Posts Tagged ‘ heuristics ’

Some code to help you remember numbers

January 17, 2012
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Some code to help you remember numbers

Two posts ago we showed you the digit sound system for remembering numbers. This week we provide two computer programs to help you create mnemonics.

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Do cents follow Benford’s Law?

October 5, 2011
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Do cents follow Benford’s Law?

Benford's law is an amazing thing. If you know the probability distribution that classes of "natural" numbers should have, you can detect where people might be faking data: phony tax returns, bogus scientific studies, etc.

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Dollars and cents: How are you at estimating the total bill?

September 30, 2011
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Dollars and cents: How are you at estimating the total bill?

When estimating the cost of a bunch of purchases, a useful heuristic is rounding to the nearest dollar. (In fact, on US income tax returns, one is allowed to omit the cents). If prices were uniformly distributed, the following two heuristics would be equally accurate:* Rounding each item up or down to the nearest dollar and summing * Rounding each...

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Tipping heuristics

April 28, 2010
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Tipping heuristics

INCREDIBLY SIMPLE CALCULATIONS MADE SIMPLE Yes, we all know how to calculate 15% or 20% exactly, but it’s fun to use tipping heuristics and even more fun to make crowded graphs of how they compare to each other. (Sorry for the junky chart. Open for suggestions, in the words of Tom Waits.) Here are a

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Get at least 12 observations before making a confidence interval?

April 14, 2010
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Get at least 12 observations before making a confidence interval?

How many observations should you have before constructing a confidence interval?

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