Interdisciplinary Seminar Series

Title: Meaningless Statements in Landscape Ecology and Environmental Sustainability

Speaker: Fred Roberts, DIMACS, Rutgers University

Date: Monday, September 10, 2012 11:00am - 12:00pm

Location: DIMACS Center, CoRE Bldg, Room 431, Rutgers University, Busch Campus, Piscataway, NJ


A statement involving scales of measurement is called meaningless if its truth or falsity can depend on the particular versions of scales that are used in the statement. Using examples from the study of landscape ecology and environmental sustainability involving indices of biodiversity, global vegetation indices, metrics of climate change, and others, we will give a variety of examples of meaningless and meaningful statements. We will briefly discuss the mathematical foundations of the theory of meaningfulness, discuss ways to average scores that lead to meaningful statements, and, time permitting, discuss the meaningfulness of statistical tests.

DIMACS/CCICADA Interdisciplinary Series, Complete Fall Calendar 2012