WSJ: Numbers Guy

The Numbers Guy examines numbers in the news, business and politics. Some numbers are flat-out wrong or biased, while others are valid and help us make informed decisions. Carl Bialik tells the stories behind the stats, in daily updates on this blog and in his column published every other Friday in The Wall Street Journal. Carl, who holds a degree in mathematics and physics from Yale University, also cowrites The Daily Fix, a sports column on WSJ.com. He welcomes your comments at .

WSJ: The Numbers
The Numbers
copyright © 2015 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
The Wall Street Journal examines the way numbers are used, and abused.

Behind the Numbers: Song Streaming
Streaming music may be a boon for those interested in knowing exactly how many times their songs are played, and by whom. But managing per-song, per-play transactions isn’t a simple task.
Number of the Day: $200
Late University of North Carolina basketball coach Dean Smith left $200 to every letter winner who played for him during his 36-year run "to enjoy a dinner out." That's a priceless gesture.
Number of the Day: $1 Trillion
For the second time this month (at least), a Wall Street analyst has pegged Apple hitting the $1 trillion level in market capitalization. This time it was Cantor Fitzgerald, written up by the crew at Moneybeat. That about covers it.
Behind the Numbers: Lightning Strikes Thrice (and Then Again)
Most bowlers would be thrilled if the stars aligned just once and they rolled a 300 game. For Hakim Emmanuel of Stoughton, Mass., the stars aligned one Thursday in late February, when he rolled 12 strikes in a row during the first game in his doubles league at Westgate Lanes in Brockton, a Boston-area city. Then they aligned twice more for a perfect 900 series.
Behind the Numbers: The Math Behind PCE
When the U.S. Federal Reserve assesses the rate of inflation in the nation, it prefers to use something called the personal consumption expenditures price index. The PCE captures how changing prices influence consumer behavior.
March Madness and Worker Productivity
The NCAA men's basketball tournament starts this week and with it we get the annual estimate of lost wages paid to distracted and unproductive workers. This year, according to calculations by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the cost could reach as high as $1.9 billion. How accurate is that number?
The Best of Pi Day Poetry
The Numbers on Saturday asked readers to send along their best attempts at a pi-ku in honor of Pi Day. After sifting through scores of submissions, from the silly to the sublime, we're pleased to present our favorites
Celebrating Pi Day, With a Pi-Ku
Pi Day--celebrated on 3/14, or the month/date format that coincides with the numerals 3.14 that begin pi--is the celebration of the irrational number that represents the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter. Come celebrate with us and write your own pi-ku.
Behind the Numbers: Drilling Down on Illegal Immigration
The Center for Migration Studies this month unveiled a new database of illegal immigrants broken down at national, state and sub-state levels. Among the findings at a national level: About two-thirds of unauthorized residents have access to a computer or the Internet and 55% speak English well or very well.
Reader Mailbag: More Food for Thought
Following last weekend’s Numbers column about dietary guidelines, a reader pointed out that the Harvard School of Public Health has a beef with the USDA’s MyPlate icon. So Harvard has created its own icon.