The Theory That Wouldn’t Die

Edwin Green (Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources)

What is the difference between a guess and an inference? An inference is based on evidence and reasoning, and scientists use inference to develop theories. In this seminar, we will explore the life (and death?) of one particular theorem: the Bayes theorem of probability. We will trace the fascinating tale of how Bayes theorem has been declared dead several times by leading mathematical statisticians, only to keep popping up as investigators in other fields used it to solve real problems like cracking the Enigma code in WWII and locating missing nuclear bombs during the Cold War.

Course Number: 
11:090:101 section 05 index 11313