Austin Z. Henley

I work on AI + dev tools.

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My favorite Wikipedia articles about science


I enjoy learning random factoids about science. Here are some of my favorite Wikipedia articles related to math, psychology, research, computer science, and human-computer interaction.


Benford's Law Numbers starting with one are six times more likely than numbers starting with nine.
Law of Large Numbers Empirical results will tend toward the theoretical results given a big enough sample, probably.
Infinite Monkey Theorem With enough time, anything and everything will happen.
Borsuk-Ulam Theorem There always exists a set of opposite points on Earth with the same temperature and pressure.
Fermi Estimation Super rough estimates are suprisingly good.
Beta (finance) A way of measuring the volatility of a stock relative to the market.
Mann Whitney U Test Non-parametric test for comparing two samples.
Birthday Paradox Given 23 people there is a 50% chance that a pair will share a birthday.
Monty Hall Problem A nice puzzle where it really helps to draw out a solution tree.
Prisoner's Dilemma People not cooperating hurts everyone, including themselves.
Zipf's Law A thing is twice as frequent as the next thing which is twice as frequent as the next...


Cognitive Load Theory You solve problems worse if you have to use too much mental effort.
Chunking Our phone numbers are 7 digits long based on how we break up info in our head.
Insight That eureka moment.
Spacing Effect Cramming is not the best way to learn.
Garden Path Sentence You parse the sentence one way until it doesn't make sense anymore.
Prospect Theory People are rationally irrational sometimes, and irrationally rational other times.
Baddeley's Model of Working Memory A popular model of how our memory works.
Electroencephalography We can cheaply measure brainwaves induced by stress and cognitive load.
Framing Effect The reason why movie theater's popcorn is priced the way it is.
Phonemic Restoration Effect You still hear cuss words when they bleep it out, don't you?


Confirmation Bias When you only pay attention to evidence that supports your idea.
Survivorship Bias You have to look at the data points that died, too.
Regression Toward the Mean Are you sure this is an effect or is it just going back to normal?
Type I and Type II Errors Whether you are finding a difference when it doesn't exist or not finding a difference when it does.
Correlation Does Not Imply Causation Just because red cars get in more wrecks doesn't mean it is the cars' fault.
Falsifiability Some things you can never prove.
False Dilemma You're either going to love this list or you're going to hate it.
Grounded Theory A qualitative method that will surely get the reviewers arguing.

Computer Science

Associative Array Any problem can be coerced into using a dictionary!
Tracing Garbage Collection A beautiful means of cleaning up your garbage.
Separation of Concerns Each piece of code should do something but not everything.
Off-By-One Error One of the most common mistakes for any programmer.
Finite-State Machine Any problem can be reduced into a state machine.
Recursive Descent Parser An elegant way to write a parser.
Binary Search Algorithm Cut your search space in half, recursively.
K-Means Clustering Find clusters in your data.
TF-IDF Measure the importance of words in a document.

Human-Computer Interaction

Affordance The means to which you do something.
Cognitive Dimensions of Notations Classic usability principles for GUIs and programming languages.
Information Seeking Behavior Various theories on how people seek the info that they seek.
Information Overload When Amazon presents too many results you just buy the first one.
Widget (GUI) Handy list of GUI elements.
Fitt's Law Accurate way to measure people's mouse movements.
Usability Testing How to test to see if people can actually use your thing.
User-Centered Design Always remember the user.
Keystroke-Level Model Surprisingly accurate way to predict how long it will take users to interact with your GUI.