The Egyptian writer and winner of the 1988 Nobel Prize for Literature Naguib Mahfouz is quoted as saying “You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” Then arguably Statistics is the wisest of all sciences, posing many questions, providing few absolute answers. In this talk, data and statistical graphics guide an interview with an historian concerning some of the historical truths and myths that surround the development of our society, culture, health and economic development. Situating data within an historical context will sometimes generate interesting questions that are not easily answerable, and in some cases provide answers that suggest we may not yet have the right questions.
Douglas Peers is Dean of Arts and Professor of History at the University of Waterloo. His research focuses on the origins and consolidation of the colonial state in 19th century India, with particular reference to the militarization of colonial cultures and institutions. He co-edited India and the British Empire (2012), a companion volume in the Oxford History of the British Empire.
Don McLeish is Professor of Statistics and Actuarial Science at the University of Waterloo where he has taught since 1982. His research is in probability, statistical methods and their application to financial data including Monte Carlo methods. He was cofounder of the University of Waterloo’s Center for Advanced Studies in Finance, and author of many papers and three books in Statistics and Monte Carlo Methods. He was president of the Statistical Society of Canada (2010-2011) and was awarded the SSC gold medal in 2007.
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St. Jerome's University
University of Waterloo, Faculty of Arts
University of Waterloo, Faculty of Mathematics