Thursday, February 16, 2012

Of Predictors and Outcomes

My fellow graduate student from the department is a statistician at heart. That is the language she understands without any difficulty. Not so articulate while talking about things in general, she could go on and on if you ask her to talk about statistics. When she reads a paper, she skips the first few pages and dives right into the methodology. The last time she did a class presentation on factor analysis, she went on and on, with great gusto, and excitedly showed us slides of a bunch of codes she had written. She swears by statistical methods. I fail to see how statistics would excite someone so much, but I guess that is what people feel when I tell them about a lot of things I do. She even wore a hat once that had the symbol of “theta-hat” printed on it (the term “hat” is used to represent some estimated value of a variable). The list of things she does that show her passion for stats is endless.

I was out for a few days, almost bed-ridden due to a viral infection attack. My face hurt, my voice hurt, and my entire body hurt. When I came back to work, she asked me where I was. I told her I had suffered an ear infection. She frowned at me, clearly trying to articulate her next question. Remember, I said she is not very good at articulating non-stats stuff. I guess she wanted to ask me how it affected me, or how much pain I have been in. She looked dead serious when she asked me,

“So what was the outcome?”

I smiled, knowing exactly what she meant. Perhaps characters like Sheldon Coopers are borne inspired by reality.

(Footnote: If you did not get the subtle reference, she was referring to an “outcome variable” of my ear infection. If you were a bio-geek, you might have called it a “somatic response”. Do I do it too? Yes, sometimes, at a delta level. Wonder if you noticed I just used the word “footnote” and “delta”.)



CYNOSURE said...

haha...this post reminded me of how I behave in some of the situations and my friends reaction on that... ;)'s an award for you...hope you like it... :)

Kunal said...

There are all kinds of characters around us and its not they are weird, different or uninteresting. They are just the way they are and they are all unique. They are good at few things and not so good at others. But, at the end of the day, they are just being themselves.. :-)

Sheldon Cooper's character is a piece of art. :P

cm chap said...

Love of the subject I guess :) But I'm sure all of us have done such things when we are passionate about something.