Jennifer Lang

Book Review: Weapons of Math Destruction

Today’s book review is Weapons of Math Destruction, How big data increases inequality and threatens Democracy, by Cathy O’Neil. Cathy O’Neil is a data scientist, with a PhD in mathematics, who blogs here. She has built models, and also tried to deconstruct them for those affected by them. This book is a thoughtful examination of the uses…

Book Review: Superforecasting

Today’s book review is Superforecasting: The art and science of Prediction, by Philip E Tetlock and Dan Gardner. When I explain my work as an actuary to people not involved in finance, I explain that I work out how much money the insurance company needs to set aside from the premiums it receives to make sure…

The latest statistics on public and private schools

I’ve been challenged by my fellow blogger Geek in Sydney to write about the recent public and private school data from the ABS. The Sydney Morning Herald reported yesterday that the Exodus from public to private schools stops. They report, According to new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics released on Thursday, 65.2 per cent of Australian students attended…

Is mortality improving? Who for?

Late last year, there was a flurry of mainstream interest in mortality statistics – here is the New York Times reporting on a study by two economists (Ann Case and Angus Deaton) The paper: documents a marked increase in the all-cause mortality of middle-aged white non-Hispanic men and women in the United States between 1999 and 2013. This…