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. In 2012, he called 50 of 50 states.
Today, Nate is pioneering the new field of data journalism with his award-winning website FiveThirtyEight. Recently relaunched in partnership with ESPN, FiveThirtyEight will allow Nate to explore a wider range of areas than he covered at the New York Times, including politics, sports, science, and more. Nate’s approach to data-driven, probabilistic thinking is one of the great ideas of our time, and we at the Leigh Bureau look forward eagerly to seeing it transform more and more fields.
In addition to his work on FiveThirtyEight, Nate will appear on ESPN as an on-air commentator.
In a sense, Nate is returning to his roots: before he came to politics, he established his credentials as an analyst of baseball statistics. He developed a widely acclaimed system called PECOTA (Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm), 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.
His book, The Signal and The Noise: Why Most Predictions Fail — But Some Don’t, is a New York Times bestseller. 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 — 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? Nate takes us 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.
Nate has written for ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Slate, 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.
He has been honored by a series of accolades. Most recently, Fast Company named Nate No. 1 of the100 Most Creative People in Business 2013 and Creativitymagazine listed him in its Creativity 50 2013. He has also appeared in TIME’s 100 Most Influential People of 2009 and Rolling Stone’s 100 Agents of Change.
FiveThirtyEight.com won Best Political Coverage in the 2008 Weblog Awards.