9 Hours to Numeracy

I’m helping to plan an Introduction to Statistics for incoming post-bachelors fellows in the next month, and because of the wide range of backgrounds these recent college graduates will be coming from, I’m approaching it as a short course on numeracy (we’ve got about 9 hours of lecture time scheduled for it), focused on statistics. This will be complemented with a very hands-on dose of STATA, but I’m going to try not to think about that.

My favorite numeracy-in-stats book is a dusty classic, and it would have survived on its name alone: How to Lie with Statistics. I wonder if that title is too cheeky for global health applications when the numbers really matter…

Do you know this book, and do you like it? Or is there a more modern book or article that I should think of instead? What would you pack into 9 hours of stats numeracy training. Tell me.


Filed under education

7 responses to “9 Hours to Numeracy

  1. kjforeman

    You didn’t make a move from Stata to Python a prerequisite for taking the job?

  2. I’ve found Statistics Without Tears to be a splendid primer that concentrates on the “whys” and “whats” and leaves the “hows” out.

  3. @kjforeman: I wish… remember for future jobs “everything is negotiable”

    @mattwartell: I like the title, I’ll look at it. The library says people who like this also like:

    • Statistics for dummies by Rumsey, Deborah J. 1961-
    • The cartoon guide to statistics by Gonick, Larry
    • The lady tasting tea : how statistics revolutionized science in the twentieth ce by Salsburg, David, 1931-
    • Statistics. by Pisani, Robert.

    I like the comic book, but it’s not for everyone. I haven’t looked at any of the others.

  4. I also like the “Cartoon Guide to Statistics” (Gonick) as a very first intro to stats. I’ve loaned it to a number of people, who really liked it. In fact, I keep having to buy new copies as the old ones disappear.

  5. B

    I have heard great reviews about
    Senn, Stephen. Dicing With Death. Chance, risk and health. Cambridge University Press, 2003.

    I have read only some chapters. It might also tie in with your health focus. David Aldous recommends the book: http://www.stat.berkeley.edu/~aldous/157/Books/popular.html

  6. Good title, I’ll take a look. Punny chapter name: “the diceman cometh”

  7. kjforeman

    I think this is a pretty good presentation – on how to present statistics: http://www.williams.edu/Mathematics/rdeveaux/talks/music.pdf

    Might be worth cribbing from. (via http://www.stat.columbia.edu/~cook/movabletype/archives/2010/08/teaching_yourse.html )