Coincidences appear on every scale

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You have likely heard of the birthday paradox — one of the mathematician’s better-known party tricks which highlights the surprisingly significant probability that some pair of people in a room share the same birthday. …

Greater flexibility — or more opportunities to get it wrong?

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A riddle for you.

It’s 2020. I wake up, pour myself a bowl of cornflakes (milk first, cereal second — obviously) and check the news. Then I go out into the garden and lock myself in the shed with a note on the door saying to come and get me…

This story is about collaboration instead of competition

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In previous articles, we’ve discussed the importance of collaboration between the experts working in different fields of study. Real world problems don’t tend to fall neatly into the scope of one particular area of research — we need to learn to face problems together by not only sharing what we…

A trainee actuary’s perspective

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Human mortality is not a deterministic process (unless you happen to be where remaining lifetime is used as a currency). As such, the estimate of future mortality rates is one of the central assumptions in many pieces of advice that actuaries produce for their clients…

Keep your eyes open for these developments in deep learning

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If you’ve ever been to see an opthamologistst, you’ve probably undergone a routine procedure where a specialist takes a picture of the back of your eye.

You will not be surprised to hear that retinal images are rather handy for diagnosing eye diseases. However, you may not have expected that…

Why You Should Always Plot Your Data Before Jumping to Conclusions

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Have you ever wondered what statisticians do for fun? You might think that they would enjoy going to casinos and ruining people’s nights by lecturing them about how they’re throwing money away by betting against the odds. …

Maximise your likelihood of statistical success with this quick and easy guide

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Often, you’ll have some level of intuition — or perhaps concrete evidence — to suggest that a set of observations has been generated by a particular statistical distribution. Similar phenomena to the one you are modelling may have been shown to be explained well by a certain distribution. The setup…

Precision, Recall, AUC and more — demystified

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It’s 4am and you’re on your seventh coffee. You’ve trawled the forums to find the most sophisticated model you can. You’ve set up your preprocessing pipeline and you’ve picked your hyperparameters. Now, time to evaluate your model’s performance.

You’re shaking with excitement (or it could be the caffeine overdose). This…

Informing the most difficult decisions

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A tiny new human is surrounded by machines and sensors.

A doctor looks on in concern. She knows the odds.


The survival rate for a baby born at 23 weeks.

She puts the thought aside and does what she can.

Inside The NICU

The is an environment…

The lowdown on blogdown

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A personal website is a great place to showcase your work and your achievements. We all know that whether you want to impress at work or whether you want your CV to go to the top of the pile on a…

Andrew Hetherington

Actuary-in-training and data enthusiast based in London, UK.

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