Book picks similar to
Observation and Experiment: An Introduction to Causal Inference by Paul R. Rosenbaum
Tell Me The Odds: A 15 Page Introduction To Bayes Theorem
Scott Hartshorn - 2017
Essentially, you make an initial guess, and then get more data to improve it. Bayes Theorem, or Bayes Rule, has a ton of real world applications, from estimating your risk of a heart attack to making recommendations on Netflix But It Isn't That Complicated This book is a short introduction to Bayes Theorem. It is only 15 pages long, and is intended to show you how Bayes Theorem works as quickly as possible. The examples are intentionally kept simple to focus solely on Bayes Theorem without requiring that the reader know complicated probability distributions. If you want to learn the basics of Bayes Theorem as quickly as possible, with some easy to duplicate examples, this is a good book for you.
The Book of Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect
Judea Pearl - 2018
Today, that taboo is dead. The causal revolution, instigated by Judea Pearl and his colleagues, has cut through a century of confusion and established causality -- the study of cause and effect -- on a firm scientific basis. His work explains how we can know easy things, like whether it was rain or a sprinkler that made a sidewalk wet; and how to answer hard questions, like whether a drug cured an illness. Pearl's work enables us to know not just whether one thing causes another: it lets us explore the world that is and the worlds that could have been. It shows us the essence of human thought and key to artificial intelligence. Anyone who wants to understand either needs The Book of Why.
Proofiness: The Dark Arts of Mathematical Deception
Charles Seife - 2010
According to MSNBC, having a child makes you stupid. You actually lose IQ points. Good Morning America has announced that natural blondes will be extinct within two hundred years. Pundits estimated that there were more than a million demonstrators at a tea party rally in Washington, D.C., even though roughly sixty thousand were there. Numbers have peculiar powers-they can disarm skeptics, befuddle journalists, and hoodwink the public into believing almost anything. "Proofiness," as Charles Seife explains in this eye-opening book, is the art of using pure mathematics for impure ends, and he reminds readers that bad mathematics has a dark side. It is used to bring down beloved government officials and to appoint undeserving ones (both Democratic and Republican), to convict the innocent and acquit the guilty, to ruin our economy, and to fix the outcomes of future elections. This penetrating look at the intersection of math and society will appeal to readers of Freakonomics and the books of Malcolm Gladwell.
Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist's Companion
Joshua D. Angrist - 2008
In the modern experimentalist paradigm, these techniques address clear causal questions such as: Do smaller classes increase learning? Should wife batterers be arrested? How much does education raise wages? Mostly Harmless Econometrics shows how the basic tools of applied econometrics allow the data to speak.In addition to econometric essentials, Mostly Harmless Econometrics covers important new extensions--regression-discontinuity designs and quantile regression--as well as how to get standard errors right. Joshua Angrist and Jorn-Steffen Pischke explain why fancier econometric techniques are typically unnecessary and even dangerous. The applied econometric methods emphasized in this book are easy to use and relevant for many areas of contemporary social science.An irreverent review of econometric essentials A focus on tools that applied researchers use most Chapters on regression-discontinuity designs, quantile regression, and standard errors Many empirical examples A clear and concise resource with wide applications
An Introduction to Statistical Learning: With Applications in R
Gareth James - 2013
This book presents some of the most important modeling and prediction techniques, along with relevant applications. Topics include linear regression, classification, resampling methods, shrinkage approaches, tree- based methods, support vector machines, clustering, and more. Color graphics and real-world examples are used to illustrate the methods presented. Since the goal of this textbook is to facilitate the use of these statistical learning techniques by practitioners in science, industry, and other fields, each chapter contains a tutorial on implementing the analyses and methods presented in R, an extremely popular open source statistical software platform. Two of the authors co-wrote The Elements of Statistical Learning (Hastie, Tibshirani and Friedman, 2nd edition 2009), a popular reference book for statistics and machine learning researchers. An Introduction to Statistical Learning covers many of the same topics, but at a level accessible to a much broader audience. This book is targeted at statisticians and non-statisticians alike who wish to use cutting-edge statistical learning techniques to analyze their data. The text assumes only a previous course in linear regression and no knowledge of matrix algebra.
Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One's Looking)
Christian Rudder - 2014
In Dataclysm, Christian Rudder uses it to show us who we truly are. For centuries, we’ve relied on polling or small-scale lab experiments to study human behavior. Today, a new approach is possible. As we live more of our lives online, researchers can finally observe us directly, in vast numbers, and without filters. Data scientists have become the new demographers. In this daring and original book, Rudder explains how Facebook "likes" can predict, with surprising accuracy, a person’s sexual orientation and even intelligence; how attractive women receive exponentially more interview requests; and why you must have haters to be hot. He charts the rise and fall of America’s most reviled word through Google Search and examines the new dynamics of collaborative rage on Twitter. He shows how people express themselves, both privately and publicly. What is the least Asian thing you can say? Do people bathe more in Vermont or New Jersey? What do black women think about Simon & Garfunkel? (Hint: they don’t think about Simon & Garfunkel.) Rudder also traces human migration over time, showing how groups of people move from certain small towns to the same big cities across the globe. And he grapples with the challenge of maintaining privacy in a world where these explorations are possible. Visually arresting and full of wit and insight, Dataclysm is a new way of seeing ourselves—a brilliant alchemy, in which math is made human and numbers become the narrative of our time.
Calling Bullshit: The Art of Skepticism in a Data-Driven World
Carl T. Bergstrom - 2020
Now, two science professors give us the tools to dismantle misinformation and think clearly in a world of fake news and bad data.It's increasingly difficult to know what's true. Misinformation, disinformation, and fake news abound. Our media environment has become hyperpartisan. Science is conducted by press release. Startup culture elevates bullshit to high art. We are fairly well equipped to spot the sort of old-school bullshit that is based in fancy rhetoric and weasel words, but most of us don't feel qualified to challenge the avalanche of new-school bullshit presented in the language of math, science, or statistics. In Calling Bullshit, Professors Carl Bergstrom and Jevin West give us a set of powerful tools to cut through the most intimidating data.You don't need a lot of technical expertise to call out problems with data. Are the numbers or results too good or too dramatic to be true? Is the claim comparing like with like? Is it confirming your personal bias? Drawing on a deep well of expertise in statistics and computational biology, Bergstrom and West exuberantly unpack examples of selection bias and muddled data visualization, distinguish between correlation and causation, and examine the susceptibility of science to modern bullshit.We have always needed people who call bullshit when necessary, whether within a circle of friends, a community of scholars, or the citizenry of a nation. Now that bullshit has evolved, we need to relearn the art of skepticism.
The Seven Pillars of Statistical Wisdom
Stephen M. Stigler - 2016
It allows one to gain information by discarding information, namely, the individuality of the observations. Stigler s second pillar, information measurement, challenges the importance of big data by noting that observations are not all equally important: the amount of information in a data set is often proportional to only the square root of the number of observations, not the absolute number. The third idea is likelihood, the calibration of inferences with the use of probability. Intercomparison is the principle that statistical comparisons do not need to be made with respect to an external standard. The fifth pillar is regression, both a paradox (tall parents on average produce shorter children; tall children on average have shorter parents) and the basis of inference, including Bayesian inference and causal reasoning. The sixth concept captures the importance of experimental design for example, by recognizing the gains to be had from a combinatorial approach with rigorous randomization. The seventh idea is the residual the notion that a complicated phenomenon can be simplified by subtracting the effect of known causes, leaving a residual phenomenon that can be explained more easily.The Seven Pillars of Statistical Wisdom presents an original, unified account of statistical science that will fascinate the interested layperson and engage the professional statistician."
Robert M. Groves - 2004
Survey Methodology describes the basic principles of survey design discovered in methodological research over recent years and offers guidance for making successful decisions in the design and execution of high quality surveys. Written by six nationally recognized experts in the field, this book covers the major considerations in designing and conducting a sample survey. Topical, accessible, and succinct, this book represents the state of the science in survey methodology. Employing the "total survey error" paradigm as an organizing framework, it merges the science of surveys with state-of-the-art practices. End-of-chapter terms, references, and exercises enhance its value as a reference for practitioners and as a text for advanced students.
How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking
Jordan Ellenberg - 2014
In How Not to Be Wrong, Jordan Ellenberg shows us how terribly limiting this view is: Math isn’t confined to abstract incidents that never occur in real life, but rather touches everything we do—the whole world is shot through with it.Math allows us to see the hidden structures underneath the messy and chaotic surface of our world. It’s a science of not being wrong, hammered out by centuries of hard work and argument. Armed with the tools of mathematics, we can see through to the true meaning of information we take for granted: How early should you get to the airport? What does “public opinion” really represent? Why do tall parents have shorter children? Who really won Florida in 2000? And how likely are you, really, to develop cancer?How Not to Be Wrong presents the surprising revelations behind all of these questions and many more, using the mathematician’s method of analyzing life and exposing the hard-won insights of the academic community to the layman—minus the jargon. Ellenberg chases mathematical threads through a vast range of time and space, from the everyday to the cosmic, encountering, among other things, baseball, Reaganomics, daring lottery schemes, Voltaire, the replicability crisis in psychology, Italian Renaissance painting, artificial languages, the development of non-Euclidean geometry, the coming obesity apocalypse, Antonin Scalia’s views on crime and punishment, the psychology of slime molds, what Facebook can and can’t figure out about you, and the existence of God.Ellenberg pulls from history as well as from the latest theoretical developments to provide those not trained in math with the knowledge they need. Math, as Ellenberg says, is “an atomic-powered prosthesis that you attach to your common sense, vastly multiplying its reach and strength.” With the tools of mathematics in hand, you can understand the world in a deeper, more meaningful way. How Not to Be Wrong will show you how.
Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction
Philip E. Tetlock - 2015
Unfortunately, people tend to be terrible forecasters. As Wharton professor Philip Tetlock showed in a landmark 2005 study, even experts’ predictions are only slightly better than chance. However, an important and underreported conclusion of that study was that some experts do have real foresight, and Tetlock has spent the past decade trying to figure out why. What makes some people so good? And can this talent be taught? In Superforecasting, Tetlock and coauthor Dan Gardner offer a masterwork on prediction, drawing on decades of research and the results of a massive, government-funded forecasting tournament. The Good Judgment Project involves tens of thousands of ordinary people—including a Brooklyn filmmaker, a retired pipe installer, and a former ballroom dancer—who set out to forecast global events. Some of the volunteers have turned out to be astonishingly good. They’ve beaten other benchmarks, competitors, and prediction markets. They’ve even beaten the collective judgment of intelligence analysts with access to classified information. They are "superforecasters." In this groundbreaking and accessible book, Tetlock and Gardner show us how we can learn from this elite group. Weaving together stories of forecasting successes (the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound) and failures (the Bay of Pigs) and interviews with a range of high-level decision makers, from David Petraeus to Robert Rubin, they show that good forecasting doesn’t require powerful computers or arcane methods. It involves gathering evidence from a variety of sources, thinking probabilistically, working in teams, keeping score, and being willing to admit error and change course. Superforecasting offers the first demonstrably effective way to improve our ability to predict the future—whether in business, finance, politics, international affairs, or daily life—and is destined to become a modern classic.
Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy
Cathy O'Neil - 2016
Increasingly, the decisions that affect our lives--where we go to school, whether we can get a job or a loan, how much we pay for health insurance--are being made not by humans, but by machines. In theory, this should lead to greater fairness: Everyone is judged according to the same rules.But as mathematician and data scientist Cathy O'Neil reveals, the mathematical models being used today are unregulated and uncontestable, even when they're wrong. Most troubling, they reinforce discrimination--propping up the lucky, punishing the downtrodden, and undermining our democracy in the process.
Probability Theory: The Logic of Science
E.T. Jaynes - 1999
It discusses new results, along with applications of probability theory to a variety of problems. The book contains many exercises and is suitable for use as a textbook on graduate-level courses involving data analysis. Aimed at readers already familiar with applied mathematics at an advanced undergraduate level or higher, it is of interest to scientists concerned with inference from incomplete information.
Discovering Statistics Using SPSS (Introducing Statistical Methods)
Andy Field - 2000
What's new in the Second Edition? 1. Fully compliant with the latest version of SPSS version 12 2. More coverage of advanced statistics including completely new coverage of non-parametric statistics. The book is 50 per cent longer than the First Edition. 3. Each section of each chapter now has a notation - 1,2 or 3 - referring to the intended level of study. This helps students navigate their way through the book and makes it user-friendly for students of ALL levels. 4. Has a 'how to use this book' section at the start of the text. 5. Characters in each chapter have defined roles - summarizing key points, to pose questions etc 6. Each chapter now has several examples for students to work through. Answers provided on the enclosed CD-ROM
The Data Detective: Ten Easy Rules to Make Sense of Statistics
Tim Harford - 2020
That’s a mistake, Tim Harford says in The Data Detective. We shouldn’t be suspicious of statistics—we need to understand what they mean and how they can improve our lives: they are, at heart, human behavior seen through the prism of numbers and are often “the only way of grasping much of what is going on around us.” If we can toss aside our fears and learn to approach them clearly—understanding how our own preconceptions lead us astray—statistics can point to ways we can live better and work smarter.As “perhaps the best popular economics writer in the world” (New Statesman), Tim Harford is an expert at taking complicated ideas and untangling them for millions of readers. In The Data Detective, he uses new research in science and psychology to set out ten strategies for using statistics to erase our biases and replace them with new ideas that use virtues like patience, curiosity, and good sense to better understand ourselves and the world. As a result, The Data Detective is a big-idea book about statistics and human behavior that is fresh, unexpected, and insightful.