Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Introducing Statistics - A Graphic Guide

Authors:        Eileen Magnello & 
                      Borin Van Loon
Published:    2009
Publisher:    Icon Books Ltd.
Paperback: 176 pages
Readers in India

The history of statistics and its basic concepts have been explained completely through comic-book like illustrations and blurbs. 
The concepts explained are -  distributions, sampling, summarizing data, variation, correlation, regression, chi-squared, hypothesis testing, the analysis of variance etc.

I bought this book after a quick browse through its pages, since I felt that it would be an useful aid for my training and consulting assignments .  I could surely use some of the material for my training classes on  Statistical Analysis of  Software Metrics(With due attribution of course ! Don't want to be branded as a plagiarist (-: ! ).  

But on the whole I felt that the explanations of concepts could have been better. So it may not hold the interest of an absolute layperson. However it is  a fairly good supplement to an introductory text book on statistics as the well drawn illustrations and cartoons, several of them quite humorous,  will reinforce the concepts learnt in the classroom.

You may have sneak peek of the first 30 odd pages of this book at

An Interesting Fact mentioned in this book:  
Florence Nightingale, known to everyone as the "Lady with the Lamp" who made nursing a respectable profession, was a passionate statistician. During Crimean War in 1850s  she discovered that due to unhygienic sanitary conditions in  military hospitals an annual mortality rate of 60 % from diseases like typhus, typhoid and cholera was greater than the Great Plague in London. She used the technique of Polar Area Graph to illustrate such data  which dramatized the extent of needless deaths during the war and was successful in persuading the medical profession that deaths were preventable if sanitation reforms were implemented in hospitals.
Have a look at the Polar Area Graph used by her at

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