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Applied Statistics: Models and Intuition Hardcover – 2015
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This introductory textbook in Statistics is written from the viewpoint of Applied Mathematics. Under that perspective, theoretical rigor is not denigrated, but the book puts a high premium on offering an intuitive overview of key methods as well as clear evidence of their usefulness. Beyond teaching particular techniques, the book strives to create real comfort with the underlying notions of statistical thinking. Grasping such ideas is essential if they are to be used with competence and confidence. Consistent with the theme of Applied Statistics, the book contains hundreds of worked examples, analyses of actual data, and practice exercises that serve as key components of the pedagogy. For example, we will explore with data which couples are the best candidates for in vitro fertilization, whether temperatures in New York City have been rising in a matter consistent with climate change, whether the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster was all but inevitable, when bystanders are least likely to help people in trouble, and what statistical evidence is considered compelling in job-discrimination case.
Praises on the book:
“A patient, humorous and experienced voice presents applied statistics in an intuitive, engaging and mathematically honest way” – Prof. Susan Martonosi, Harvey Mudd College
“A unique approach…. Delightful…..an uncanny ability to explain intuitively even the most opaque concepts” – Prof. Amedeo Odoni, MIT
About the Author
Arnold I. Barnett is George Eastman Professor of Management Science and Professor of Statistics at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. He has received the President’s Award and Expository Writing Award from INFORMS, and the President’s Citation from the Flight Safety Foundation for “truly outstanding contributions with respect to safety.” At MIT, he has been honored by students 13 times for outstanding teaching of Probability and Statistics.
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For the instructor of an introductory course in applied statistics for undergraduate or graduate students, this book has what you need. It’s comprehensive. Professor Barnett starts with a condensed version of his textbook on applied probability (a good and necessary warm-up). He then covers topics in statistics that range from basic concepts (e.g., summary statistics) to essential techniques (e.g., hypothesis testing) to relatively complex extensions (e.g., Bonferroni-style corrections, bootstrapping). He even includes two chapters on regression, which provide a fine introduction to the topic.
Professor Barnett includes ample in-text examples and practice problems, some easy, some quite challenging. And the book is appealingly designed and visually pleasing, which will soothe nervous students. Professor Barnett points out – and I agree – that the book is best suited for students with some math skills. While Professor Barnett does not focus on proofs and derivations, he does (sensibly) use mathematical notation and basic calculus. If you teach a course in statistics to students who have taken a calculus class and generally enjoy math, I highly recommend that you check out this book.
For students and practitioners, I have no doubt that you will find this book to be an exceptional resource, whether for class or as a bookshelf reference. It’s clear, engaging, and fun. Professor Barnett includes thorough, intuitive explanations and provides some of the best end-of-chapter summaries I have ever read. Perhaps the best aspect, though, is the variety of examples. For example, in the chapter on hypothesis testing, Professor Barnett talks about weighing scallops, the effectiveness of online lectures, income and the support for health reform, drugs to prevent heart attacks, the distribution of birthdays over time, defectiveness of computer chips, in vitro fertilization, and exploding manhole covers. If you want to learn how statistics is used, not just studied, this is the book for you.