Monday Evening, October 21 • 5:45 p.m.–7:00 p.m.
Venetian Ballroom, Level 2
Nate Silver has become today's leading statistician through his innovative analyses of political polling. He first gained national attention during the 2008 presidential election, when he correctly predicted the results of the primaries and the presidential winner in 49 states. Today, Silver runs the award-winning political Web site FiveThirtyEight.com, where he publishes a running forecast of current elections and hot-button issues. Published in The New York Times from August 2010 through July 2013 and moving to ESPN later this year, FiveThirtyEight has made Silver the public face of statistical analysis and political forecasting.
Silver's book, The Signal and the Noise: Why Most Predictions Fail – But Some Don't, is a New York Times best seller. Data-based predictions underpin a growing sector of critical fields, from political polling and hurricane watches to the stock market and even the war on terror. That means it's important to ask several questions: What kind of predictions can we trust? What methods do the most reliable forecasters use? What sorts of things can be predicted – and what can't? Silver takes readers on a tour of modern prediction science, uncovering a surprising connection among humility, uncertainty, and good results. It's an essential read for anyone interested in how data can be used to understand the future.
Before he came to politics, Silver established his credentials as an analyst of baseball statistics. He developed a widely acclaimed system called Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm, or PECOTA, which predicts player performance, career development, and seasonal winners and losers. He is the author of a series of books on baseball statistics, which include Mind Game, Baseball Between the Numbers, and It Ain't Over 'til It's Over. In a return to his roots in sports, Silver announced in July that he – and FiveThirtyEight.com – are joining ESPN later this year. Silver will serve as the editor-in-chief of the site and will build a team of journalists, editors, analysts, and contributors covering sports, politics, economics, culture, science, technology, and more. Beyond the Web, Silver will contribute to a wide variety of ESPN programs on television and other ESPN platforms, as well as through ABC News outlets.
Silver has written for ESPN.com, Sports Illustrated, Slate, The New York Sun, and The New York Times. His work has been reported in such publications as The New York Times, Newsweek, The Huffington Post, and Vanity Fair.
Silver has been honored by a series of accolades, from TIME's 100 Most Influential People of 2009 to Rolling Stone's 100 Agents of Change. FiveThirtyEight.com won Best Political Coverage in the 2008 Weblog Awards.See photos from the Nate Silver keynote >