Technical information, news, research, and opinion on avalanches, snow safety, and winter backcountry travel.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Most Dangerous Equation

I was wondering, will you reach me?—Kylie Minogue

With some of the first great skiing weather of the season, I'd like to present an interesting concept that I found at Princeton University. It's worth reading the longer explanation, but I'm including a shorter version below:

The Most Dangerous Equation ( shorter explanation here ).

From the article:

It is no revelation that humans don’t fully comprehend the effect that variation, and especially differential variation, has on what we observe.

What can we take away from De Moivre? Variations increase as sample size decreases and variations decrease as sample size increases.

Think about this the next time you're evaluating conditions. Like most things related to snow safety, De Moivre's equation works both ways.

No comments:

Post a Comment