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View Diary: Statistics 101 Book recommendations (79 comments)

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  •  I am not sure I agree (0+ / 0-)

    completely.

    Well.....I certainly agree that a good math background is better than cookbook stats.

    But I think a good stats background, which, in my view, does NOT require calculus, is more important to more people than calculus.  I think statistics (NOT cookbook) is a very good way to teach quantitative thinking.  

    Also, it helps you spot the BS that is spewed at us by advertisers, politicians, and so on.

    What are you reading? on Friday mornings
    stats_geeks_of_daily_kos

    by plf515 on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 03:26:46 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Glad to have your thoughts here as well. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      plf515

      I'd been wondering if we could do stats well without calculus and am glad to see you confirm this.  Your comment about "helps to spot the BS" is exactly the kind of thing I'd be trying to get at with the course I like to teach him.  Thanks for the ideas.  

    •  I consider the ability to think (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      plf515

      abstractly a very important thing for any sort of clear thought.

      Doing math -- pure math -- teaches that as well as anything.  And giving someone the chance to get into calculus in High School leaves open doors that will otherwise be closed.  I had a poor undergraduate math background and struggled like hell in grad school.

      So for a high schooler, I'd say go with the abstract math.  The stats can come in college, and will be far, far easier to get in a meaningful way than now.

      "I am awash in goddesses!"

      by Marc in KS on Tue Dec 05, 2006 at 06:31:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You could be right (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Marc in KS

        But I think that, for homeschoolers, it will be easier for the parents to teach statistics well than to teach calculus well.  It is very hard to teach calculus well, and I think it requires knowing a LOT more math than the parents here do (I think even teaching elementary calc. well requires AT LEAST being a math major undergrad, and possibly an advanced math degree, as well as a LOT of teaching ability.

        Statistics is easier to teach, I think.

        What are you reading? on Friday mornings
        stats_geeks_of_daily_kos

        by plf515 on Tue Dec 05, 2006 at 06:55:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good comment about how well can I teach calculus? (0+ / 0-)

          Up through Algebra 2 where we are now, everything has been fine.  I wasn't a math major, but have always loved math and appreciate it for its own rigor and beauty.  I was an economics major and a math minor and have a MS in Comp Sci so am not unused to thinking hard.  

          However, my feeling about calculus has always been that unless being taught to someone like me, who just loves math, it always made way harder than it needs to be and is way less valuable in the long run than people like to argue.  

          Also, my son, who does very well in math, doesn't love it like I do and doesn't see its beauty.  He would however, love a course that taught him to "spot the BS".  

          Anyway, thanks for all the food for thought.  One of the things I love about Kos is the brain power you can find here.

        •  That's a good point. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          plf515

          And there are lots of people teaching calculus in universities who can wring every last little drop of interest out of it -- and they're the pros.

          So yeah, I concede.

          "I am awash in goddesses!"

          by Marc in KS on Tue Dec 05, 2006 at 08:47:36 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Interesting debate though (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Marc in KS

            Perhaps I should do a diary, something like:

            If you could study any topic in the world, with a great professor who was devoted to the topic, what would it be?

            or, perhaps

            Of the subjects offered in a large university, in which is a good instructor most vital?

            What are you reading? on Friday mornings
            stats_geeks_of_daily_kos

            by plf515 on Tue Dec 05, 2006 at 09:28:04 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

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