Modern statistics is very different from the dry and dusty discipline of the popular imagination. In its place is an exciting subject which uses deep theory and powerful software tools to shed light and enable understanding. And it sheds this light on all aspects of our lives, enabling astronomers to explore the origins of the universe, archaeologists to investigate ancient civilisations, governments to understand how to benefit and improve society, and businesses to learn how best to provide goods and services. Aimed at readers with no prior mathematical knowledge, this Very Short Introduction explores and explains how statistics work, and how we can decipher them. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
David Hand is Professor of Statistics at Imperial College, London, where he is head of the Statistics Section in the Mathematics Department and head of the Mathematics in Banking and Finance Programme of the Institute for Mathematical Sciences. His most recent book is Information Generation: How Data Rule Our World. He launched the journal Statistics and Computing, and has been elected President of the Royal Statistical Society for 2008 and 2009. He was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries in 1999 and a Fellow of the British Academy in 2003. He has received various awards and prizes for his research, and acts as a consultant to a wide range of organisations, including governments, banks, pharmaceutical companies, manufacturing industry, and health service providers.
Preface ; 1. Surrounded by Statistics ; 2. Simple descriptions ; 3. Collecting good data ; 4. Probability ; 5. Estimation and inference ; 6. Statistical models and methods ; 7. Statistical computing ; Further reading ; Index