Blog Profile / The Numbers Guy

Filed Under:Academics / Mathematics
Posts on Regator:577
Posts / Week:1.8
Archived Since:December 12, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Behind the Numbers: Song Streaming

Streaming music may be a boon for those interested in knowing exactly how many times their songs are played, and by whom. But managing per-song, per-play transactions isn’t a simple task.

Number of the Day: $200

Late University of North Carolina basketball coach Dean Smith left $200 to every letter winner who played for him during his 36-year run "to enjoy a dinner out." That's a priceless gesture.

Number of the Day: $1 Trillion

For the second time this month (at least), a Wall Street analyst has pegged Apple hitting the $1 trillion level in market capitalization. This time it was Cantor Fitzgerald, written up by the crew at Moneybeat. That about covers it.

Behind the Numbers: Lightning Strikes Thrice (and Then Again)

Most bowlers would be thrilled if the stars aligned just once and they rolled a 300 game. For Hakim Emmanuel of Stoughton, Mass., the stars aligned one Thursday in late February, when he rolled 12 strikes in a row during the first game in his doubles league at Westgate Lanes in Brockton, a Boston-area city. Then they aligned twice more for a perfect 900 series.

Behind the Numbers: The Math Behind PCE

When the U.S. Federal Reserve assesses the rate of inflation in the nation, it prefers to use something called the personal consumption expenditures price index. The PCE captures how changing prices influence consumer behavior.

March Madness and Worker Productivity

The NCAA men's basketball tournament starts this week and with it we get the annual estimate of lost wages paid to distracted and unproductive workers. This year, according to calculations by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the cost could reach as high as $1.9 billion. How accurate is that number?

The Best of Pi Day Poetry

The Numbers on Saturday asked readers to send along their best attempts at a pi-ku in honor of Pi Day. After sifting through scores of submissions, from the silly to the sublime, we're pleased to present our favorites

Celebrating Pi Day, With a Pi-Ku

Pi Day--celebrated on 3/14, or the month/date format that coincides with the numerals 3.14 that begin pi--is the celebration of the irrational number that represents the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter. Come celebrate with us and write your own pi-ku.

Behind the Numbers: Drilling Down on Illegal Immigration

The Center for Migration Studies this month unveiled a new database of illegal immigrants broken down at national, state and sub-state levels. Among the findings at a national level: About two-thirds of unauthorized residents have access to a computer or the Internet and 55% speak English well or very well.

Reader Mailbag: More Food for Thought

Following last weekend’s Numbers column about dietary guidelines, a reader pointed out that the Harvard School of Public Health has a beef with the USDA’s MyPlate icon. So Harvard has created its own icon.

Behind the Numbers: Where to Find Help Counting Calories

Recommendations for healthy eating are often based on a 2,000-calorie diet, but that figure isn’t appropriate for everyone. Some people need more calories, some need less. Now, the government is getting in the game of helping Americans figure out how much is right for them.

Number of the Day: 5000

For the second consecutive day, The Numbers is going back to the Nasdaq 5000 well for its Number of the Day honoree. Congratulations to our first repeat winner.

Number of the Day: 5000

After rising 328.29 points last month, the Nasdaq Composite Index stands 36.47 points away from the 5000 level last seen in 2000. It took 29 years to hit 5000 the first time. Now, 15 years and a brutal bear market later, that milestone is again within reach.

How Much Have Sea Levels Climbed? It’s Hard to Say

This week in The Numbers, our fearless numerical explorer Jo Craven McGinty dives into sea level measurements. Her finding? Sea levels are hard to pin down. Data collection has been inconsistent. And the physics of the moving world isn't helping things.

Number of the Day: 2/29

Happy birthday, leap day babies! The Numbers, fascinated by all things leap, would never forget. While those fortunate enough to have been born on Feb. 29 won't have an actual "birthday" this year, that doesn't mean they have no reason to celebrate. They were still born. But when to celebrate?

Train of Thought: Lost Glove

Walking to the train station this morning in subfreezing weather, The Numbers (emphasis on the numb) learned we'd lost another glove. That's the second incomplete pair we've had this winter. No glove to protect the digits. That got us thinking about all the lonely gloves we've spotted on the ground this winter. How many?

Reader Mailbag: Behind the Numbers on Price Differences

On Saturday, The Numbers examined how regional price differences affect purchasing power, and several readers noted that the most dramatic differences are related to housing. That’s true. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis publishes differences in the costs of rents, goods and other expenses across states and metropolitan areas. Show More Summary

Revisiting the Oscar Odds

Late last week, The Numbers took a look at the odds being put on best picture and found that a "B" movie was likely to win. We were right in that regard. Congratulations, "Birdman". However, forced to pick one of the "B" movies to win an Oscar pool, and we went with "Boyhood". We were wrong there.

Oscar Odds: Best Bet for Best Picture?

If The Numbers were a betting blog, we'd pick a movie that starts with "B" to take best-picture honors in Sunday's Academy Awards ceremony. Right now, the race for best picture seems to have come down to two players -- "Birdman" and "Boyhood". Show More Summary

Behind The Numbers: Factoring Cost of Living Into Poverty Thresholds

As the president and others have been grappling with how to define wealth and the middle class, the discussion has ignored the fact that across the country, there are vast regional differences in the cost of living. However, in the past, the U.S. Show More Summary

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