[Rd] variance of a scalar (PR#546)

Jonathan Rougier J.C.Rougier@durham.ac.uk
Fri, 19 May 2000 10:11:00 +0100 (BST)

On Fri, 19 May 2000, Prof Brian Ripley wrote:

> > I thought that might be the reason.  There is no mention of using n-1
> > rather than n in the denominator on the help page.  Perhaps that might be
> > added?
> Um. What professional statistics package uses n, then?  Are you
> suggesting that there is serious room for doubt?

Well, I may not be the gold standard for statisticians but I just called
var(x) when x was the population, not a sample.  Unfortunately I did this
without thinking as it corresponds closely to my notes.  So although a
statistics package might use n-1 without question, I think a statistical
computing environment could be a little more flexible, at least in its

Jonathan Rougier                       Science Laboratories
Department of Mathematical Sciences    South Road
University of Durham                   Durham DH1 3LE

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