Book Review: Super Crunchers by Ian Ayres


Thinking by Numbers

This was an enlightening and interesting book. Did you know….in the 1840’s Austrian physician Ignaz Semmelweis tried to save lives after he discovered with the help of numerical analysis, that washing hands between procedures reduced the mortality of patients. He was ridiculed by his profession and died at 47 after a nervous breakdown. Still to this day people refuse to pay as much attention to this as they should.

An example of the resistance to numerical analysis: pilots accept flight support software more than doctors accept database analysis because…….simply, unlike pilots, doctors don’t go down with their patients.

Interesting fact: Lead medical consultant on the TV show “House”, was Lisa Sanders. Her Diagnosis column for the New York Times Sunday Magazine was the inspiration for the show. Lisa was an Emmy award winning producer for CBS news before becoming a doctor that cares passionately about evidence based medicine. Evidence based medicine involves statistical analysis, in other words, those wonderful truth telling numbers.

There is much more to the book, and if your interested in statistics or taking it in college, this is a great book for showing you how important numbers are to the world. The book can be purchased at: Can be purchased as an audio book or a hard cover book here





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