From Reverend Bayes in the 18th century to the smartphone

University of Auckland
Publication date:
13 February 2019, 3:00pm - 13 February 2019, 4:30pm
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University of Auckland, lecture theatre SLT1, ground floor, Building 303, 38 Princes Street, Auckland
Professor Dr. Christine Müller

Reverend Bayes was searching for a proof of God's existence when he invented an experiment involving billiard balls.This experiment led him to a formula which is now known as Bayes’ formula.

With this formula, new information from an experiment can be easily included in a statistical analysis.  At first, the new resulting approach to statistical inference now called “Bayesian statistics” was not very widely accepted and there were many controversial discussions about this contentious new approach.

The first famous breakthrough by Bayesian statistics was in the Second World War where German submarines were detected and destroyed with this method. From then on, the number of applications in medicine, technology and economics exploded.

In this talk, Professor Dr. Christine Müller will take you through Bayes’ original experiment, then demonstrate the principle of Bayesian statistics via an example from genetics. Finally, she’ll show you how a smartphone can learn from inputs of the user by updating using Bayes’ principle.

Professor Dr. Christine Müller is Full Professor of Statistics with Applications in Engineering Sciences in the Faculty of Statistics of the University of Dortmund.

Last updated: 2019-01-10