Monthly Archives: September 2015

Report on HUB19 – Intuistics

HUB wiki page for this unseminar

Another successful evening! With around 60 people* and several helping hands on deck, people were intrigued from the beginning with their werewolf diagnoses and testing kits, with several groups chatting quite happily. It seemed almost a shame to interrupt this with a welcome and intro to the evening’s programme. Bernd Klaus then gave a fun flash talk on ‘cheating with charts’, warming people up to the theme of the evening and getting people laughing at graphing (hats off to him for that). For the ice-breaker, several people guessed that there was a high chance of pairs of people with the same birthday. This was partly because there were twice as many people as we expected and partly because it’s a well-known example… but of course this didn’t matter – people liked getting off their feet to move around and talk to each other. Holger’s magic trick was intriguing, even to him I think – I still don’t know how he managed to guess people’s cards every time (perhaps parapsychology could be a topic for a future HUB, as long as we cross Holger’s palms with silver). Sam Caddick was a natural host for the game show. People seemed to intuitively know the right answer but for the wrong reason, but that was fine as whatever people said it stimulated discussion (or heated debate). The simulation with playing cards was enjoyed by all and (remarkably) gave the right answer, which was handy as none of us were that confident in explaining it analytically… The confidence quiz showed that people are indeed overconfident, with most groups giving correct ranges for between three and six of the answers. We then found the werewolf, with a brief chat and cartoon explanation of Bayesian statistics, disease prevalence and false-positive rates. It just remained to make some closing remarks, thank our guest presenters (Bernd and Sam) with wine, apologise for not buying wine for our in-house magician (Holger), and then retire to the foyer for wine and snacks kindly provided by HFLYS.

Thanks to everyone who made it happen. I’m looking forward to the next one.

Explanatory slides used on the night

(* – about twice as many who put their names on the doodle.)