Features of Introducing Statistics A Graphic Guide PDF
From the medicine we take, the treatments we receive, the aptitude and psychometric tests given by employers, the cars we drive, the clothes we wear to even the beer we drink, statistics have given shape to the world we inhabit. For the media, statistics are routinely ‘damning’, ‘horrifying’, or, occasionally, ‘encouraging’. Yet, for all their ubiquity, most of us really don’t know what to make of statistics. Exploring the history, mathematics, philosophy and practical use of statistics, Eileen Magnello – accompanied by Bill Mayblin’s intelligent graphic illustration – traces the rise of statistics from the ancient Babylonians, Egyptians and Chinese, to the censuses of Romans and the Greeks, and the modern emergence of the term itself in Europe. She explores the ‘vital statistics’ of, in particular, William Farr, and the mathematical statistics of Karl Pearson and R.A. Fisher.She even tells how knowledge of statistics can prolong one’s life, as it did for evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould, given eight months to live after a cancer diagnoses in 1982 – and he lived until 2002. This title offers an enjoyable, surprise-filled tour through a subject that is both fascinating and crucial to understanding our world.Introducing Statistics A Graphic Guide PDF
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Description of Introducing Statistics A Graphic Guide PDF
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Eileen Magnello trained and worked as a statistician before doing her doctorate in the history of science at St Antony’s College, Oxford. She has published extensively on the life and statistical innovations of the Victorian statistician Karl Pearson and is a Research Associate at University College London. Bill Mayblinhas illustrated a number of Introducing titles including Derrida and Logic. –This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
Dimensions and Characteristics of Introducing Statistics A Graphic Guide PDF
- Identification Number : B00KFEK0OC
- Publisher : Icon Books; Illustrated edition (June 5, 2014)
- Publication date : June 5, 2014
- Language : English
- File size : 46168 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 355 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
February 20, 2013
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December 14, 2011
Unfortunately, however, the book is riddled with blunders and misconceptions, obfuscations and inaccuracies.
Consider just one topic: the standard deviation — pretty important when it comes to understanding statistics.
We are told that the standard deviation ‘indicates how widely or closely spread the values are in a set of a data’ (fine so far, apart from the typo of an extra ‘a’), and then that it ‘shows how far each of these individual values deviate from the average’. No: as a single summary figure, the standard deviation cannot possibly give information on ‘each of these individual values’. (That is not its purpose, of course; indeed it almost the exact opposite of its purpose.)
The accompanying graphic carries the information that the ‘standard deviation … corresponds to the moment of inertia … of dynamics’. No: it corresponds to the radius of gyration. And we are told that the moment of inertia is ‘a geometrical property of a beam, and a measure of the beam’s ability to resist buckling or bending’. Oh dear! Clearly the author’s grasp of mechanics is no better than her grasp of statistics.
The formula for the standard deviation is then given — but it is typeset incorrectly!
Next, the standard deviation for a set of data (with mean 8) is calculated (correctly!) as 2.82. The accompanying comment is ‘This means that the average amount of deviation in this set of data is 2.82 units away from the mean value of 8 and that, therefore, there is a small amount of variation in this sample’. There appears to be no explanation of the criterion by which the variation is deemed large or small. Certainly it is not a criterion known to this statistician.
Finally, we have ‘Although the standard deviation indicates to what extent the whole group deviates from the mean, it does not show how variable a particular group is.’ I have read that over and over again and I am at a loss to know what it is trying to say.
I wish I could say that the other statistical concepts in the book fared better than the standard deviation — but they don’t. I can’t resist mentioning the coefficient of variation which is said to be useful in comparing the variability of temperatures in two cities, one set of measurements being in in degrees Celsius and the other in Fahrenheit. This, of course, is a perfect example of when it would *not* be appropriate to use the coefficient of variation — because the mean could be zero and the coefficient of variation would then be infinite.
If you understand anything about statistics this book will infuriate you; if you don’t understand much about statistics the book will hinder not help.
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