Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Unrepentant Geekery, Part Deux *UPDATED*

Now with more explanation, below.

SOFA, bitchez.

p = .738

My heart flutters.

Statistics have been the bane of my existence since junior year in college and the stats course that was required for my anthropology major. The class was taught by a wee, marginally insane Scotsman who claimed to be able to identify the county in which any given scotch was distilled, simply by sniffing it.

Suffice it to say that I would have done better if the class had focused on the whisky and not so much on the numbers. It got so bad that I resorted to carrying the floppy disk with my homework projects on it (this was in the long long ago time far far away, when data were stored on bendy rectangular media the size of a cd sleeve) through the library security zone and actually rubbing it on the sensor so I could say whoops, disk must've gotten bunged and take the blind F rather than letting the TA see incontrovertible evidence of my incompetence.

The prof ended up giving everyone a C instead of the Fs we deserved since failing an entire class presumably would not have reflected well on his teaching skills. The TA went on to pursue a career as a car show model. I kept my textbook and made occasional and inevitably tear-inducing attempts at using it as a reference over the years.

And now I found SOFA, and my life has changed. It is an open-source online stats package that evaluates your data and walks you through the process of selecting tests. It cranks out graphics. It produces results I can use. I understand, finally, and now I still weep, but this time in joy and relief.

Oh, science. We're on again.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your post had me a little confused. So I showed my partner and he seemed to get as excited as you seem to be.

For the rest of us, she found a site online that will assist her in making charts. I guess it a geek thing (kinda like Homer).