Presented By O'Reilly and Cloudera
Make Data Work
September 26–27, 2016: Training
September 27–29, 2016: Tutorials & Conference
New York, NY

Statistics and the art of deception

11:30am–12:00pm Tuesday, 09/27/2016
Data 101
Location: 1B 01/02 Level: Beginner
Average rating: ****.
(4.33, 3 ratings)

Data scientists use statistics to reach meaningful conclusions about data. Unfortunately, statistical tools are often misapplied, resulting in errors that cost both time and money. By being aware of the most common mistakes involving statistics, we can become better and more productive data scientists.

To illustrate the kinds of problems that often arise, Deborah Berebichez presents examples of egregious misuses of statistics in business, technology, science, and the media and analyzes them through a review of basic statistical concepts, including sample size, the law of large numbers, statistical significance, and various types of statistical bias. Deborah then provides a statistical regulation checklist to weed out the most common errors and reduce the chance of being fooled by statistics.

Photo of Deborah Berebichez

Deborah Berebichez


Deborah Berebichez is a physicist, data scientist, and the cohost of Discovery Channel’s Outrageous Acts of Science TV, where she uses her physics background to explain the science behind extraordinary engineering feats. Deborah has also appeared as an expert on the Travel Chanel, NOVA, CNN, FOX, MSNBC, and numerous international media outlets. Deborah is currently the chief data scientist at Metis, where she leads the creation and growth of exceptional data science training opportunities, ensuring the excellence of Metis’s data science bootcamps, corporate training, professional development, and online programs. She is an active contributor to the national data science ecosystem through frequent public speaking and presentations on panels at data science conferences.

Deborah’s work in science education and outreach has been recognized by the Wall Street Journal, Oprah, The Dr. Oz Show, TED, DLD, Wired, Ciudad de las Ideas, and others. Her passion is to empower young people to learn science and to improve the state of STEM education in the world. She is a John C. Whitehead Fellow at the Foreign Policy Association, a winner of the Society of SHPE’s STAR Award, and a recipient for Top Latina Tech Blogger by the Association of Latinos in Social Media LATISM. Deborah is the first Mexican woman to graduate with a physics PhD from Stanford University, and she completed postdoctoral fellowships at Columbia University’s Applied Math and Physics Department and at NYU’s Courant Institute for Mathematical Sciences, where she carried out research in the area of acoustic waves. She invented a highly effective technique in the field of wireless communications whereby a cell phone user can communicate with a desired target user in a location far away.