Xian pointed me to this recycling of a classic probability error. It’s too bad it was in the New York Times, but at least it was in the Opinion Pages, so I guess that’s not so bad. And, on the plus side, several of the blog commenters got the point.
What I was wondering, though, was who was this “Yitzhak Melechson, a statistics professor at the University of Tel Aviv”? This is such a standard problem, I’m surprised to find a statistics professor making this mistake. I was curious what his area of research is and where he was trained.
I started by googling Yitzhak Melechson but all I could find was this news story, over and over and over and over again. Then I found Tel Aviv University and navigated to its statistics department but couldn’t find any Melechson in the faculty list. Next stop: entering Melechson in the search engine at the Tel Aviv University website. It came up blank.
One last try: I entered the Yitzhak Melechson into Google Scholar. Here’s what came up:
Your search – Yitzhak Melechson – did not match any articles
Computing wrong probabilities for the lottery must be a full-time job! Get this guy on the Bible Code next.
P.S. If there’s some part of this story that I’m missing, please let me know. How many statistics professors could there be in Tel Aviv, anyway? Perhaps there’s some obvious explanation that’s eluding me.