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)
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