The Museum of Mathematics recently hosted James Grime's talk "Star Trek: The Math of Khan." He debunked a common stereotype about the show's security detail: redshirts are not the most likely crew to die.
Via Sarah Lewin:
more "Redshirts" died on-screen than any other crew type (10 gold-shirted, which are command personnel; eight blue-shirted, who are scientists; and 25 red-shirted, Grime said), but that calculation fails to take into account that there are far more redshirts on the ship to start with than any other crew type.
In other words, we're looking at the probability that you are a redshirt if you die (58 percent) — what we want to know is the probability that you die if you're a redshirt, Grime said.
Grime used the "Star Trek" technical manual to find out how many of each crew type there were, which painted a different picture: out of 239 redshirts, 25 died, which is 10 percent. Out of 55 goldshirts, 10 died, which is 18 percent! So you are more likely to die as a goldshirt, Grime said.
Here's an explainer that predates that with a bit of additional info:
Just for kicks: Jonathan Coulton's Redshirt set to vintage clips:
• Redshirts Aren't Likeliest to Die — and Other 'Star Trek' Math Lessons (Space.com)
We’re going back out there, but it’s dangerous out there and y’all better know it. Space travel is hard and unforgiving, but we have never been more ready to meet the unknown. Team members from NASA’s #Artemis program share the risks and rewards of this next era of exploration. Artemis will push the boundaries of […]
In celebration of this year’s 50th anniversary of the first humans on the moon, the Ohio State Marching Band staged this wonderful performance on Saturday.
Through a collaboration with NASA and the SETI Institute, Girl Scouts can now earn badges in space science, from astronomy to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. “Part of science literacy is understanding our place in the big world, in the solar system, in the universe,” Pamela Harman, the director of education at the SETI Institute, […]
We can’t all go through life with just a pair of sneakers and flip-flops. Sometimes, you have to invest in a pair of high-quality dress shoes. However, you’ve probably discovered that high-end footwear almost always comes with eye-popping price tags. You’ve got to compromise on second-hand or just suck it up and take out a […]
We have a theory about those throw blankets that are barely big enough to cover your legs. The only people who seem to make them or use them are grandmothers, and the blankets are only that small because Nana got bored halfway through the sewing job. Look, we’re sure she means well. But if you […]
Remember when the default state of your online presence was anonymity? That’s not so clear-cut anymore, and the worst part is you may not even know who is using your data or what they’re using it for. Small wonder that so many people are choosing to surf through virtual private networks. VPNs filter web access […]