Public Lecture for the International Year of Statistics

Jeffrey S. RosenthalTo celebrate the International Year of Statistics, the SSC is proud to present a Public Lecture:

Solving Crimes Using Math: the Lottery Retailer Scandal

by Jeffrey S. Rosenthal

Professor, Department of Statistics, University of Toronto, and author of Struck by Lightning: The Curious World of Probabilities

Probabilities and randomness arise whenever we're not sure what will happen next. They apply to everything from coincidences, airplane crashes, casinos, homicide rates, medical studies, election polls, poker games, and Monte Carlo computer algorithms. They were also central to the speaker's role in uncovering the "lottery retailer scandal", in which lottery jackpot winners were tricked out of their big prizes by unscrupulous retail ticket sellers. The subsequent investigations led to prolonged front-page news reports, outraged customers, political debates, firing of CEOs, several arrests for fraud, and the restoration of millions of dollars of lottery winnings to the rightful owners. This talk will discuss applications of probabilities in everyday life, and then look back on the role that statistical analysis played in this unusual and dramatic lottery controversy.

Join us at the University of Alberta, Engineering Teaching and Learning Complex (ETLC), room E1003, on Sunday May 26th, 2013, at 4:30PM. Juice and cookies will be served from 4PM.

For more information, contact Jean-François Plante (