I find statistics rather mischievous. Like lady wisdom in the Book of Proverbs, one endeavours to obtain her riches but the more one obtains it, the more one becomes detached from the realities of everyday living. Statisticians use complex (sometimes even boring) concepts to explain everyday phenomena. This practise is fine if the audience is fellow detached statisticians, but when the audience is laymen, this elitism loses its logic.
The aim of this course is not to teach you to be a statistician (of those we have plenty). The objective is that you become a questioner of human behaviour. That you look at phenomena and ask, how, when, why is that happening. The course goes ahead to introduce a few tools that will help you to answer those questions.
This course is open to all with a high-school level mathematics and statistics knowledge. I have always found that it is not really the level of exposure that determines success in an endeavour, but the will to do. So the main prerequisite for this course is the will to learn and the desire to ask questions of your society. This course is not for those who want to flaunt their statistical wizardry.
The course shall be delivered through a series of lessons that will be published every Monday, Wednesday and Friday on this blog. We will systematically cover topics covered in a typical undergraduate introductory statistics class. We shall also use the R language as a tool for statistical computations. THIS IS NOT AN R CLASS! We shall simply present R as a tool for carrying out statistical analyses. Detailed R tutorials can be downloaded here for those who are so inclined.
What’s the point of all this. Well, as mentioned before, I hope that you will be able to ask probing questions of phenomena that you observe. In statistics we call that exploratory statistics. Ultimately, we ask these questions so that we are better able to deal with these phenomena in the future, be better prepared, take advantage, etc. This is known as predictive analytics.
This is an introductory course. The content is designed in a way that the statistical concepts are explained very simply. Nevertheless, where concepts may not be very clear, examples are given to illustrate the same. It is the tutor’s hope that this course will whet the students’ appetite for more and we can consequently get into intermediary and even advanced statistical concepts.
Ready to go? Start here.