Answer Machine vs. Single Answer

Professor Manjul Bhargava in his recent interview mentioned “Mathematics is about coming up with your own creative ways to come to that one right answer. There’s not one path and everybody has their personal path that they can discover and that’s what makes it fun. That’s the adventurous part of mathematics, the creative part of mathematics”

From that perspective I feel Statistics is MORE fun and adventurous because there is  no “one answer’’ .  Develop your own way to arrive at your own solution that fits the data [Art of Statistics]. The real question to me is: Can we derive these different levels of answers in a systematic way ? [Science of Statistics].

We need to popularize the idea of  “Answer Machine” recommended by Manny Parzen (more than a decade back) where he mentioned “I believe that the concept of “answer machine” is required to explain what statisticians do. Mathematics finds a definite answer to a problem; statistics provide answer machines, which are formulas that can be adapted to compute and compare answers under varying assumptions”

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