion is due in part to the growth of computing power over the last decade and a half. So what is Bayesian statistics? The title of the article, and indeed the article itself, suggest that Bayesian statistics uses, even requires, prior information to inform the analysis. But this is only a small aspect of the Bayesian approach. We can use Bayesian statistics to analyze any data and, as we shall see, it can even provide more informative solutions than the Frequentist, or classical, approach to many problems. This talk will discuss the two philosophies of statistics: Bayesian and Frequentist. In doing so, we will cover some history behind the Bayesian paradigm, introduce the general approach to Bayesian statistics, and discuss several real examples, in each case comparing the Bayesian and Frequentist approaches to each other.

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