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Statistics: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

Statistics: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) [Kindle Edition]

David J. Hand
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Modern statistics is very different from the dry and dusty discipline of the popular imagination. In its place is an exciting subject which uses deep theory and powerful software tools to shed light and enable understanding. And it sheds this light on all aspects of our lives, enabling astronomers to explore the origins of the universe, archaeologists to investigate ancient civilisations, governments to understand how to benefit and improve society, and businesses to learn how best
to provide goods and services.

Aimed at readers with no prior mathematical knowledge, this Very Short Introduction explores and explains how statistics work, and how we can decipher them.

ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

About the Author

David J. Hand is Professor of Mathematics, Imperial College, London, and the author of Information Generation: How Data Rule Our World; Pattern Detection and Discovery; and many other works.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 415 KB
  • Print Length: 137 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 019923356X
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (23 Oct 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001NLKW26
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #101,087 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Handy introduction 7 Sep 2010
By Peter Reeve VINE VOICE
Although excellent overall, the VSI series is variable in quality, with some gems (Psychology, Anthropology, et al) and some dross (Architecture, Locke, et al). This particular entry is somewhere in the middle. It starts very well but gets bogged down somewhat toward the end.

A problem that runs through the series is the inordinate number of typos - the proofreading in the earlier editions was very poor. OUP seems to have fixed this, and I am happy to say I saw no errors in this book.

But another recurrent problem with the series - poor use of illustrations - does afflict this book, except that here it is simply the paucity of illustrations that is the problem. Statistics is a very visual subject and there are ideas which are very simple when presented in graphical form but extremely difficult otherwise. In the second half of this book, from chapter 4 onwards, when things get technical, there is a need for a great many illustrations, almost on every page. In fact, there are only eight illustrations in the entire book. Ironically, three of those are in a brief section called Statistical Graphics and do not relate to anything described in the text but are used simply to illustrate how helpful graphics can be! Hence, the second half of the book is much heavier going than it need be.

There is however much that is good in the book. There is a useful emphasis on the difficulty and importance of collecting good quality data. This, and a reference to the Sally Clark case, are among the ways the author grounds the subject in reality. He presents a good case for statistics being at the very heart of a great many disciplines.

So, a good short introduction, spoiled by having too few illustrations.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An informative introduction to statistics 26 April 2011
By Dr. Bojan Tunguz TOP 500 REVIEWER
Statistical analysis underlies much of the modern scientific research. In fact, it is not too much of a stretch to say that many scientific fields have come of age and many other fields have become "scientific" thanks to the extensive use of statistics that they employ. The turning point seems to have been the advent of modern computer. For the first time in history the raw computational power has not been an issue any more, and the only limits on the quality of research became the amount of data that can be collected and the understanding of statistical methods that need to be employed for analysis.

This very short introduction deals with statistics as a method for analyzing empirical data. As such, it does not present statistics as a dry and self-contained mathematical subject. All the statistical methods are introduced in conjunction with particular practical problems that those methods are developed to address. The author, David Hand, is trying to convey the message that statistics is as much of an art as it is a rigorous mathematical method. No two research projects are the same, so no simple statistical procedure could be used to describe them all. A careful analysis of the problem at hand and a judicial choice of statistical methods are the most likely to yield the most useful information.

The book is divided in seven chapters and each one deals with a particular statistical concept or a particular way in which the statistics is used. The chapters are short but informative, and the whole book makes for one smooth read. It will not overburden you with mathematical detail, and it can be used as a springboard for further reading into the field of statistics.
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3.0 out of 5 stars OK 14 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I liked the first few chapters of this book, but at times it can be too long for what it aims to explain. Perhaps better for someone who has never encountered statistics before. I have studied them slightly so I found it too easy to read. It is made interesting by incidences of misused statistics in the media in the first few chapters.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended for a basic overview 24 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A simple and informative book for anyone looking for an introductory text on the subject of statistics. Not much maths (for those who fear numbers!) and concepts are explained very clearly using everyday examples.
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