- File Size: 9326 KB
- Print Length: 256 pages
- Publisher: Dover Publications (April 26, 2012)
- Publication Date: March 29, 2012
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B008TVLLIM
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Not Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #228,597 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Principles of Statistics (Dover Books on Mathematics) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The word statistics in the title is misleading. The bulk of this book focuses on giving a brief yet rigorous overview of probability theory. Traditional topics in statistics such as point estimation, statistical tests and regression analysis are only covered towards the end of the book. While some people may not have a problem with this, I think it is absolutely crucial to highlight the difference between probability theory and statistics. Probability theory is a branch of mathematics dealing with understanding randomness and uncertainty. It is the application of probability theory to observed phenomena that gives rise to the study of statistics. Like I said, subtle but crucial difference if you are studying this material at a higher level.
With regards to the presentation and actual quality of this book, it does what it was written to do. Give a brief yet fundamentally sound overview of the material. If you have no prior experience with this material THEN THIS IS NOT A BOOK TO SELF STUDY FROM. It can be used as a supplement to a more detailed textbook but essentially the target audience is someone who has seen the material before and wants to be able to review it quickly without the pedantry of what an introductory text would offer.
The negative reviews come from people who use this as their introduction to statistics, and who probably don't have a strong grasp of calculus or perhaps higher level math in general.
In my opinion this book offers something that no other statistics book has: clear derivations of all the fundamental and important equations and distributions in statistics; followed by lucid explanations. In other words this book unravels the mystery behind the equations. If you've thought about a statistics equation a lot and wondered, WHY? Then this is the book to read.
Here are 4 questions I had that Bulmer answered:
1) Why is the mean more commonly used than the median (and in which cases is the median better)? p.51-54
2) As a measure of variability why use a root-mean-square procedure (i.e. accepted def. of std deviation ) instead of mean deviation (i.e. take absolute value of deviations)? p.54-59
3) What is the logical error in the gambler's fallacy? p.87-88 (Note: many statistics books treat this, but I've found Bulmer's book to give the most satisfying answer.)
4) Why does the standard deviation of a sample have the n-1 term in the denominator instead of the n term like the stdev of the population? p.129-130
(Note that he answers questions 1, 2, and 4 more than once, but the pages listed are the first time the answer appears.)
Thus, I strongly recommend buying and reading this book if, like me, you have a burning desire to know why the equations are the way they are. I would recommend a different book, say Statistics by Freedman, if you're either new to statistics or you don't have a great handle on math (i.e. proofs, calculus, etc.).
Note that Statistics by Freedman is an excellent introductory text with a plethora of examples and will not take you down the terrible path of memorizing formulas that you don't understand. Rather it seeks to give a conceptual understanding of statistics without delving too deeply into the underlying math.
Finally, I gave Bulmer's book 4 stars rather than 5 because Bulmer often derives equations that I'm not interested in.
This text covers each topic at a basic level, giving a general intuition/reasoning, examples, and even history. It then also provides a more thorough look, tying concepts together and explaining the math that comprises it all.
I don't want to say 'advanced', because that has different implications in general useage than in an academic subject. But for someone without an advanced knowledge of statistics, this book gives as advanced a view as you'll need. So...intermediate?
Top that off with how cheap it is and you've got a perfect starting point.