Deconstructing the 2012 Elections

Myron Scholes Global Markets Forum

February 15, 2013, 5:30–7 p.m., Gleacher Center

Nate Silver is a statistician and political forecaster for the New York Times; he became a national sensation in the United States when his predictions during the 2008 presidential election trumped most mainstream polls. He founded in March 2008 and is responsible for developing its electoral forecasts.

This event is part of the Initiative on Global Markets (IGM) and is generously sponsored by Myron Scholes.

The IGM also receives financial support from our corporate partner, AQR Capital Management.

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Speaker Profiles

Nate Silver has become today’s leading statistician through his innovative analyses of political polling. He first gained national attention during the 2008 presidential election, when he correctly predicted the results of the primaries and the presidential winner in 49 states. Today, Silver runs the award-winning political website, where he publishes a running forecast of current elections and hot-button issues. Now published in the New York Times, has made Silver the public face of statistical analysis and political forecasting.

His new book, The Signal and The Noise: Why Most Predictions Fail—But Some Don’t, is a New York Times best seller. Data-based predictions underpin a growing sector of critical fields, from political polling and hurricane watches to the stock market and even the war on terror. That means it’s important to ask—what kind of predictions can we trust? What methods do the most reliable forecasters use? What sorts of things can be predicted—and what can’t? Silver takes us on a tour of modern prediction science, uncovering a surprising connection among humility, uncertainty, and good results. It’s an essential read for anyone interested in how data can be used to understand the future.

Before he came to politics, Silver established his credentials as an analyst of baseball statistics. He developed a widely acclaimed system called PECOTA (Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm), which predicts player performance, career development, and seasonal winners and losers. He is the author of a series of books on baseball statistics, which include Mind Game, Baseball Between the Numbers, and It Ain’t Over ‘til It’s Over. Silver has written for, Sports Illustrated, Slate, the New York Sun, and the New York Times. His work has been reported in such publications as the New York Times, Newsweek, Huffington Post, and Vanity Fair.

Nate Silver has been honored by a series of accolades, from Time’s 100 Most Influential People of 2009 to Rolling Stone’s 100 Agents of Change. won Best Political Coverage in the 2008 Weblog Awards.