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Using a successfully class-tested approach that gives coherence to a broad range of introductory topics, this innovative text provides students with a big picture view of statistics as well as problem-solving strategies that can be applied to the majority of questions that introductory-statistics students will encounter. Author Nancy Pfenning organizes content around four basic processes of statistics: producing data, displaying and summarizing data, understanding probability, and using probability to perform statistical inference. Within this framework, the book progresses systematically through five basic situations involving values of variables (quantitative, categorical, or a blend). As a result, students learn to identify which situation applies to a specific statistical problem and how to choose the correct display, summary, or inference tool. As students gain proficiency in specific statistical techniques, the author also points out connections among topics and techniques to help them gain a perspective on statistics as a whole. More than 1,000 real-life examples and categorized exercises support the approach, engaging students in practicing and developing a variety of skills.
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Nancy Pfenning received her PhD in Mathematics from Carnegie Mellon University in 1985. Her 1998 book "Chances Are..." is a bestseller at Prufrock Press, which specializes in gifted education. Since 1987 she has been teaching at the University of Pittsburgh, where she is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Statistics, liaison for College in High School Statistics, and a member of the American Statistical Association. Each year since 2005, she has used a draft of her new book to teach statistics to hundreds of undergraduates with her unique, "big picture" approach, which makes both the concepts and the learning process memorable to students. She is also a great believer in real-world applications, data collected from students themselves, and hands-on experiments---all ways that she has found to connect with her students, and to connect them to the wealth of ideas that statistics has to offer. In her free time, Nancy and her husband like to get together with their three grown children, with cooking, hiking, and traveling at the top of their list of favorite shared activities.Review:
"The approach used here is very superior to many other comparable level statistics books in the market."
"It gives the students a baseline for understanding the concepts."
"Yes, I definitely laud the author's approach to integrating all of the major components of statistics using the "four processes" approach."
"I like the approach. It stresses a unified approach. It gives students an organized structure which they can use throughout the course. This should help students understand the material. It makes understanding and choosing the correct statistical method the key part of the statistics course. This avoids the common problem of a statistics course simply becoming a set of tolls to be tested."
"Based on these two chapters, I'd say likely. It looks like this text would be a better fit to our departmental philosophy than our current text. I've already asked several colleagues to take a look at the chapters I've reviewed. So far, comments are positive."
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