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Bayes' rule found AF 447

Few realize the key role played by a long-discredited 18th century mathematical theory in finding and recovering the wreckage of AF 447.

After a fruitless two-year search for Air France Flight 447, Bayes’ rule pointed to its most probable location—where it was found after only one week of undersea searching.

The 2009 crash of AF 447 was one of the most mysterious accidents in aviation history.  Read More 
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A New (& little) take on the Periodic Table

I just read and enjoyed The Periodic Table: A Very Short Introduction, by Eric R. Scerri (Oxford 2012).

The periodic table of the elements is one of the icons of science. As author Eric Scerri writes, “The periodic table ranks as one of the most fruitful and unifying ideas in the whole of modern science,  Read More 
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CHANCE features Theory/Die

CHANCE magazine this week: ”The Theory That Would Not Die is ...carefully balanced to be accessible to a lay audience while captivating to a statistical one. Told without formulas, this eloquently written story is the history of an idea—a far-from-exhaustive, but enlightening, chronicle of the triumphs of Bayesian analysis.”

CHANCE's cover story is an interview with me about writing the book.

Chance editors interviewed me extensively – in Paris, in Maryland, in Washington DC., and by email. They asked probing questions– including my opinion of some of the book's critics on Amazon.com.

The issue also has a review by Christian Robert and a Letter from Editor Sam Behseta.


Chance is the American Statistical Association’s magazine for general readers interested in analyzing data.

And who are the three men on the cover? Laplace is front and center – where he should be. Thomas Bayes is on the left and Harold Jeffreys on the right.  Read More 
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Bayes at Microsoft Research

Tracing the origins of spam filters back to the U-boat battles of World War II. Hearing about Stanford's lack of interest in probabilities in the late 1980s. And an intriguing question: Was Bill Gates a Bayesian?

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Palomares Cleanup

Spain has announced that the US may cleanup the results of an H-bomb accident it caused in the little village of Palomares 46 years ago.

Almost half a century after the U.S. Air Force accidentally dropped four hydrogen bombs near a remote Spanish fishing village, the Obama administration may help clean up plutonium-polluted soil  Read More 
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