20 March 2013

If I Taught a Statistics Course

Today I am guest lecturing in a graduate seminar here on Quantitative Methods of Policy Analysis, being taught by Jason Vogel. The subject of today's class is statistics. In preparing for the class I rounded up a set of books that I have found to be particularly useful and I thought I'd share them here, just in case I ever teach a stats class down the road.

These four books would be at the top of my required reading list:

S. Sigler, 2002. Statistics on the Table: A History of Statistical Concepts and Methods, Harvard University Press.

S. Senn, 2003. Dicing with Death: Chance, Risk and Health, Cambridge University Press.

W. Briggs, 2008. Breaking the Law of Averages: Real Life Probability and Statistics in Plain English, LuLu Marketplace (and here, free!).

M. Mauboussin, 2012. The Success Equation: Untangling Skill and Luck in Business, Sports, and Investing, Harvard University Press.

A few of the cases that we will discuss today will include the NCAA tournament (and Nate Silver's skill), hurricane trends (of course), and a few puzzlers from the books above. It'll be fun. The cases for exploration of statistical questions and methods are infinite of course, and run up against important questions of research design, epistemology and philosophy of science among other topics.

What other books, readings would you recommend?