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I am a Professor at Olin College and the author of a series of books including Think Python, Think Bayes, and Think Stats, all published by O'Reilly Media and 
available under free licenses from Green Tea Press.

I write a blog called Probably Overthinking It, which is mostly about probability and statistics.

In 2009 and 2010, I was a Visiting Scientist at Google, Inc.  You can read an interview with me at EEWeb.

Allen Downey
Olin College of Engineering
1000 Olin Way
Needham MA 02492

Here is my original web page, which still has most of my research material.

Here is a page of ideas for projects, some for students, some I hope to get to eventually.  Here is the web page for an innovative college structure I would like to implement, and an experiment I am running in Workplace-Mode education.

Recent Classes


Slides and talks

In May 2013 I gave a talk for PyCon Taiwan:

Python Epistemology: PyCon Taiwan 2013



In February 2013 I gave a talk for the UCES Award Program at SIAM CSE.  Here are my slides:


On October 12, 2012, I gave a talk at Williams College about Complexity, Computation and Science.  Here are the slides:

On June 9, 2012, I led a session at FooCamp called "Fix College".  Some of the materials are here.

On May 23, 2012 I gave a talk at Google's Cambridge office about my book, Think Complexity.  Here are the slides:


And here's the talk itself:


At PyCon 2012 I taught a tutorial on Bayesian statistics. It is based on Chapters 5 and 8 of my book, Think Stats. Here is the web page I created for the tutorial. And here, courtesy of PyCon and pyvideo.org, is the video. It's three hours long, so get comfortable!

Here's a screencap of me magically deriving Bayes's Theorem:


On October 4 I am doing a webcast with O'Reilly Media; the subject is statistical hypothesis testing.  I make the argument that if you know how to program, you can do hypothesis testing with simple simulations.  Here is the announcement and my slides.

Here are my slides for a talk at Google, September 19, 2011:



Notes for a talk at the Boston Python Meetup.

In September 2011 I presented my book, Think Stats, as part of the Authors@Google series.  Here are my slides:



Here are the slides for a talk I gave at Olin College and at Notre Dame Academy in Hingham MA.  If you read the speaker notes, you can see what I was planning to say.


Here's a talk I gave at Northeastern that they kindly put on YouTube


Subpages (2): Computing at Olin Projects