Head First Statistics Paperback – Sep 5 2008
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About the Author
Dawn Griffiths started life as a mathematician at a top UK university. She was awarded a First-Class Honours degree in Mathematics, and was offered a university scholarship to undertake a PhD studying particularly rare breeds of differential equations. She moved away from academia when she realized that people would stop talking to her at parties, and went on to pursue a career in software development instead. She currently combines IT consultancy with writing and mathematics.
When Dawn's not working on Head First books, you'll find her honing her Tai Chi skills, making bobbin lace or cooking nice meals. She hasn't yet mastered the art of doing all three at the same time.
She also enjoys traveling, and spending time with her lovely husband, David.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
(I do have one criticism: it appears that there are some spelling errors and exercise mistakes. They are not overwhelming, and, fortunately, you learn enough to recognize the mistakes, but they should be noted. However, they are so mild, it is not worth spoiling a good review.)
The greatest strength of this book is the progressive way it builds understanding by clearly explaining exactly what each statistical function means, what the results of each function shows about the data, and when it should-- and shouldn't-- be applied. By the end, anyone who reads carefully and does the exercises will have a pretty firm grip on the essentials of statistical analysis.
The book is unusual in its concept and design, too. The concepts are served up in easily digestible bites with lots of graphics, useful sidebars containing supplemental information, and exercises based on practical, real-world cases. No math beyond basic algebra is necessary for doing any of the exercises in the book. Finally, the tone is light and conversational, but it isn't at all condescending or cutsie.
This most certainly is not an advanced textbook or a comprehensive reference manual. However, for anyone who needs an introductory text or a review for a stats exam, this is the book to get. I recommend it most highly.
Head First Statistics was written by a mathematician for non-mathematicians. The author and editors have obviously put in a great deal of effort to create something out of the ordinary. This book is clearly a labour of love, as it is a low effort and fun way to learn probability and statistics!
I studied Mathematics at University, and statistics was something I had little contact with until a first year introduction to the subject. This clear and simple book will take you painlessly from having absolutely no knowledge of probability and statistics, to a level commensurate with university entrance. It stops short of deriving the central limit theorem from first principles, but it will make you aware of what it is and show you how it can be applied. I gained a clear understanding of concepts I had merely glossed over at university over 20 years ago.
This is an interesting and engaging book, written in the Head First series' hallmark style (tells you how, but also shows you why). Even if you have absolutely no knowledge of statistics, it will not be a barrier to gaining an in-depth understanding of basic statistics from this book. I really enjoyed reading this book. Highly Recommended.
I did find a few spelling mistakes, and another reviewer on Amazon pointed out that there were a few mistakes in the exercises (I must confess I didn't work through every single one!).
Disclosure: a copy of this book was supplied by O'Reilly. I did not let that influence this review.