MATH Seminar: “Unraveling Secrets in Numbers: The German Tank Problem and Statistical Intelligence”, Gökhan Yıldırım, 1:45PM November 22 (EN)

You are cordially invited to the Analysis Seminar organized by the Department of Mathematics.

Speaker: Gökhan Yıldırım (Bilkent University)
“Unraveling Secrets in Numbers: The German Tank Problem and Statistical Intelligence”

Abstract: In the context of World War II, the German Tank Problem presents a unique challenge—estimating the total number of items in a population based on limited information. This predicament holds profound implications for military strategy, supply chain management, and beyond.
This seminar will dissect the intricacies of the German Tank Problem and its significance in statistical analysis. We will delve into the ingenious methods developed to deduce the total production of German tanks using captured serial numbers, illuminating the remarkable intersection of mathematics and wartime intelligence. The following figures underscore the success of statistical estimation compared to intelligence service predictions:

Month Statistical estimate Intelligence estimate German records
June 1940 169 1000 122
June 1941 244 1550 271
August 1942 327 1550 342

Date: Wednesday, November 22, 2023
Time: 13:45 – 14:45
Place: Mathematics Seminar Room, SA – 141