MATHED PROGRAMS

July 25, 2014

The Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences celebrates its 20th anniversary with a question to all users of mathematics and statistics.
What would the world
be like if the normal curve was not discovered?

In the month of October, we ran a Twitter contest which asked the question, "What would the world be like if the normal curve was not discovered?" (#WithoutTheCurve). The three winners were randomly selected from the responses received from a wide-range of participants, from well-known academics to high-school students. Congratulation to the winning tweets!

Victoria Allred (@VictoriaAllred):
#WithoutTheCurve treatment opportunities for cancer would never be found.

Nicholas Horton (@askdrstats):
#WithoutTheCurve haiku:
Without the normal, heavy tails lead to black swans.

Grace Ricks (@gracewricks):
#WithoutTheCurve
If there was no normal curve, there would be no way to distinguish the ordinary .


If you are a winner looking to claim your prize, please email your mailing address to tamingofchance<at>vretta.com for your autographed copy of "Struck by Lightning: The Curious World of Probabilities".
Alternately please Twitter-follow the Fields Institute
so that a response can be made using direct message rather than a public Tweet (to make sure no one else claims your prize).

Following on this, the Fields Institute and the American Statistical Association are offering a $ 1500 cash prize to the best story that builds on these answers and imagines a world where the normal curve was never discovered. The competition is now open to submissions http://tamingofchance.vretta.com

Contest Details and Regulations
Submissions for the Normal Curve contest will begin on September 25th, 2013 at 12:01 AM EST. All eligible submissions must be posted to Twitter and must address the contest question to be selected in the draw. Entries must be available by October 15th, 2013 at 11:59 PM EST. Entries must be tagged as #WithoutTheCurve for contest submission.

Judging will take place after the contest closes on October 15th, 2013 at 11:59 PM EST. The top entries, as selected by volunteers at the Fields Institute's MathEd Forum on the basis of appropriateness to the contest question, will be shortlisted into a pool for drawing the prizes. A winner will be randomly selected for each of the 3 copies of Struck by Lightning (autographed by the author of the book) which will be shipped by mail.

Shipping costs of up to $20 per book will covered by the competition organizers. Should actual costs exceed this amount, the winner will be asked to either cover the excess or forfeit the prize.

The contest is open to all users, internationally. Submissions that are not in English may be translated using Google Translate if there is no one on the judging panel who can translate the Tweet.

All winning entries will be deemed to fall under the Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0, as detailed on the following webpage http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
Issuance of the prize will be contingent on a confirmation of this license.

Winners of the contest will be announced by the end of October 2013 and will be contacted through their Twitter account from the FieldsInstitute’s Twitter account. Participants are encouraged to Twitter-follow the Fields Institute so that a response can be made using direct message rather than a public Tweet, ensuring the proper identity is obtained.

We proudly celebrate the International Year of Statistics 2013 as well as the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences 20th anniversary with a unique contest which seeks to expand the minds of coming generations!