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Suggestions for further reading

Our course is not a traditional introduction to statistics. Traditional courses focus on the mastery of techniques while the present one is all about not getting fooled by numbers. The techniques courses can set you up with powerful tools yet some students get mesmerized or overwhelmed by the mathematics and barely come to grips with the common tricks and pitfalls we’ve been grappling with over the last few weeks.

Yet now that you’ve bolstered your numerical street smarts you may wish to continue down a more traditional path. So here are a few suggestions to guide you on your journey. Thinking Statistically by Uri Bram is short, simple, funny, intuitive and makes essential points about statistical thinking.

Statistics: A Very Short Introduction by David Hand goes deeper and is a bit more demanding but is still very short, well written and aimed at a general reader.

The Art of Statistics: Learning from Data by David Spiegelhalter is a deep dive that is, nevertheless, highly accessible, entertaining and thoroughly rewarding to people willing to commit several days of effort.

Another really nice book, rather in the spirit of our course, is Numbers Rule Your World by Kaiser Fung.

And if you want something that is more like a Statistics 101 textbook then I’d recommend Statistics by Freedman, Pisani and Purves (Maybe go for a used edition to save money).

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This article is from the free online course:

Survival Statistics: Secrets for Demystifying Numbers

Royal Holloway, University of London

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