PerspectiveSTATISTICS

The future lies in uncertainty

Science  18 Jul 2014:
Vol. 345, Issue 6194, pp. 264-265
DOI: 10.1126/science.1251122

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Summary

Statisticians have celebrated a lot recently. 2013 marked the 300th anniversary of Jacob Bernoulli's Ars Conjectandi, which used probability theory to explore the properties of statistics as more observations were taken. It was also the 250th anniversary of Thomas Bayes' essay on how humans can sequentially learn from experience, steadily updating their beliefs as more data become available (1). And it was the International Year of Statistics (2). Now that the bunting has been taken down, it is a good time to take stock of recent developments in statistical science and examine its role in the age of Big Data.