Tuesday, February 28, 2006

some statistics terminology fun

In my Statistical Learning Theory class, the professor made a funny anecdote about the difference in terminology between the fields of computer science and statistics. The point of Larry Wasserman's short discussion was to mention that the term 'inference' means two slightly different things for those two fields. The funny part of the discussion was when John Lafferty told us about a talk he attended a few years ago. During this talk, the speaker also talked about the differences in terminology between those two fields. The speaker talked about the term 'data-mining' which is often used in computer science. The analogous term in statistics is 'over-fitting.' This should make you laugh because CS people view 'data-mining' as too much of a bad thing and statisticians view 'over-fitting' as too much of a bad thing.