Statistics Hacks
Tips & Tools for Measuring the World and Beating the Odds
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Released: May 2006
Pages: 358

Want to calculate the probability that an event will happen? Be able to spot fake data? Prove beyond doubt whether one thing causes another? Or learn to be a better gambler? You can do that and much more with 75 practical and fun hacks packed into Statistics Hacks. These cool tips, tricks, and mind-boggling solutions from the world of statistics, measurement, and research methods will not only amaze and entertain you, but will give you an advantage in several real-world situations-including business.

This book is ideal for anyone who likes puzzles, brainteasers, games, gambling, magic tricks, and those who want to apply math and science to everyday circumstances. Several hacks in the first chapter alone-such as the "central limit theorem,", which allows you to know everything by knowing just a little-serve as sound approaches for marketing and other business objectives. Using the tools of inferential statistics, you can understand the way probability works, discover relationships, predict events with uncanny accuracy, and even make a little money with a well-placed wager here and there.

Statistics Hacks presents useful techniques from statistics, educational and psychological measurement, and experimental research to help you solve a variety of problems in business, games, and life. You'll learn how to:

  • Play smart when you play Texas Hold 'Em, blackjack, roulette, dice games, or even the lottery
  • Design your own winnable bar bets to make money and amaze your friends
  • Predict the outcomes of baseball games, know when to "go for two" in football, and anticipate the winners of other sporting events with surprising accuracy
  • Demystify amazing coincidences and distinguish the truly random from the only seemingly random--even keep your iPod's "random" shuffle honest
  • Spot fraudulent data, detect plagiarism, and break codes
  • How to isolate the effects of observation on the thing observed


Whether you're a statistics enthusiast who does calculations in your sleep or a civilian who is entertained by clever solutions to interesting problems, Statistics Hacks has tools to give you an edge over the world's slim odds.

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