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The Manga Guide to Statistics Paperback – December 8, 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 10 Up–Rui is introduced to &statistics with heart-pounding excitement& when she develops a crush on Igarashi, her father&'s market-research business associate. In an attempt to impress him, the teen asks her father for a personal tutor and is devastated when he enlists Yamamoto, a bespectacled geek, as her instructor. As Rui gamely struggles through some basic lessons, readers learn about distribution tables and deviation scores. Naturally, love finally blossoms. In a moment of frustration, Rui knocks off Yamamoto&'s glasses and sees his eyes for the first time, and hers fill with hearts. This manga textbook is written for those interested in understanding principles of statistics. Each of the seven chapters is organized into four sections: a cartoon, a text explanation to supplement the cartoon, an exercise that includes the answer, and a summary. Readers can learn much about the subject by just reading the cartoon, but they will gain a more thorough understanding by working through the other three sections in each chapter. Yamamoto provides Rui with easy-to-understand examples and graphic illustrations, making the subject less intimidating. The book progresses in difficulty, beginning with data types and advancing to &tests of independence.& Clearly, readers need a solid understanding of mathematics to grasp these concepts. The art is charming and the humor engaging. Readers will enjoy following Rui as she struggles with math concepts while showing off her new school uniform and realizing her romantic feelings for her tutor. A fun and fairly painless lesson on what many consider to be a less-than-thrilling subject.–Barbara M. Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Shin Takahashi graduated from the Graduate School of Design at Kyushu University in Japan. He has worked as a lecturer and as a data analyst and is currently employed as a technical writer. Takahashi has published several books in the Japanese Manga Guide series, including Statistics-Factor Analysis Edition and Statistics-Regression Analysis Edition (both published by Ohmsha).

Trend Pro, Inc. is a pioneer of Ad-Manga--advertisement and advertising using Manga--in Japan. The company has produced over 1,700 Ad-Manga for over 700 clients, including many well-known public companies and government agencies. The company has over 100 registered professional Manga artists.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Series: Manga Guide To...
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: No Starch Press; 1 edition (December 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593271891
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593271893
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,336 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael R. Chernick on November 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
I loved "The Cartoon Guide to Statistics" because it was humorous very simply told and yet accurately taught. Some of the material is so good that I now use it in my introductory biostatistics course.

The Manga Guide to Statistics does similar things but a little differently. This book is in cartoon strip form and the characters are familiar to many kids who these days wacth the Japanese cartoons on television and read the comic books. This includes my son Daniel who is a high school junior. Dan hates to read but loves math and science and this is the first statistics book that intrigued him enough to read it! I know is reading it and enjoying learning from it by the questions he asks. So like the other cartoon book on statistics this too is a gentle introduction for those with math skills and those with an aversion to mathematics. It shows how statistics is practical by illustrating the techniques on everyday real world data, such as the scores of bowling team players at a bowling alley. It covers the basic summary statistics, correlation, hypothesis testing and probability distributions. What I found interesting was that in addition to the ordinary Pearson product moment correlation they also provided intra-class correlation and Cramer's V (for categorical data). These methods are rarely covered in elementary texts.

One thing it has that is missing in "The Cartoon Guide to Statistics" is the teaching of how to use the computer to apply what they learn. In the final chapter they do this using Excel and teaching things step by step using screen shots of excel spreadsheets.

Throughout the book when a new statistic is introduced they go through the step by step details of the calculations.
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Since I enjoyed the Manga Guide to Statistics, I guess the author achieved at least one objective of good teaching - keep the learner interested. The use of well thought out graphics and humorous examples are likely to encourage a learner to attend to the content.
Still, maintaining interest and good teaching, while related, are not identical. One can maintain interest in ways that detract from learning as well as in ways that enhance learning.
The tendency in this text to oversimplify (e.g., the discussion of what is and is not "measurable" at the beginning of the book, the underemphasis of the importance of random selection) are definite negatives. They will lead a learner with no background in the use of statistical procedures to mistaken conclusions about the meaning of measurements and the generalizability of findings.
In at least one case, the oversimplification proceeds to the point of presenting information that is wrong (i.e., the examples of alternative hypotheses on pp. 172-173). To be fair, there are many "gentle" statistics texts that, as does the Manga Guide to Statistics, present the notion that the alternative hypothesis is simply "not the null hypothesis."
Despite the popularity of this view, Neyman and Pearson (who developed statistical hypothesis testing theory 75 years ago) noted that the "not the null" formulation of the alternative hypothesis would lead to the acceptance of trivial effects as meaningful simply because they were "statistically significant."
The "not the null" formulation of the alternative hypothesis creates other problems.
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Format: Paperback
I don't know where to start. This is the best statistics book. Ever.

I never thought I'd say this, but the authors have made a book on statistics FUN without dumbing it down (this effectively covers at least the entirety of a college level stat intro class).

As a student, this cleared up many problems I'd been having operationalizing fairly advanced formula within Excel. The chapter on inputting statistical formulae in Excel is amazing and worth the cost of the book in itself. The explanations of the formulas use concrete, real world examples. No gambling examples or other unnecesarily abstract or standard scenarios.

As a teacher, I bow down to Mr. Takahashi and the folks at Trend-pro. Their pedagogical expertise is unparalleled. I can only hope that one day I am 1/10th the teacher this man is. He made statistics, a fairly dry subject, not just palatable, but entertaining.

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Format: Paperback
Can You Learn Statistics from Cartoons?

The short answer is yes. The is a deceptively simple introduction to statistics that is taught via manga, or Japanese cartoons. If you ride the subway in Tokyo, you'll see many riders reading manga for diversion on their way to and from work. They are serial stories presented in black and white cartoons.

The Manga Guide to Statistics uses a cartoon format to present elementary statistics. You might think that an apparently non-serious approach wouldn't work in introducing a complicated subject such as statistics, but think again. The basics are all here. Chapters are included on the subjects listed below

Categorical & Numerical Data defined

Numerical Data
Various descriptions, mean, median, standard deviation, estimation theory

Categorical Data
Cross tabulations

Standard Score, Deviation Score

Probability density function
Standard normal distribution
Chi square distribution
t distribution
F distribution
Use of computer spread sheets to do the math

Testing Variables
Correlation coefficient
Correlation ratio
Cramer's coefficient

Hypothesis Testing
Chi-Square test of independence
Null hypothesis and alternative hypothesis
P-value and procedure for hypothesis tests
Tests of independence and tests of homogeneity
Again, use of computers to simplify the calculations

This is a good book for a general introduction to the theory and methodology of statistics. It is short on examples and problems to work on, but for certain readers, it may have value in helping them understand the available statistical tools.
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