Bell curves in action

August 6, 2009 in Math

An exhibit at MOMA invites visitors to mark their heights on a wall. A normal distribution results:

Well, not quite. The distribution is actually slightly negatively skewed by the confounding presence of children, who are obviously shorter than adults - you can see this in the great number of names well below the central band which are not mirrored by names higher up. Rest assured, however, that the ex-children distribution is itself Gaussian.

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