Montana State University

March 21 lecture to focus on statistics, diverse sources of information

February 28, 2013 -- MSU News Service

Andrew Gelman, statistician, will speak March 21 at MSU.   High-Res Available

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571

BOZEMAN -- A free public lecture about statistically combining information from diverse sources will be given at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, March 21, in the Procrastinator Theater in the Strand Union Building at Montana State University.

Andrew Gelman, professor of statistics and political science and director of the Applied Statistics Center at Columbia University, will present "Ronald Reagan is a Statistician and Other Examples of Learning From Diverse Sources of Information."

Are you better off than you were four years ago? Are beautiful people more likely to have daughters? Why are voters in rich East Coast states so liberal? How many people do you know? Should you check your house for radon gas? Those and other questions are best answered by combining information from different sources, according to Gelman who will discuss ways to combine information statistically. He will also discuss how this can go wrong, in the context of several examples in social science and policy.

Gelman has received the Outstanding Statistical Application award from the American Statistical Association, the award for best article published in the American Political Science Review, and the Council of Presidents of Statistical Societies award for outstanding contributions by a person under the age of 40. His books include "Bayesian Data Analysis" (with John Carlin, Hal Stern and Don Rubin), "Teaching Statistics: A Bag of Tricks" (with Deb Nolan), "Data Analysis Using Regression and Multilevel/Hierarchical Models" (with Jennifer Hill), and, most recently, "Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State: Why Americans Vote the Way They Do" (with David Park, Boris Shor, Joe Bafumi and Jeronimo Cortina).

Gelman's lecture is sponsored by the Department of Mathematical Sciences, and is presented by the College of Letters and Science's Distinguished Speakers Series. The series, which began in the spring of 2011, brings distinguished scholars to MSU to give a public talk and to meet with faculty and students to enrich the intellectual life on campus and to enhance research connections.

For more information about this and other lectures in the Letters and Science Distinguished Speakers Series, visit or call (406) 994-4288.


Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or