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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magical equations » » Teaching Oneself About Probability and Statistics (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

hoodrat
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Is there a website out there (or any good book) that one can go to in order to teach oneself about statistics and probability without having to take a college course?

Just curious.... Thanks!
Joshua Quinn
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If you're looking for general concepts and real-world applications rather than heavy formulas and equations, I suggest two books: "What Are the Odds?" by Mike Orkin, and "Coincidences, Chaos, and All That Math Jazz" by Edward Burger and Michael Starbird.
Every problem contains the seeds of its own solution. Unfortunately every problem also contains the seeds of an infinite number of non-solutions, so that first part really isn't super helpful.
landmark
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Not sure if it's still in print, but a fun easy basic read is How to Lie with Statistics by Huff.


Jack Shalom
Craig Krisulevicz
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Hoodrat,

Probabilty and stat resources are usually on the expensive side. Sure you, can find some cheap things, but the knowledge in them may not be the best.

What is you're math background as of now? What are you going to apply this new knowledge to?

The answers to these questions will lead to more useful recommendations on my part.


-Craig
Who is John Galt?
Jonathan Townsend
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Craig are you getting altruistic?

Anyone who wants to learn some math can find much of the basics via GOOGLE.

Not trying to be mean, just tired of seeing scattered efforts leading to non-standard deviations.

Or as they say, "lies, dam**d lies and statistics"

Let em work for it a little. Smile
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Craig Krisulevicz
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Jonathan,

Leave it to me to not remember GOOGLE. You're right, that's the best place to find a a primer on probability and stastistics.

Hoodrat, I would take Jonathan's advice and from there if you want to go further you could find some more sources.


....and as for me getting altruistic.....Smile
Who is John Galt?
hoodrat
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Hey, thanks landmark for that reference to "How to Lie With Statistics." I'm going to check that one out to see if it is still available and in print. Thanks, too, to Quinn for his suggestions that avoid the heavy-duty formulas, etc.

Not trying to be mean, but coincidentally I've read some other recent posts by Jonathan Townsend in other topics by other people where he comes across as "attacking", arrogant, and rude. With over 12,000 posts to his name, that means he's averaging 10 posts A DAY since he joined the Café in December of 2002. Ten freakin' posts a day!! Dude! Get a life!! (Again, to quote you, "I'm not trying to be mean"). Take it with a grain of salt. Smile
impossible man
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Hoodrat,

I know you really wanted websites, but if you're also open to books, try Larry Gonick and Woollcott Smith's "Cartoon Guide to Statistics." If you want a basic (just the starter concepts) book with simple exercises, try "Chances Are - the Only Statistics Book You'll Ever Need" by Stephen L. Slavin.

I program with SAS, a statistics language, so I've had to review a little myself.

Dean
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stanalger
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Another good intro book is "How to Think About Statistics" by John Phillips.
Your local library may have this title.
bobmcmathman
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Hoodrat,
I know you said online, free, etc., but thought I'd pitch a series of course I recently took from Converse College at http://blackboard.scetv.org/online/courses/. They offer basically home study courses in Stats/prob, calculus, pre-calc, and several others for $399 each. You get a complete course on video/DVD, and go online to enter quiz and final exam answers. When you finish they award you 3 hours graduate credit. Nice system, great way to learn- at least for me. No, I don't work for them- but I've taken 3 courses so far, and plan to take more.
Bob
hoodrat
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Bob,

Thanks for that link! I like stuff like that. I have taken one course through Barnes & Noble University online -- they are totally free, but they don't count as college credits. I don't have their website address handy, but a quick search in Google will bring them up, if you're interested.

Thank you to all who have posted INFORMATIVE and HELPFUL replies to my initial question. Much appreciated!
MR2Guy
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Hi
A great place for reading up is wikipedia

Probabilities

Statistics

Take care

Jason
Question every rule.
There are no absolutes.
Psy-Kosh
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A bit late, and a bit specific, but if you want a great intro to Bayes' probability Theorem/Bayesian inference, http://yudkowsky.net/bayes/bayes.html is a good place. Warning though... lotsa java, so may cause your browser to implode.
bobmcmathman
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Hoodrat,
Another great place to buy good stats intro is The Learning company, at:

http://www.teach12.com/ttc/assets/course......hematics

They have many courses on DVD, CD, etc. They just came out with "Meaning from Data: Statistics Made Clear
." I have not seen this particular course, but have several other courses of theirs- calculus, quantum physics, physics in everyday life, biology and human behavior- and love them all. Don't pay full price, wait a month or so and each one goes on sale at significant discount. You can also find many at large libraries and thru inter-library loans.
Scott Cram
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There's a great article about Bayes' theorem called Probability As Logic that should be read by everyone interested in studying probability. This article links to some excellent free ebooks on the topic, as well!

(Click highlighted text for link)
TomasB
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This PDF is very thorough and I think you will find all you want there:

http://www.dartmouth.edu/~chance/teachin.......mac.pdf

/Tomas
hoodrat
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Thanks, Tomas, for the link to the PDF file. I downloaded it and will look it over. Thanks, too, to everybody else who has taken time to post helpful links and replies. They've been helpful! Thanks.
DaveS
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Chances Are: Adventures in Probability, just published, is a fascinating read for laymen on statistics and probability theory. Only $17 (or available from your public library). Well-written with many real world examples that vividly illustrate the principles.
Highly recommended!
DaveS
We shall not cease from exploration/And the end of all our exploring/Will be to arrive where we started/And know the place for the first time. (TS Elliot)
David43
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I second or third "How to Lie With Statistics", I read it at school and I've never looked at a graph or table in a newspaper/ book etc quite the same since. Its a book everyone should read, a real eye-opener.

David
I Put a Spell On You
balducci
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Quote:
On 2006-03-27 23:39, Scott Cram wrote:
There's a great article about Bayes' theorem called Probability As Logic that should be read by everyone interested in studying probability. This article links to some excellent free ebooks on the topic, as well!

(Click highlighted text for link)

Some of the links on that page have expired. However, you can still obtain the first three chapters of ET Jaynes' book "Probability as Logic" for free from this link:

http://bayes.wustl.edu/etj/prob/book.pdf

Some more info here:

http://bayes.wustl.edu/

To be honest, Jaynes' book may not be well suited for the casual reader.
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