Statistics is the study of analyzing data and making inferences about a population. That sounds intimidating, but here's the thing to remember—statistics is just another type of mathematics. And we know all about math. There are rules to math; if you use the right equation at the right time, then you'll get the right answer.
Here's a sneak peek at what we'll cover in this year:
We'll chat about all the different types of data out there, along with the best ways to display them. You don't graph categorical data with a histogram for the same reasons you don't eat Thanksgiving dinner with a spatula.
People won't stay awake to hear your conclusions if you insist on reading off all 500 data points you collected. We'll discuss how we can summarize our data using just a handful of numbers.
Sometimes our data are unruly, so we can use a transformation to get them to settle down.
Data don't appear out of thin air. Somebody has to go collect them. Once you've identified the population and parameters you're interested in, it's time to conduct a survey, experiment, or observational study to nab a sample.
Since statistics is about making inferences, we'll need some way to talk about how likely we think different events are. So, we'll wrap up the semester by boning up on probability. Plus, we'll run some simulations, which are a super-handy tool in our stats toolkit.
Of course, it would be hard to learn statistics' rules without a caravan of readings, guided questions, problem sets, and activities, so we've got all that covered, too.