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Measurement theory and practice: The world through quantification

Statistics applied to mathematics or the arts

Traditionally, statistics was concerned with drawing inferences using a semi-standardized methodology that was “required learning” in most sciencesThis tradition has changed with use of statistics in non-inferential contexts. What was once considered a dry subject, taken in many fields as a degree-requirement, is now viewed enthusiasticallyInitially derided by some mathematical purists, it is now considered essential methodology in certain areas.

  • In number theoryscatter plots of data generated by a distribution function may be transformed with familiar tools used in statistics to reveal underlying patterns, which may then lead to hypotheses.
  • Methods of statistics including predictive methods in forecasting are combined with chaos theory and fractal geometry to create video works that are considered to have great beauty.[citation needed]
  • The process art of Jackson Pollock relied on artistic experiments whereby underlying distributions in nature were artistically revealed.[citation needed] With the advent of computers, statistical methods were applied to formalize such distribution-driven natural processes to make and analyze moving video art
  • Methods of statistics may be used predicatively in performance art, as in a card trick based on a Markov process that only works some of the time, the occasion of which can be predicted using statistical methodology.
  • Statistics can be used to predicatively create art, as in the statistical or stochastic music invented by Iannis Xenakis, where the music is performance-specific. Though this type of artistry does not always come out as expected, it does behave in ways that are predictable and tunable using statistics.