30,000. You hear that number and you already know exactly what we are referring to. It’s 30,000 casualties. That’s the number of Palestinians that have been killed in Gaza as a result of the IDF response to the October 7th invasion of Israel, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

Of course, we don’t know how the Gaza Health Ministry arrived at that number. How does it collect this data, analyze it, and how does it account for civilian casualties versus Hamas terrorists? It’s a big round number that everyone – from news reporters, to aid organizations to governments – mindlessly repeat.

Well, a data scientist at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania has taken the time to try to understand how these numbers are computed. He published his study in a piece in Tablet Magazine — it’s called “How the Gaza Ministry of Health Fakes Casualty Numbers”. You can find it here: https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/how-gaza-health-ministry-fakes-casualty-numbers

Abraham Wyner is Professor of Statistics and Data Science at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Faculty Co-Director of the Wharton Sports Analytics and Business Initiative. Professor Wyner received his Bachelor’s degrees in Mathematics from Yale University, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with distinction in his major. He was the recipient of the Stanley Prize for excellence in Mathematics. His PhD in Statistics is from Stanford University.

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