Best foot upward

Best foot upward
By Carole Johanna Bass ’83, ’97 MSLJ | 12:15pm March 26 2014
Yale Alumni Magazine

"I really wanted people to remember Bayes’s Rule" of conditional probability, says Gregory Samanez-Larkin.

The Yale assistant professor of psychology, cognitive science, and neuroscience teaches an introductory statistics course. What's the probability, he asked his students, that a stats professor can walk on his hands? How do we calculate it? And, most important: "Who thinks that I'm the stats professor that can do that?"

Silence.

"Do you want to see if I can?"

Then he hopped onto the long desk at the front of Davies auditorium, removed his lapel mic and jacket, and upended himself. Samanez-Larkin handwalked steadily to the end of the desk, executed a neat turn, and then—belly button exposed and feet waggling just a little—walked back to where he started.

Applause.

The Yale Office of Public Affairs and Communications made a video. The drama begins around 52 seconds in.