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The Cartoon Introduction to Statistics Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Hill and Wang (July 2, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809033593
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809033591
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 6.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,527 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

You’ve gotta give it to comics-creator Klein. He’s entirely undaunted by the dreariest subject matter. In two volumes of The Cartoon Introduction to Economics, he (and economist Yoram Bauman) made the dismal science sorta festive. Now, with the help of statistician Dabney, he makes statistics pretty painless, too—for instance, by relegating mathematical explanations and details to the all-too-­appropriately named appendix, The Math Cave! (every time math is mentioned in the main text, someone runs away, screaming). Amusing exemplary setups—trying to ascertain the number of fish in a lake or the average length of the worms used to catch them—afford wisecracking opportunities, while the book’s first half outlines random sampling, generating descriptions of the data in the sample, and checking for mistakes. Using such tools as the central limit theorem, inference via probability calculations, and testing hypotheses to get to confidently drawn conclusions is the meat of the second half (the wisecracks continue, fortunately). Stressing that what statistics aims for is probability, not certainty, this is a nifty reference and refresher. --Ray Olson

Review

Praise for The Cartoon Introduction to Statistics

“Like a superhero coming to save the day, in flies The Cartoon Introduction to Statistics . . . Its biggest contribution is to tackle the difficulties that arise from collecting data ‘in the wild’—in the real world and not in the laboratory. This makes the book more useful than those that just stick to the concepts . . . If statistics can ever be made fun, then this book shows how.”
The Economist

“A statistician and an artist team up to demystify data crunching for the masses. Through comical tales of dragon racing, worm collecting and soda guzzling, Klein and Dabney illustrate how statisticians gather data and make predictions . . . Entertaining yet thorough.”
Scientific American

“[A] delightful introduction to statistics . . . The genius of the book is in its layout . . . The book’s good humor, clear prose, and intelligent layout should give it a probability of success with its readers approaching 100%.”
Publishers Weekly

“A gentle, pleasantly illustrated induction into the strange world of bell curves and chi squares . . . A smart, enjoyable overview of this most useful branch of mathematics.”
Kirkus

“[The Cartoon Introduction to Statistics] manages to amuse and enlighten . . . Grady Klein’s . . . grasp of body language makes [the illustrations] expressive and even charming. He builds a cast of characters including scientists (in white lab coats, of course), worm farmers, dragons, pirates, and more through a blocky approach with extreme variations in line width. The authors hatch some genuinely funny jokes.”
Paste Magazine

“Working with Dr. Alan Dabney, Klein runs his agreeable little scientist characters through examples of mathematicians using numbers to quantify, analyze, and make decisions . . . The study of statistics is an ideal subject for comics, since the representation of data as graphs and symbols is akin to what cartoonists do: reducing ideas to pictures, for clarity’s sake. Klein goes one step further, turning graphs into a collection of tiny drawings: of dragons, of sacks, of boxes, etc.”
A.V. Club

“Present[s] the basics of how statistics work, how they’re generated, what they actually mean, and how they can be manipulated. Klein grounds the whole thing into a narrative-based presentation to keep it from being too dry, and even amusing. Math ‘amusing’? I know, unthinkable! . . . If this is how I learned math, my life would probably be much different.”
Comic Book Resources

“This book is a perfect treatment for anyone with a phobia of statistics or numbers. It is fun, clear, and wonderfully intuitive.”
—Charles Wheelan, author of Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data

“Thank goodness someone finally wrote a book on statistics that is actually fun to read. Be careful when you buy this book—you might not put it down until you read it all the way to the end.”
—Sebastian Thrun, Google Fellow and CEO of Udacity

“It’s a well−kept secret that statistics is fun, relevant to everyone, and intellectually rewarding. Grady Klein and Alan Dabney have let the cat out of the bag with their approachable and humorous journey through the fundamental ideas that make statistics indispensable in today’s data−rich world.”
—John Storey, Professor of Genomics and Statistics, Princeton University


Praise for The Cartoon Introduction to Economics: Volume Two

“The major concepts of macroeconomics are broken down with wit, verve, and clarity . . . This clever, lucid, and lighthearted book is a godsend to anyone who needs a simple but complete primer on the ins and outs of economics.”
Publishers Weekly


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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 15 customer reviews
I recommend this book to anyone who always had a bad feeling about Statistics.
AkG
The book uses illustrations and humor to draw the reader in and keep his attention, then gradually and comprehensively explains the nature and usage of statistics.
Chaz Hutchison
Never read before such books (like a commics) about the science, so I can't really compare it to the other similar books, but this book is the nice one.
Dmitry Polushkin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Helmke on October 19, 2013
Format: Paperback
The Cartoon Introduction to Statistics teaches the basics of statistics using comics to illustrate various portions of the greater topic. Each chapter in the book covers a very specific facet of statistics, and each of these chapters build upon those that came before it. We start with a nice introduction that gives a high level view of what statistics can do for us and why we should care. This leads into discussions of numbers, random raw data, sorting, sample size, variables, simple and complex analyses, generalizing from a sample to a wider population, parameters and the central limit theorem, normal distributions, probabilities, inference, confidence, hypotheses and testing, and what statistics can and can not tell us (probability vs. certainty). All of the mathematics are contained in the back of the book and are referred to in the text when and where appropriate.

What makes this book stand out are the illustrated examples used throughout the book. Rather than being a book with one main narrative or plot, this is a non-fiction prose book that has occasional illustrated stories used to clarify complex concepts. Some are simple, like talking about how to determine how many fish in a lake fit a certain category. Others are more imaginative, like exploring whether male or female dragon riders are faster while taking into account dragon size. Regardless of whether the examples are more realistic or more whimsical, they are well thought out and useful. The illustrations throughout the book are nicely drawn and consistently appropriate.

This is a worthy entry in the education-focused manga/comic library.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Brad Allen on October 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got a copy of this after seeing it reviewed in Scientific American. Although I have had statistics classes and used the fundamentals for years, this book brought back the fundamentals of statistics. It really helps you visualize the data and how to best apply the tools. I am getting copies for everyone who works for me. Lucky them.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John R. Slack on September 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fun reading and very informative. Excellent introduction of some of the most important principles of statistics. Statistics are used by politicians, businesses, and drug companies many times to try and lead to unwarranted conclusions. This book shows how to use statistics properly and how to judge whether statistics are valid. I would recommend this book to anyone with a curious mind.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joe Glennon on July 30, 2013
Format: Paperback
Interesting introduction to the topics and vocabulary required of the novice statistician. This text would be a great summer read for those taking a semester of Stat or a re-fresher for those studying for the AP Stat exam.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Chaz Hutchison on November 20, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Cartoon Introduction to Statistics is a fun and easily accessible peek into the world of statistics. The book uses illustrations and humor to draw the reader in and keep his attention, then gradually and comprehensively explains the nature and usage of statistics. The initial reaction to what amounts to being a comic book about statistics is certainly not to take it seriously, but the writers seriously capture and explain statistics in a way that anyone can understand. Dividing the book into gradually more complex sections, the writers move at a steady pace, never explaining a topic too much or too little. Math wizards and dunces alike will understand the basics of stats by the end of this book, and learn a lot about analysis in the process. The book is accessible, informative, and fun for readers of any age, but the group that would benefit the most from reading would be junior high and high school students. A solid, entertaining, and valuable examination of data analysis.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By AkG on October 26, 2013
Format: Paperback
Here's one of the most intuitive book I have ever read on Statistics! I recommend this book to anyone who always had a bad feeling about Statistics.

The book covers some of the very basic elements of Statistics; it does that job wonderfully. It omits the usual techno-jargons, proofs, and other related tables for the sake of clarity. The authors have tried to explain all the concepts without the help of any "pre-required" familiarity with the topic or related topics.

The book has two sections - first section on the basics. It starts with an introduction on why we need statistics (Yes, not because that's a subject in school / college). It then builds up on the requirement of randomness in variable selection and other features of data (only the useful descriptive statistics, not the whole list that we usually find in other 'serious' books. I didn't see 'kurtosis' at all, even though they have used the concept in many places.) and importance of visualising using histograms first and simple examination of data.

Section two covers the application side with examples laid out on what confidence intervals mean, and why we need them. Followed by some fun-filled examples, authors have clearly nailed it. To me, the beauty of the book is clearly the next part, which is on hypothesis testing. The ease with which the authors have explained it, with some of the best illustrations, clearly will help students understand this topic. I've seen how some of the basic and advanced text books have handled this topic, and I feel so relieved that somebody has bothered to explain these in such an easy to understand way. It has covered how HT works, and why it works only under certain conditions.
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