Today's title comes from the following poem by statistician and poet Eveline Pye (introduced to this blog on 18 October, 2011).
Numerical Landscape by Eveline Pye
Like a tracker, I smell the earth
on my fingers, listen for the slightest
echo as I stare out at a world
where bell-shaped curves loom
as mountains and negative exponentials
foretell dangerous descents, imminent
disaster. All around, cliff edges crash
down to restless seas while a solitary
outlier shines in the southern sky: a freak
of random sampling or a guiding light?
Are others buried deep, confounded
by experimental design? On my path,
a decision tree, so many branches spring
from its trunk, so many choices. Statistics
feels like poetry –- endless searching,
Julian Champkin's lively article, "Eveline Pye: Poetry in Numbers" in Significance (The Royal Statistical Society, September 2011) is my source for this poem.
For more poetry related to mathematics, enjoy a visit to talkingwriting.com where the editors have several articles and are posting a new math-related poem each Friday during January and February -- including, today, "Zero-Knowledge Proofs," a poem of mine.