Poems.txt
Here is a poem from the Journal of Irreproducible Results due to
Norm Chansky of Swathmore, PA
contributed by Stephen Baker
Mean and SD 
by  Karl's question to his
Norman M. Chansky  Students:

The mean is a measure of location, 
The center of a population.  What are the distributional
 assumptions made by the
If at random a score you drew,  author of this poem? Do not
The mean's the most likely score you'd view.  be misled by the use of the
 word "location," often used
You could compute the mean in your slumber.  by those who prefer statistics
Sum the scores and divide by the number.  without distributional
 assumptions.
At the mean sample scores converge; 
From the mean these scores diverge. 

Near the mean the scores are many. 
In the tails, there's hardly any. 
To measure a distribution's variation,
From the mean find each score's deviation.
Each difference of D score now you square.
Sum all D scores, all scores' share.
Now this sum devide by N.
That's V, the variance, then.
The square root of V is called S.D.,
The gauge of a trait's variability.
We've found two moments of a distribution,
Developed from each score's contribution.
Picturing a universe, try to see,
Its center's the mean; its orbit, S.D.
=============================================================================
Here is the poem I (K. Wuensch) received when I asked the BIALIK server at
BRANDEIS.BITNET randomly to select a poem for me.
Plato, despair!
We prove by norms
How numbers bear
Empiric forms,
How random wrong
Will average right
If time be long
And errors slight;
But in our hearts
Hyperbole
Curves and departs
To infinity.
Error is boundless.
Nor hope nor doubt,
Though both be groundless,
Will average out.
Meditation on Statistical Method
======================================================================== 29
Sender: "Statistics Education Discussion"
From: Allen Herzog
Subject: Statistics Poem by V. J. Cunningham
The poem by V.J. Cunningham "Meditation on Statistical Method"
being available at Brandeis University (see note by K.J. Wuensch)
is not solely a matter of randomness. Cunningham taught English
literature for many years at Brandeis and poetry of high literary
quality about statistics is relatively rare. To further perturb
us about coincidence. In a very recent issue of "Physics Today"
the poem is quoted at the end of an article on the application of
statistics in physics.
Cunningham who was a poet who left a very small corpus of
work, mainly literary criticism, and a book of his collected poems
published in 1971. He was an epigrammatic poet and wrote a number
of short obscene epigrams of great elegance. The influence of
Martial and Catullus is present in his work. The quoted poem seems
to have been written sometime about 1946 and shows a clear understanding
of the statistical concepts he describes. He has one other poem with
a mathematical theme, some 4 lines about the calculus.
It is good to see his elegant and cynical work brought to the
attention of a statistical audience.
Allen
U50161@UICVM
J. V. Cunningham
========================================================================
After the students left my statistics class yesterday, I saw a
crumpled piece of notebook paper on the floor in the back of the
room where some of my less enthusiastic students like to sit. I
picked it up and was about to throw it away when my curiosity got
the best of me. I flattened it out and found the following
verses:
On statistical terminology
by Cory Lation
Whoever invented statistical terms
Had a head that was stuffed with worms.
All these new words are so much junk,
And if I don't learn them, I'm really sunk.
Why's the bellshaped curve called normal?
Is it normal to be so formal?
There's nothing mean about the mean.
Its just average, as is clearly seen.
And what's so standard about that deviation?
Its a really malicious creation.
Confusing students is its only function.
It frustrates and mystifies, in conjunction.
And who needs the variance?
It only rhymes with hairy ants.
Variance is what analysis is of,
But all my friends would just love
To take all the sums of squares we've seen
And put them within the instructor's between.
I'm just not sure about probability.
I think it caused the prof's early senility.
I often frequent relatively conditional joints,
But that won't get me statistical points.
"Histogram" throws me, at least a bit.
I remember the first time I heard of it.
I wanted an antihistogram to get rid of it.
But then I studied it, and after some beers,
I learned its a bar chartthere went my fears.
Just a bar chartlike Norm's tab at Cheers.
Skewness and kurtosis, there's a pair:
Something you'd wash out of your hair.
Research design, such a burn,
Just more weird terms to learn.
Your constructs are valid, so's your internal,
But if your validity isn't also external,
You should flush your data down the urinal
Or you'll go to a place where the heat is infernal
And study statistics for time eternal.
Then there's t, a test with jam and bread?
And F, the test that we all dread.
And what's so square about the chi?
If I don't get to the root of it, I'll just die.
Scatterplots, boxplots, stemsandleaves grow,
Sounds like a radio gardening show.
Heteroscedasticity, now there's a word.
I think its when a turtle mates with a bird.
Then we study regression analysis,
A major cause of mental paralysis.
Least squares I likeminimize the nerds!
They like numbers better than words.
The most cools straight linethat's what we need.
I think I know where that line will lead.
Straight out of this class.
Were nearly done with this morass,
And my rhymes are running out of gas.
There's no chance I'll ever pass....
From: Tom Stewart

Tom Stewart Phone: (518) 4423850
Center for Policy Research FAX: (518) 4423398
Milne 300
State University of New York
Albany, NY 12222 T.STEWART@ALBANY.EDU

Sender: UGA Humor List
From: Joe Mole
Subject: Magic of Statistics
To: Multiple recipients of list HUMOR
The Magic of Statistics
The statistician spends his days,
In figuring out the many ways,
In which a standard error can,
Enclose by bars the average man.
And having thus imprisoned him,
Perhaps at some researcher's whim,
Can with the same chicanery,
Enlarge the bars and set him free.
Or better yet, within the sample,
Locate some points with girth so ample,
That if by "choice" they were discarded,
Man and hypothesis are safeguarded.
==================================================================
Date: Fri, 25 Nov 1994 14:40:18 0500 (EST)
From: FLOM@MURRAY.FORDHAM.EDU
To: edstatl@jse.stat.ncsu.edu
Subject: A humorous poem
Well, maybe this isn't entirely appropriate for this list, but
what the heck.....Anyone who doesn't have a sense of humor can hit delete
now.
Dissertation Blues
or Why I should have paid attention in stats class
by Peter Flom
I've designed a great experiment
And collected all my data.
I've no idea what it all means
I'll get to that stuff later.
I've forgotten all the stats I learned,
And I never learned that much.
I needed it to pass my comps
But since then I've lost touch.
I'll do another lit review
And find another theory,
But when it's time to analyze,
Everything goes bleary.
So I hired a consultant
To tell me what I'd got
He looked at three years of my life
And answered "Not a lot".
"There is no dissertation here,
There aren't any theses
Basically what you have got
Is a great big pile of feces!"
"You should have called me years ago
Now get this through your head:
You've hired a physician
But the patient is quite dead".
End j
Hope you enjoyed it
Peter
flom@murray.fordham.edu