Most helpful critical review
77 of 95 people found the following review helpful
Colloquial language doesn't help AT ALL
on April 11, 2009
I am not a statistics major, nor do I tend to excel in mathematics, but I am capable of achieving if I put enough energy into a subject...that wasn't the case with my stat class last semester, which used this textbook.
This book takes the role of a friendly teacher who dumbs down the material so we "not-so-mathy" students can understand what's going on. The problem, however, is that this book speaks in riddles, teaches in examples, stories, and fake conversations between mathematicians of the past, and doesn't spell out in any clear way what the method is for solving certain types of questions. Also, after using this text for Stat I, I moved on to take Stat II and was pretty lost. In Stat II, they use "scary" language such as p, q, n, instead of "big number" "small number" and "box" (which is used in this text). I found it was much easier for my mind to grasp the consistency and methodology of statistics when using a different, more "advanced" texbook.
Stat can be a very difficult thing to understand when you're treated like a baby. Even my TAs hated this textbook, which kind of says a lot (mainly that a lot of students are confused, and can't get any help from outside tutors who don't speak the pseudo-stat language of this book)
I would not recommend this text to anyone. If you're thinking about taking a Stat class where this text is used, you'd be better off waiting a semester until you can enroll in a class where the teacher values actually learning statistical language.