# Statistics Formula: Where did it come from?

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mathman
This may not answer your question completely. However the mathematical expectation (theoretical average) of s2 is the theoretical variance of the statistical average.

lurflurf
Homework Helper
This will not be completely answer it but
In statistics the idea is to get a picture of how lots of numbers act by using a few numbers. The first statistic often used is the mean
mean=sum/number
If our data has mean 0 we might like to know are all the numbers zero, most, maybe half are 1000000000 and half -1000000000. We want an idea of spreadoutness. so we consider
mean(x-mean(x))
but it is zero we cure that with
mean((x-mean(x))^2)
but we are using n numbers like n+1 (mean(x) depends on x hence is not its own number)
so we do
(n/(n-1))mean((x-mean(x))^2)
but it is squarey so
sqrt((n/(n-1))mean((x-mean(x))^2))
which is the standard deviation we know and love

That helps thx. I now get most of the formula except why is it (n-1)?