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“Brilliant, funny . . . the best math teacher you never had.”—San Francisco Chronicle
Once considered tedious, the field of statistics is rapidly evolving into a discipline Hal Varian, chief economist at Google, has actually called “sexy.” From batting averages and political polls to game shows and medical research, the real-world application of statistics continues to grow by leaps and bounds. How can we catch schools that cheat on standardized tests? How does Netflix know which movies you’ll like? What is causing the rising incidence of autism? As best-selling author Charles Wheelan shows us in Naked Statistics, the right data and a few well-chosen statistical tools can help us answer these questions and more.
For those who slept through Stats 101, this book is a lifesaver. Wheelan strips away the arcane and technical details and focuses on the underlying intuition that drives statistical analysis. He clarifies key concepts such as inference, correlation, and regression analysis, reveals how biased or careless parties can manipulate or misrepresent data, and shows us how brilliant and creative researchers are exploiting the valuable data from natural experiments to tackle thorny questions.And in Wheelan’s trademark style, there’s not a dull page in sight. You’ll encounter clever Schlitz Beer marketers leveraging basic probability, an International Sausage Festival illuminating the tenets of the central limit theorem, and a head-scratching choice from the famous game show Let’s Make a Deal—and you’ll come away with insights each time. With the wit, accessibility, and sheer fun that turned Naked Economics into a bestseller, Wheelan defies the odds yet again by bringing another essential, formerly unglamorous discipline to life.
Posted January 20, 2013
I'm a stat minor in college and this book helped me understand the essential topics and methods more intuitively. I read naked economics a few semesters ago and it made me enjoy econ, so i pre-ordered naked statistics, and so far naked statistics is doing the same for statistics. Examples are funny and insightful and the principles of statistics are clear and explained so that anyone can understand them, no prior knowledge of stat needed.
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Posted March 25, 2013
I heard the author, Charles Wheelan, on CHICAGO TONIGHT and could not wait to get his book. I not only learned how intuitive--or not--statistics can be, but how to determine the truth, or its lack, that they tell. He promises to make it all engaging, readable, and comprehensible, and it is. I would love to take his course at Dartmouth. I have used the book in my AP American History class, as we examine the use of statistics in election campaigns, efforts to pass laws, and attempts to redo pension systems in various states. I relied on his words to take them to new understanding of their world and mine. I have also recommended the book to our math department, as we look at Common Core standards and expectations, which include the investigation of statistics and use of statistical analysis in high school math classes. My mind was so enlivened by all of this that I bought Wheelan's other two books. They are equally wonderful.
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