Time Travel via Statistics and other Interesting Things…

I just read a very fun article:

WSJ, Statistics Time Travel

One thing that I’d love to see studied using these techniques is how Roger Federer compares to a previous generation of tennis pros–the Pete Sampras era of the 90s. I have no doubt that he would be up at the top, but one certainly gets the sense that the field has been relatively flat over the last decade compared to the decade before that…or maybe I’m just becoming an old codger.

Another article, this one perhaps of particular interest to students of Frontiers is

Slate, Facial Profiling

The students were given an excerpt of this to critique for the essay question on our recent midterm.

On the Climate/Earth Science front, there are two things I found that are worth checking out. One is that Peter DeMenocal, one of our very own Columbia professors and a Frontiers lecturer is featured in a PBS documentary on how humans evolved:

PBS, Becoming Human

The other is an interview with Stephen Scheider–who as a graduate student wrote a paper suggesting that we should worry about global *cooling* but later found that it was the result of an error!

TNR, Interview With Stephen Scheider

Turning to Astronomy, we have a wonderful run down of all the different proxies used for determining astronomical distances:

Ned Wright, The Distance Ladder

And a student of mine directed me to this. It’s strangely inspiring (“A still more glorious dawn awaits, not a sunrise, but a galaxy-rise. A morning filled with four-hundred billion suns.”):

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