The series hosts a seminar every other week on current research topics. The seminar often features an invited guest speaker and occasionally local faculty members, students or others affiliated with the department. The usual time of the seminar is 3:30-4:30 pm on Fridays. Professors  Tatiyana V Apanasovich (, Qing Pan ( and Emre Barut ( ) are the Seminar Series Coordinators.

Department Seminars in Fall 2014

Upcoming Seminar

Date: Friday, February 6th, 3:30-4:30pm

Location: Duques Hall, Room 251

Title: Two Relatively Elementary Statistical Problems with Interesting Implications for Law and Public Policy

Speaker: Dr. Joseph L. Gastwirth, Department of Statistics, The George Washington University

Abstract: The growth of economic inequality over several decades has drawn the attention of policy makers. The most commonly measure of income inequality, the Gini index, however, does not adequately capture the shift in income in favour of the upper end of the distribution. A simple semi-robust modification, which replaces the mean by the median, will be shown to properly capture this shift. Analysis of income data from the U.S. shows that the new measure of income inequality has risen twice as fast as the Gini index has during the 1967-2012 period. In June of 2012, two major courts in the U.S. viewing the same statistical data showing that the representation of African-Americans in the jury pools of Kent County, Michigan after the county introduced a faulty computer program was only one-half their proportion of the community, reached opposite conclusions. The Michigan Supreme Court, which did not find that the data supported the claim of under-representation, adopted a new statistical criterion: the “disparity of the risk” needs to be at least .50. It will be shown that this measure is equivalent to the Kolmogoroff-Smirnoff distance between two distributions and that if that criterion was applied to other areas of social and medical science, virtually no new innovation would satisfy it.