"Head First Statistics", Dawn Griffiths, 2009, 978-0-596-52758-7,

U$34.99/C$34.99

%A Dawn Griffiths

%C 103 Morris Street, Suite A, Sebastopol, CA 95472

%D 2009

%G 978-0-596-52758-7 0-596-52758-6

%I O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.

%O U$34.99/C$34.99 800-998-9938 707-829-0515 nuts@...

%O http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0596527586/robsladesinterne

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0596527586/robsladesinte-21

%O http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASIN/0596527586/robsladesin03-20

%O Audience i- Tech 2 Writing 1 (see revfaq.htm for explanation)

%P 677 p.

%S Head First

%T "Head First Statistics"

As with other similarly introductory books, there is a summary table

of contents followed by a second, more detailed one. In this work,

there is also an explanatory paragraph, for each chapter, in the

itemized table. In the introduction, the author states that the

reader of this text will learn to use statistics, for whatever purpose

they may wish, in a stimulating and easy manner. (Most of the

introduction is a promotion for the visual, conversational, and

emotional style of the Head First series.)

Chapter one champions the idea of visualizing information. Charts and

graphs are explained, but the examples are sometimes forced.

Determining the central tendency can be problematic, and chapter two

raises the issues of concern, but doesn't really resolve them.

(Confidence in the book is not helped by arithmetic errors: 10,000

multiplied by 1.1 does not equal 12,000.) Range, quartiles, box

plots, standard deviation, and standard score are all means of

measuring variability, but the conversational style of the material

does not help once we get into the more advanced topics, and the

content starts to become confusing at this point. Chapter four does

fine on calculation of the basic probabilities, but, again, the move

into set theory and dependencies strains this format. (As a security

analyst I was particularly interested to see how Bayesian functions

were handled, but this section was far too terse to be useful.) The

formulae for discrete probability distribution are presented fairly in

chapter five, and the inclusion of permutation is handled in six, but

when we get to geometric, binomial, and poisson distribution in seven,

the style is once again impeding the explanation.

Chapters eight and nine, using the normal distribution, are really

starting to get into calculus. Statistical sampling, in chapter ten,

is primarily involved in issues of sample choice, rather than

mathematics. Chapter eleven does use some of the calculations

introduced previously to predict, based on random populations. Using

material from chapters three and four, chapter twelve examines issues

of confidence in our figures. Testing of statistically-based claims,

as well as standard error types, is covered in chapter thirteen.

Chapter fourteen introduces the chi-squared distribution for goodness-

of-fit and independence. Correlation and regression are dealt with in

chapter fifteen.

On the title page is a photograph of a teenaged girl with a thought

balloon reading, "Wouldn't it be dreamy if there was a statistics book

that was more fun than an overdue trip to the dentist? But it's

probably just a fantasy ..." Unfortunately, for this book, that wish

does seem to be relegated to the realms of the fantastic. There are

parts of the book that are fun. There are parts that explain

statistics. However, they aren't the same parts ...

copyright Robert M. Slade, 2009 BKHFSTAT.RVW 20081203

====================== (quote inserted randomly by Pegasus Mailer)

rslade@... slade@... rslade@...

Doubtless you are the people, and wisdom will die with you! But

I have a mind as well as you; I am not inferior to you. Who does

not know all these things? - Job 12:2,3

http://victoria.tc.ca/techrev/rms.htm

http://blog.isc2.org/isc2_blog/slade/index.html http://twitter.com/rslade

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