Make Better Decisions with Data, with Dr. Allen Downey

Data Science

In this SuperDataScience episode hosted by our Chief Data Scientist, Jon Krohn, and with many-time bestselling author Allen Downey, is incredible. Learn a ton from him about making better decisions with data, including how to prepare for Black Swan events and how your core beliefs will shift over your life.

• Is a Professor Emeritus at Olin College and Curriculum Designer at the learning platform
• He was previously a Visiting Professor of Computer Science at Harvard University and a Visiting Scientist at Google.
• He has written 18 books (which he has made available for free online but which are also published in hard copy by major publishers. For example, his books “Think Python” and “Think Bayes” were bestsellers published by O’Reilly).
• His next book, “Probably Overthinking It”, is available for pre-order now.
• Holds a PhD in Computer Science from University of California, Berkeley and Bachelor’s and Masters degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

This episode focuses largely on content from Allen’s upcoming book — his first book intended for a lay audience — and so should appeal to anyone who’s keen to learn from an absolutely brilliant writer and speaker on “How to Use Data to Answer Questions, Avoid Statistical Traps, and Make Better Decisions.”

In this episode, Allen details:
• Underused techniques like Survival Analysis that can be uniquely powerful in lots of ordinary circumstances.
• How to better prepare for rare “Black Swan” events.
• How to wrap your head around common data paradoxes such as Preston’s Paradox, Berkson’s Paradox and Simpson’s Paradox.
• What the Overton Window is and how our core beliefs shift relative to it over the course of our lifetime (this is extra trippy).

The SuperDataScience podcast is available on all major podcasting platforms, YouTube, and at


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