University of Malta
 

Statistics
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Statistics had been for a long time largely identified with its classically central concerns with sampling and hypothesis testing problems.  These problems arise continually in almost all attempts at scientifically studying, controlling or managing, contexts involving uncertainty and variability of attributes within groups of individuals.  In more recent times the impact of powerful computational techniques and a keener interest in incorporating more changes involving time had developed large areas of interface between statistics and other mathematical areas.  
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Moreover a wider, more liberal interpretation of statistical research, both applied and theoretical, reveals a strong underlying current as a more engaging intellectual enterprise within society at large which nowadays cannot be denied its strong cultural undertones.  The subject has contributed huge advances in intellectual debate and dialetic while applications amenable to numeric quantification and categorical classification as well as to deep questions some with profound philosophical content have sophisticated their statistical underpinning at a deeper level.  Nevertheless, it could be argued that the proposed solutions to the more delicate problems are still largely in their infancy.  In fact in a more intensive and broad way it is the modelling aspect which has in contemporary times become statistics’ more useful and meaningfully articulated role. This modelling potential is being emphasized and exercised at all levels in a manner which has modified considerably both cultural and technical discourses.  But it has also been practised in an abusive and incorrect manner in some instances.
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Last Updated: 13 October 2008

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