Campus News

Professor to Discuss ESP, Statistics

Story posted March 15, 1998


BRUNSWICK, Maine -- Jessica Utts, a professor at the University of California at Davis, will deliver public addresses on extrasensory perception and misleading statistics at Bowdoin College on Monday, March 30 as part of the Cecil T. and Marion C. Holmes Mathematics Lecture. Both talks are open to the public free of charge.

"Statistical Evaluation of ESP Research" will be held at 4 p.m. in Adams Hall, Room 106. Utts' talk will discuss the results of recent laboratory tests into ESP research. Test results seem to indicate that the potential existence of ESP cannot be accounted for solely by chance. This talk will explore the latest experiments and their findings from a statistical perspective.

"How To Detect Misleading Statistics" will be held at 7:30 p.m. in Druckenmiller Hall, Room 151. A reception will follow. Utts' talk will provide listeners advice on how to interpret the many statistical results we receive daily, from the latest medical studies to public opinion polls. Utts will provide questions to and how to interpret what you read. No prior knowledge of statistics is required.

Utts is a professor of statistics and associate provost at Cal-Davis. She specializes in the statistical evaluation of parapsychology and has testified before the U.S. Congress on research into parapsychology. She has appeared on "Nightline," "Larry King Live" and "CNN Morning News." She is the author of "Seeing Through Statistics" (Duxbury Press, 1996) and is on the editorial boards of the Journal of the American Statistical Association.

The Cecil T. and Marion C. Holmes Lectureship was established in 1977 by friends, colleagues, and former students to honor Cecil T. Holmes, Ph.D., a member of the Bowdoin faculty for 39 years and Isaac Henry Wing Professor of Mathematics Emeritus from his retirement in 1964 until his death in 1988.

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