Bighorn Canyon, Montana
Trace the shape of the hill in the foreground and what do you see? I see a curve approximating a normal probability distribution, a.k.a. Gaussian distribution, a.k.a. “bell-shaped curve” for those of you who remember grading on the curve. (Do they still do that?) This one doesn’t look much like it’s bell-shaped though. It’s flatter than the standard normal distribution (mean=0, standard deviation=1.0) from which the bell-shaped moniker was derived. This one appears to have a standard deviation of about 2.5 based on my crude guessing. What does all this mean? Nothing really except, to borrow an old adage, “you can take the boy out of statistics but you can’t take the statistics out of the boy.” Or at least it will take more than 14 years of retirement from the field of statistics for that to happen.