St. Patrick’s Day: The Statistics Legacy Behind Guinness

William Sealy Gosset worked at the Guinness brewery in Dublin, Ireland, in 1904 as an experimental brewer. His job was to experiment with the process to improve the taste while also increasing quantity and decreasing costs.

In his creative problem-solving to address these challenges, Gosset is responsible for inspiring a ground-breaking method for determining likely error of an estimate, depending on your sample size.

During his experiments, Gosset discovered that using small samples of hops did not allow him to distinguish the differences between batches of beer. After years of research, he developed Student’s t-test, a fundamental statistical method for testing hypothesis when the population standard deviation is unknown, which is widely used to this day.

Gosset’s legacy continues today, as his research is used to get a sense of how likely a certain result would be, compared to random chance. If the chance is low, the result is considered “significant.”

As you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, raise a glass in honor of William Sealy Gosset, who made an important contribution to statistical significance using beer.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Related Posts

Untitled design (1)

Statistics Books to Read This Summer

The sunshine is calling and so is summer reading! You’ve worked hard this school year and deserve a well-earned break. This is Statistics is here to keep your statistics skills sharp, and who knows, maybe you could learn something new! Here’s our round-up of books to put in your beach bag, take on vacation or read…

0 comments
Untitled design

Ming Li: Turning Big Data into Action at Amazon

Amazon continues to innovate and become more efficient in its customer service, packaging and overall business. And statisticians are helping to do it! Ming Li, a research scientist at Amazon, uses data and statistics to help the company answer questions and make important business decisions. We talked with Ming about his journey in statistics and…

0 comments

Comments are closed.