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Everday Probability and Statistics: Health, Elections, Gambling and War Paperback – Jul 31 2012

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This book presents important results of probability and statistics without making heavy mathematical demands to the reader. Either mature readers who long ago lost contact with formal mathematics or younger ones, who struggle somewhat with the subject, may find it helpful to test their new knowledge by tackling some problems posed at the end of each chapter … reading the solution may help to strengthen his, or her, understanding. It should enable an intelligent reader to properly assess statistical information and to understand that the same information can be presented in different ways. --Zentralblatt MATH --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Bland account of probability and statistics Nov. 7 2009
By David J. Aldous - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a representative instance of a genre I call "textbook lite", taking the standard topics of freshman mathematical statistics and probability, and presenting them in a more verbal style with arithmetic and graphics but little or no algebra. About one book a year (e.g. Probably Not: Future Prediction Using Probability and Statistical Inference and Struck by Lightning: The Curious World of Probabilities) appears in this genre emphasizing probability, while numerous others emphasize statistics. Writing such books is a worthy and well-intentioned activity. This book (like most books in this genre) is correct and clearly written but fails to be distinctive or original in any way, in particular (like most books in this genre) relying mostly on hypothetical data or classical data rather than making the effort to seek out new interesting contemporary data. More crucially, authors seem to assume that merely reading standard theory will help the reader learn how to interpret statistics encountered in everyday life, an assumption that those of us who actually teach the subject realize is wishful thinking.

For an intellectually serious account of basic statistics at the same elementary mathematical level (into the writing of which much more effort was put -- employing real data and based on feedback from decades of students) see instead Statistics, 4th Edition. For an entertaining and conceptually (though not mathematically) sophisticated account of what statistics is about, by a working academic statistician, see Dicing with Death: Chance, Risk and Health.