Geek Week 2012

Geek Week is a week-long festival of science aimed at SFU undergrad students. Its purpose (in addition to having fun!) is to promote the student community within the Faculty of Science and to get students from all faculties talking and thinking about science. This year, events took place January 23 - 27.

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Volunteers from the Dept. of Statistics and Actuarial Science did a fantastic job at showing how statistics can be both interesting and exciting. One of their activities, designed to illustrate a data visualization technique, was leading flash mob "living histograms" in the AQ; they organized passers-by by height and gender to create an informative, visually appealing 3D summary.  They also showed the importance of designed experiments by having participants drop paper helicopters of different designs;  the goal was to identify factors that maximize the helicopters' time in the air before hitting the ground.

 


At our booth, our volunteers showed participants a method for obtaining information about a sensitive question ("What percentage of SFU students cheat on exams?") while protecting the privacy of the respondents. They also had posters illustrating the Monty Hall problem, Simpson's Paradox, and how one can lie with data.

Thank you once again to our hard-working volunteers for their contagious enthusiasm for statistics!

Video: See Geek Week volunteers in action!  (Statistics and Actuarial Science is featured at minute 1:25.)

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