Re Solutions

In this time of New Year resolutions I will post re solutions. ;)*
In mathematics the solution is the answer.


  • x=42.
  • Theta is 57 degrees.
  • The price has increased by 15%.

In statistics a solution provides something we can be reasonably sure of.


  • We are 95% confident that the price of a house increases by between $5,000 and $7,000 for each extra bathroom, all other things being equal.
  • The margin of error is 3 percent.
  • There is evidence that more men prefer milk chocolate than dark chocolate.

What is called a solution in operations research could be called an alternative, which is not necessarily optimal, practical or even feasible. There can be infinite solutions. Finding a solution is a step towards solving the problem. We do great things in The Science of Better, but a solution is only a start.


  • We should order flour every 2.3 days.
  • There should be five servers operating.
  • A possible location for the hospital is in a new satellite town.

In all disciplines teachers need to make the language of the discipline clear.

Students need to watch for the specialised use of language in a discipline. Assuming you know what a term means, because it is a familiar term,  can cause confusion.

* The OR blog challenge for January was OR Resolutions. This is the best I could think of. It’s our summer holidays here.

This entry was posted in operations research, statistics, teaching and tagged by Dr Nic. Bookmark the permalink.

About Dr Nic

I love to teach just about anything. My specialties are statistics and operations research. I have insider knowledge on Autism through my family. I have a lovely husband, two grown-up sons, a fabulous daughter-in-law and an adorable grandson. I have several blogs - Learn and Teach Statistics, and Building a Statistics Learning Community, are the main ones.

2 thoughts on “Re Solutions

  1. Pingback: Teaching statistical language | Learn and Teach Statistics and Operations Research

  2. Pingback: Operations Research and Statistics: BFF | Learn and Teach Statistics and Operations Research

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