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Statistician and political blogger Nate Silver appeared last night before a packed auditorium to talk about the role of statistics in elections and politics, as well as his own career. Silver’s fame skyrocketed late last year when his application of statistical techniques to polling data correctly predicted the outcome of the presidential vote in all 50 states (and the District of Columbia).
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A large crowd packed Bartos Theater last night for a talk with Nate Silver, hosted by Seth Mnookin and the MIT Communications Forum. The auditorium quickly reached its 190-person capacity, and many wannabe audience members were left to watch the live feed outside the theater.

The two-hour event covered Silver’s career path and his plans for the future, sprinkled with his somewhat deprecating commentary on political pundits and sites like POLITICO. The event was split in half, with Silver answering questions from Mnookin for the first half and then answering questions from the audience in the second.

Silver, statistician and polling analyst for FiveThirtyEight, began his talk by saying “It’s a real honor to be here. It’s a Ground Zero for nerds.”

Silver talked about his first post-college job as a consultant for KPMG and how he transitioned from the world of consulting to political blogger and statistics guru. Much of the talk was dedicated to how Silver started FiveThirtyEight, its transition to the Times, and his plans for the future.

In the second half, Silver took questions from the audience — questions ranged from his thoughts on open-sourcing his model to his thoughts on the Times’ graphics. Fans had the chance to take photos with, and get books signed by, Silver following the talk.

For more details on the talk, check out our photo spread on page 8.