Synopses & Reviews
A hilarious and bold graphic adventure into the world of big data
Statistics help us create Internet technologies, develop medicines, win elections, invest in stocks, predict the weather, and much more. But the methods that produce important numbers remain beyond many of us. How do we determine the proper size of a sample? How, exactly, do we calculate standard deviation? And just what is the central limit theorem?
In The Cartoon Introduction to Statistics, Grady Klein and Alan Dabney cut through the confusion and take us on a tour of this dynamic subject, helping us stay afloat on the sea of data that is our increasingly complex world. Separating the book into two main parts (hunting statistics and gathering parameters) for readers both in and outside the classroom, they explore the key foundational concepts of statistics and the perils of improper methods. They round out the book with the “Math Cave,” which provides easy access to the formulas every student will want to have close at hand.
Through cheeky and irreverent examples bound to engage anyone grappling with the difference between histograms and boxplots, Klein and Dabney have created a rollicking narrative about the best ways to make confident statements based on limited information. Timely, authoritative, and a pleasure to read, The Cartoon Introduction to Statistics is an essential guide for students and for curious readers who want to better understand the world around them.
"Klein (The Cartoon Introduction to Economics, Volumes 1 and 2) is back at it once again, lending his art to this delightful introduction to statistics. This time he's paired with Alan Dabney, a stats prof at Texas A&M, and the primer they've put together provides the uninitiated with a look at how a statistician thinks about numbers. The genius of the book is in its layout, with the straightforward explanation of introductory statistics occupying large text boxes, while the characters' discussions, in smaller type font, provide the examples. The examples themselves are hilarious, whether in presenting a statistical analysis of how fast male and female Vikings ride dragons (to examine lurking variables) or using the character of Dr. Happy and her evil Poison Machine to talk about p-values and estimated sampling distributions. The challenge of such a book is always whether it can be engaging once the reader is confronted with more complex material. This is where the book's layout pays dividends, however, since a reader struggling with a given concept can temporarily focus either on the big picture or the finer details. The book's good humor, clear prose, and intelligent layout should give it a probability of success with its readers approaching 100%. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Praise for The Cartoon Introduction to Economics: Volume Two
“The major concepts of macroeconomics are broken down with wit, verve, and clarity . . . This clever, lucid, and lighthearted book is a godsend to anyone who needs a simple but complete primer on the ins and outs of economics.” —Publishers Weekly
Praise for The Cartoon Introduction to Statistics
“Like a superhero coming to save the day, in flies The Cartoon Introduction to Statistics . . . Its biggest contribution is to tackle the difficulties that arise from collecting data ‘in the wild—in the real world and not in the laboratory. This makes the book more useful than those that just stick to the concepts . . . If statistics can ever be made fun, then this book shows how.”
“A statistician and an artist team up to demystify data crunching for the masses. Through comical tales of dragon racing, worm collecting and soda guzzling, Klein and Dabney illustrate how statisticians gather data and make predictions . . . Entertaining yet thorough.”
“[A] delightful introduction to statistics . . . The genius of the book is in its layout . . . The books good humor, clear prose, and intelligent layout should give it a probability of success with its readers approaching 100%.”
“A gentle, pleasantly illustrated induction into the strange world of bell curves and chi squares . . . A smart, enjoyable overview of this most useful branch of mathematics.”
“[The Cartoon Introduction to Statistics] manages to amuse and enlighten . . . Grady Kleins . . . grasp of body language makes [the illustrations] expressive and even charming. He builds a cast of characters including scientists (in white lab coats, of course), worm farmers, dragons, pirates, and more through a blocky approach with extreme variations in line width. The authors hatch some genuinely funny jokes.”
“Working with Dr. Alan Dabney, Klein runs his agreeable little scientist characters through examples of mathematicians using numbers to quantify, analyze, and make decisions . . . The study of statistics is an ideal subject for comics, since the representation of data as graphs and symbols is akin to what cartoonists do: reducing ideas to pictures, for claritys sake. Klein goes one step further, turning graphs into a collection of tiny drawings: of dragons, of sacks, of boxes, etc.”
“Present[s] the basics of how statistics work, how theyre generated, what they actually mean, and how they can be manipulated. Klein grounds the whole thing into a narrative-based presentation to keep it from being too dry, and even amusing. Math ‘amusing? I know, unthinkable! . . . If this is how I learned math, my life would probably be much different.”
—Comic Book Resources
“This book is a perfect treatment for anyone with a phobia of statistics or numbers. It is fun, clear, and wonderfully intuitive.”
—Charles Wheelan, author of Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data
“Thank goodness someone finally wrote a book on statistics that is actually fun to read. Be careful when you buy this book—you might not put it down until you read it all the way to the end.”
—Sebastian Thrun, Google Fellow and CEO of Udacity
“Its a well−kept secret that statistics is fun, relevant to everyone, and intellectually rewarding. Grady Klein and Alan Dabney have let the cat out of the bag with their approachable and humorous journey through the fundamental ideas that make statistics indispensable in todays data−rich world.”
—John Storey, Professor of Genomics and Statistics, Princeton University
Praise for The Cartoon Introduction to Economics: Volume Two
“The major concepts of macroeconomics are broken down with wit, verve, and clarity . . . This clever, lucid, and lighthearted book is a godsend to anyone who needs a simple but complete primer on the ins and outs of economics.”
The Cartoon Introduction to Statistics is the most imaginative and accessible introductory statistics course youll ever take. Employing an irresistible cast of dragon-riding Vikings, lizard-throwing giants, and feuding aliens, the renowned illustrator Grady Klein and the award-winning statistician Alan Dabney teach you how to collect reliable data, make confident statements based on limited information, and judge the usefulness of polls and the other numbers that youre bombarded with every day. If you want to go beyond the basics, theyve created the ultimate resource: “The Math Cave,” where they reveal the more advanced formulas and concepts.
Timely, authoritative, and hilarious, The Cartoon Introduction to Statistics is an essential guide for anyone who wants to better navigate our data-driven world.
About the Author
is a cartoonist, an illustrator, and an animator. He is the coauthor and illustrator of The Cartoon Introduction to Economics: Volume One: Microeconomics
and The Cartoon Introduction to Economics: Volume Two: Macroeconomics
, and the creator of the Lost Colony series of graphic novels. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey, with his wife and two children.
Alan Dabney, Ph.D., is an award−winning associate professor of statistics at Texas A&M University. He lives in College Station, Texas, with his wife and three children.