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Using R for Introductory Statistics (Chapman & Hall/CRC The R Series) [Hardcover]

John Verzani
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 29, 2004 1584884509 978-1584884507 1
The cost of statistical computing software has precluded many universities from installing these valuable computational and analytical tools. R, a powerful open-source software package, was created in response to this issue. It has enjoyed explosive growth since its introduction, owing to its coherence, flexibility, and free availability. While it is a valuable tool for students who are first learning statistics, proper introductory materials are needed for its adoption.

Using R for Introductory Statistics fills this gap in the literature, making the software accessible to the introductory student. The author presents a self-contained treatment of statistical topics and the intricacies of the R software. The pacing is such that students are able to master data manipulation and exploration before diving into more advanced statistical concepts. The book treats exploratory data analysis with more attention than is typical, includes a chapter on simulation, and provides a unified approach to linear models.

This text lays the foundation for further study and development in statistics using R. Appendices cover installation, graphical user interfaces, and teaching with R, as well as information on writing functions and producing graphics. This is an ideal text for integrating the study of statistics with a powerful computational tool.

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Editorial Reviews


The author has made a very serious effort to introduce entry-level students of statistics to the open-source software package R. One mistake most authors of similar texts make is to assume some basic level of familiarity, either with the subject to be taught, or the tool (the software package) to be used in teaching the subject. This book does not fall into either trap. … the examples and exercises are well-chosen …
MAA Reviews, October 2010

…The book presents each new concept in a gentle manner. Numerous examples serve to illustrate both the R commands and the general statistical concepts. … Every chapter contains sample code for plotting … The book also has a rich supply of homework problems that are straightforward and data-focused … Overall, I found the book enjoyable to read. Even as an experienced user of R, I learned a few things. … Without hesitation I would use it for an introductory statistics course or an introduction to R for a general audience. Indeed, Verzani's book may prove a useful travel guide through the sometimes exasperating territory of statistical computing.
—E. Andres Houseman (Harvard School of Public Health), Statistics in Medicine, Vol. 26, 2007

This book sets out to kill two birds with one stone-introducing R and statistics at the same time. The author accomplishes his twin goals by presenting an easy-to-follow narrative mixed with R codes, formulae, and graphs … [He] clearly has a great command of R, and uses its strength and versatility to achieve statistical goals that cannot be easily reached otherwise … this book contains a cornucopia of information for beginners in statistics who want to learn a computer language that is positioned to take the statistics world by storm.
Significance, September 2005

Anyone who has struggled to produce his or her own notes to help students use R will appreciate this thorough, careful and complete guide aimed at beginning students.
Journal of Statistical Software, November 2005

This is an ideal text for integrating the study of statistics with a powerful computation tool.
Zentralblatt MATH

Product Details

  • Series: Chapman & Hall/CRC The R Series
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Chapman and Hall/CRC; 1 edition (November 29, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584884509
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584884507
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #240,421 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Often overlooked but solid title February 27, 2005
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book doesn't show up under most listings for books about R, but it should. It's a very solid introduction to using R -- including installation, configuration, and some progrmaming -- for basic statistical work. My only complaint is that it wasn't quite comprehensive enough -- not enough examples were given and not enough discussion on important functions and parameters were present. Also, the index is atrocious.

I would recommend it as a good book to get going, but for in depth work you'll be referring to the HTML help a lot.
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45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best overall introduction to statistics using R May 8, 2007
By kleytos
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is an excellent introduction to basic statistics, not assuming a knowledge of calculus, using an intuitive "hands-on approach" using the free computer program R. Statistics should be learned with the fingers on a computer, not merely by memorizing formulas, so you do well to learn statistics with a book in one hand, sitting in front of a computer. John Verzani gives a gentle introduction to statistics using R.

For those unaware, R is a complete, very powerful statistics program that was developed in the 1990s based on an early language called S/Splus, created by John Chambers in the 1970s. S/Splus is an extremely powerful language for doing statistics / numerical research, and was developed explicitly for that purpose. It is far stronger than Matlab for statistical data analysis. R has a vibrant online community with hundreds of free add-on packages (available from the CRAN website). R has grown to be much more powerful than SPSS or SAS in recent years, and is becoming the tool of choice by the experts in the field. It's suitable for beginners too, but doesn't have the point and click style of simpler programs.

There are three main books that are introductions to R. One by Verzani (reviewed here), one by Dalgaard, and one by Crawley. Of the three, I find this one to be the best. It is the most clearly organized and has the best logical presentation of the three. It goes into the right amount of depth without getting bogged down. You can work through all the exercises in the book because the datasets are freely downloadable from the web.

Be sure to do as many of the exercises in the book as you can -- that will really help you to learn statistics well!
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poorly organized and frustrating July 23, 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
In an introductory book, it is really important to present concepts in order. This book fails on this count. On more than one occasion, a concept (e.g., "trimmed mean") or a function (e.g., "range(x)") is mentioned without being defined, only to be presented as new later on. This is very frustrating and prevents a new student from working through the book fast. As some other reviewers remarked, the index is a complete disaster, which only makes this worse. It is nice that the book comes with a package of problems. The package lacks answers to most of these problems, though, so one can't check progress easily.

Look elsewhere.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great intro book for R December 18, 2008
By Love J
This is a great book for learning how to practice intro statistics for R.
If you consider this is a stats book, you will not be satisfied.
You need a stats textbook with this to learn stats.
If you know general things about stats, this book is the best intro for R as a statistical tool.

I also own Introductory Statistics with R by Peter Delgaard.
I recommend to read Using R first then proceed to Delgaard's book.
In this fashion, you will get a brief review of what you learn from Using R and will build up more introductory to intermediate techniques.

If you finish the two books, you are ready to explore any other R and S-Plus books.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very complete introduction to statistics and GNU R July 26, 2007
This is the perfect book if you are looking for a self-contained, practical introduction to statistics using GNU R.

It contains a lot of examples and exercises for reinforcing the contents. Very clear and organized presentation of topics. It assumes no previous background on statistics at all, and could be used as a complementary text for lab sessions.

It both explains GNU R commands and data types and provides a basic introduction to statistics theory, from a practical point of view. The last one, of course, may also be enhanced by your favorite book for introductory statistics, though it is not absolutely necessary to use this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes more sense than the professor. March 11, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
R is a hard enough program as it is if you are new to computer programing. But this book makes it more clear than even the professor. The seller was amazing. I placed the order on a friday night, it shipped saturday and it was to my home on tuesday. I will totally buy from them again.
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22 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not my favorite book September 29, 2005
By S. Hung
This is my textbook for an introductory biostats course. The reason why the teacher picked this book is because the software, R, is free. I find that if I use this as an instruction manual to use R, it's okay. However, as a statistics book, I find it difficult to follow and the explanations are not as clear as some of the other books on the market (e.g. the Dawson book called "Basic and Clinical Biostatistics" which is much more palatable)
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible book for an intro to R August 17, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
HORRIBLE BOOK - R is already such a frustrating program, so if you want to make your life worse, buy Verzani. The worst thing about Verzani is that you can't tell what chapter you're in when you are using the book - there are no chapter headings next to the page numbers! You are working on something in R and need help with code, but first you have to hunt for 30 minutes though Verzani to find it! Most of the time it isn't even worth it - the author often presents the wrong way to program first to show you how NOT to do it, which is completely useless because the reader doesn't know how to do anything in the first place! The index is horrible, and the topics are all out of order. Horrible reference for an already extremely frustrating computer program. I just sold my copy for a loss of $6.00 on Amazon, and I wish the poor buyer the best as he tries to make sense of the tangled mess known as VERZANI.
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