Daily Archives: 12 November 2008

When the normal approximation for Student t isn't good enough

Folk wisdom says that for all practical purposes, a Student-t distribution with 30 or more degrees of freedom is a normal distribution. Well, not for all practical purposes. For 30 or more degrees of freedom, the error in approximating the

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Architects versus engineers

Here’s a quote I ran across in the book Operating Systems. When an engineer builds a building, it’s very well built, but it’s so ugly that the people tear it down; when an architect builds a building, it’s very beautiful,

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