Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Learning statistics with cartoons!

Advanced statistics is the bane of many college students with mind-numbing equations and advanced Neutonian calculus that guarantees frequent brain cramps.

When we get into multivariate statistics, well, chi-square is just mind-boggling. We used to call it "Sadistics" . . .

When I taught college statistics I found that simple analogies and generalization greatly aided in learning, and I was thrilled to buy the great book “The Cartoon guide to statistics”, by Larry Gonick, a talented author and professor. This is legitimate college-level statistices, presented in an entertaining and fun way, with lots of analogies, simplification and generalization:

I needed a refresher in advanced multivariate statistics to fully appreciate Dr. Hamm’s new book “Oracle Data Mining”, (it's been 20 years since grad school) and I highly recommend Dr. Gonick’s book for a refresher on advanced statistical modeling concepts.

I especially enjoyed the section on Baynesian model, a prerequisite for Dr, Hamm's treatise on Oracle data mining models. Isn't this illustration below great?

Larry is the author of several cartoon books (check out his catalog), and I just ordered “The cartoon guide to genetics”.