[SciPy-user] information on statistical functions

josef.pktd@gmai... josef.pktd@gmai...
Fri Dec 19 12:09:59 CST 2008

On Thu, Dec 18, 2008 at 3:36 PM, Robert Kern <robert.kern@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Dec 18, 2008 at 09:43,  <josef.pktd@gmail.com> wrote:
>> I find the new doc string for np.var a bit misleading:
>> "The mean is normally calculated as x.sum() / N, where N = len(x). If,
>> however, ddof is specified, the divisor N - ddof is used instead."
>> This seems to refer to the divisor of the mean not of the variance.
> Yes, the "mean" as used in the variance formula given in the prior
> sentence. I don't really like the phrasing much, either, but I
> inherited it from what was already there.

The problem is that "mean" shows up twice in the previous sentence.

What about replacing mean in the sentence
"The mean is normally calculated as x.sum() / N, where N = len(x)."
by "average", which would unambiguously refer to the mean(average) of
the squared deviations in the previous sentence.

An english question: is divisor a synonym for denominator in common
use? When I looked it up in the dictionary it didn't seem to be the


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