Statistician’s guide to darts – updated

[Update below.] Software designer Nick Barry used the mathematics of probability to calculate the optimal darts strategy for players of varying skills, and turned the results in a series of infographics:

The critical issue is: Which part of the board should players of varying skills aim for?

Should they aim for the triple 20, with a big payout on a success, but a low score from a miss? Or, should they aim for the bullseye?

Alternatively, is there some other optimal location on the board they can aim for that, whilst not the highest scoring region, has a large expanse of middle-of-the-road point values. Would aiming for this region, even with an inaccurate shot, get a reasonable number of points such that, on average, the expected score is the highest that can be achieved?

The true answer to this riddle, as we will see, is that “it depends…”

Continue reading Statistician’s guide to darts – updated

The hidden cost of farmed fish

As ocean stocks dwindle, humanity turns increasingly to farmed fish. But does this actually make matters worse? Graphic artist Nigel Upchurch thinks so:

[Video link]

It matters which farmed fish you’re eating, as some species consume more than others. Salmon is the worst, as this table, from a paper by Albert G.J. Tacon and Marc Metian of the University of Hawaii, demonstrates:

The red arcs represent wild fish inputs, the yellow arcs farmed fish output. The numbers inside the circles show the ratio between the two. Numbers greater than one mean more wild fish is consumed than farmed fish produced. Upchurch provides additional fine print.

H/T: Nathan Yau

Giving Watson a personality

If your supercomputer is going on jeopardy, how do you give it an interesting voice and an appealing face? That’s the problem that confronted the Automata Studio and technology artist Joshua Davis, hired by IMB to give Watson personality.

If you can’t see this video, try here.

H/T: Nathan Yau.