## Teaching Statistics

*29 Dec 2015 12:26*

Doing this is now, officially, what I am paid for. I am basically
unembarrassed about doing this while never having *taken* a statistics
class --- after all, I do statistical research, so it's not *exactly*
like a celibate man offering advice on marriage --- but I do want to do
it *better*.

One thing which particularly concerns me is that almost all the introductory textbooks I run across seem like either cookbooks, or lower and distorted forms of Cramér's Mathematical Methods of Statistics. Cramér's book is great, but giving a debased version of it to engineers or social scientists doesn't seem all that effective. So I'm interested in good approaches to teaching statistics as a way of learning about the world from data, not a set of rituals or a calculational exercise in basic probability theory. If they do a good job of teaching about computer-intensive methods and applied probability, so much the better.

In fact, what I'd really like is for somebody to write a popular book on "better living through data analysis". I wish I could say that Freakonomics was that book, but it isn't.

- Recommended, good examples:
- D. R. Cox and Christl A. Donnelly, Principles of Applied Statistics
- A. C. Davison, Statistical Modeling
- Larry Gonick and Woollcott Smith, The Cartoon Guide to Statistics
- D. Huff, How to Lie with Statistics
- Larry Wasserman, All of Statistics

- Recommended second or secondary books (i.e., ones with too few
technicalities to be self-contained, first-reading texts):
- Robert P. Abelson, Statistics as Principled Argument ["Author's note: There is a Robert P. Abelson who sings in the Yiddish theater in New York. Although theatrically inclined, I cannot (alas) claim to be that person also."]
- Richard A. Berk, Regression Analysis: A Constructive Critique

- Recommended, misc.:
- Nathan Moore, Nicole Schoolmeesters, "Computational Physics and Reality: Looking for Some Overlap at the Blacksmith Shop", arxiv:0904.3960 [This sounds like it might also work for a course in stochastics...]

- Modesty forbids me to recommend:
- CRS, Advanced Data Analysis from an Elementary Point of View [Modesty, and the fact that these students have all had both a first course in statistics and a whole semester of linear regression, so I have a much easier time.]

- To read:
- Murray Aitkin, Brian Francis, John Hinde and Ross Darnell, Statistical Modelling in R
- Benjamin M. Bolker, Ecological Models and Data in R
- F. M. Dekking, C. Kraaikamp, H. P. Lopuhaä and L. E. Meester, A Modern Introduction to Probability and Statistics: Understanding How and Why
- Finkelstein, Smith and Levin, Statistics for Lawyers ["Despite its pedestrian title, it is not a routine statistics text with legal examples tossed in. The selection of topics and examples, as well as the exposition of statistics and law, is erudite, informed, and even entertaining." --- or so says the review quoted by Springer Verlag]
- Andrew Gelman and and Deborah Nolan, Teaching Statistics: A Bag of Tricks
- Phillip I. Good, Resampling Methods: A Practical Guide to Data Analysis
- Phillip I. Good and James W. Hardin, Common Errors in Statistics (and How to Avoid Them)
- Daniel T. Kaplan, Statistical Modeling: A Fresh Approach [Thanks to Ben Hansen for the pointer]
- Dana K. Keller, The Tao of Statistics: A Path to Understanding (With No Math)
- Gary King, Robert O. Keohane and Sidney Verba, Designing Social Inquiry: Scientific Inference in Qualitative Research
- Ben Klemens, Modeling with Data [website with draft text. Looks interesting and I like the idea of integrating it with computing, and with databases.]
- Marsha Lovett, Oded Meyer and Candace Thille, "The Open Learning Initiative: Measuring the Effectiveness of the OLI Statistics Course in Accelerating Student Learning", Journal of Interactive Media in Education 2008:14
- Jane E. Miller, The Chicago Guide to Writing about Multivariate Analysis
- Neil J. Salking, Statistics for People Who (Think They) Hate Statistics
- David J. Saville and Graham R. Wood, Statistical Methods: The Geometric Approach [Thanks to David Weisman for the pointer]
- Jefferson Hane Weaver, Conquering Statistics: Numbers Without the Crunch