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The Cartoon Guide to Statistics (Cartoon Guides)

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  664 ratings  ·  58 reviews
If you have ever looked for P-values by shopping at P mart, tried to watch the Bernoulli Trails on "People's Court," or think that the standard deviation is a criminal offense in six states, then you need The Cartoon Guide to Statistics to put you on the road to statistical literacy.

The Cartoon Guide to Statistics covers all the central ideas of modern statistics: the sum
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Paperback, 240 pages
Published July 14th 1993 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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Pvw
Apr 20, 2011 Pvw rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: science
If you have ever seen a sheet of statistical formulas and are unfamiliar with it, they look like incomprehensibel nonsense. The notation system in statistics is pretty weird, and it lacks the more logical consistence that you find in regular algebra.

People who write about statistics have this same illogical twist in their minds. That is why most books on the subject spend whole chapters explaining easy stuff, and then make huge logical leaps in just one line, leaving the reader puzzled as to whe
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Robert
I adore Larry Gonick's Cartoon Guide series in general, but that is partly because I clearly identify their purpose. Don't think of this as a College level textbook in statistics because it isn't. It is rather an illustrated, extremely easy to read conceptual overview of statistics, the moral equivalent of Cliff note or a course outline but with cartoons and a certain amount of humor and history mixed in.

Do not underestimate the value of this if you are a student wanting to learn statistics! For
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Inggita
"chicken soup" for people who have to endure courses in statistics, it failed to make me fall in love with the subject, but enough to make we stood in awe with the level of obsessions some people have to measure our lives with numbers. Hooray to all statisticians who provide guidance to understand the world we're living in - but everybody need to remind themselves that we need further look into each phenomenon lest we get disoriented - don't blame the statistics for misunderstanding!
Robert
When a man lives alone, he invents ways to keep busy. One summer I decided I was going to become an AP statistics professor. Yes, I know. Anyhow, I spent that summer studying like you would not believe. This was one of the books I read.

This was a rather straightforward approach to statistics. While it has cartoons, there is real mathematics here. I swear!
Rohan
A nice basic review of statistics. I read through this with my stats text from college, looking up derivations/proofs of the important results discussed more intuitively in this book. I think this was a valuable approach, I certainly got more mileage out of this book with this kind of reading.
Brian
Mar 15, 2014 Brian rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Brian by: Jon
(4.0) Actually not a bad refresher reference

I don't think anyone would learn statistics from this one, but it actually does pack in a fair amount of justification/explication in addition to some of the basics from the statistician's toolbox. I also have to admit that I never learned how to compute (or the real meaning of) p-values, Student's t-test etc., so was cool to see the motivation/~derivation of the tools there. Definitely fun read and if I needed to refresh my memory of some of the key c
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Steve Carroll
Thought this one was great. It does a great job of gradual learning curve mixed with an emphasis on real world application but it is also unafraid to toss a little math your way. Not to mention it is really funny at times. I've been chewing up stat books lately as an attempt to refresh on these concepts for work. This is a great refresher and then I'd add Data Smart as a good extension to more modern issues (like clustering, and social graph stuff).
Martha
This is the default Christmas present book I'm going to give to parents with middle-school kids. I found it at the MP library's new book section, and it is worth looking at.

It starts out simple - illustrating the differences between median, mean and mode. By page 22, I got a little shaky, but it covers more than what I learned in a business math class in college.

This series also looks at American History, which may also be good.
Rohit
Very good concept with impressive cartoon display. Basic concepts of statistics are explained well with a good examples and real life problems. You will not get bored while reading this book unlike other stereotypical statistics books. Authors' sense of humor is great and how they tried to incorporate it into the 'mathematical' cartoons is brilliant. Overall good book for the beginner students who have just started studying statistics.
Michelle
Oh, CGS. Apparently the only statistics textbook out there without terrible, glaring errors, according to my professor. I really can see the utility of this teaching method, especially for high school - but it doesn't have any practice problems! (what, me, complain about having no homework?) Good as a reference, but it should not be your only source for learning stats.
Tara Lynn
Borrowed from a friend as a quick reference to my statistics homework. While some of the illustrations are helpful, it's far easier to sit down with a tutor for explanations, than to try to understand the illustrations. This is better suited as a gift to someone who already has a rudimentary knowledge of statistics.
Ted Nadeau
There are many math courses that I should have skipped & just read this book instead.
Needs Excel worksheets & macros to help one enjoy/experiment. Might make them myself.
I bought much of the whole Cartoon Guide/History series & leave them near the kids.
February Four
Fantastic review for my exams. Don't buy this expecting it to teach you statistics, but if you need a review or just want to see the big picture, this is your book.
Thatsgreateric
"If you can't explain it simply you don't understand it well enough" and Larry understands his topic matters more than most tenured professors I know.
Lorinda
Funny and entertaining, but not suitable for an introduction to statistics. This book will hammer home what you already know in a fun way.
Christian Crowley
My mum is going back to school and I may be helping her with a statistics class. I have yet to find a good, accessible and intuitive approach for learning statistics, and I thought this book might be a candidate. In fact I would only recommend this book to someone who has already been through a basic class, or perhaps as a supplement to a standard text. I was disappointed to see an illustration of a "math-phobe" being carted away in a straight-jacket after an overdose of mathematical formulae. T ...more
Andrew Lenards
I didn't enjoy this cartoon guide as much as the one for Genetics. I think Statistics is a tougher topic to cover, keeping all the notation straight was no easy task! I do feel like I have a better understanding of the overall topic. Over time, I become a little more comfortable with not understanding the "entire" topic, or current concepts; but pecking away at it with hopes of achieving total comprehension. One aspect that shows is the book was written in the pre-World-Wide-Web world. The only ...more
Derek Sifford
Nice basic review of statistical theory. Keeps formulas and number crunching to a minimum and provides real-life examples of various statistical methods.

A must-read for anybody interested in–or studying–statistics.
Ryan
Gonick as always finds a clear, clever way to present the material he's given. Somehow, this ended up being even more mathematical than the Cartoon Guide to Physics, but suffered from typos and occasionally inconsistent notation. Still, a good way to get familiar with the basic terms & reasoning involved in the statistical methods described.
Leland William
A wonderful book that graphically illustrates the basics or statistics and probability. It is humorous and well written. My only qualm is that it isn't very rigorous. I don't think that rigor would be appropriate for this kind of book, but it would be interesting to see someone try. Great for reviewing your stats knowledge!
Jason
will be passing to the kids when it's time for them to get their stats on.
Mitch
Aug 23, 2007 Mitch rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: intro stats students
This is a good fun way to learn stats. One thing that's really nice about it is that it is obviously very visual. if you are a visual learner this is a great tool to help you learn stats.

Also, don't fear that it doesn't go far enough. It goes all the way to regression which is about as far as most intro stats classes go.

Judy
Funny stuff about statistics! It can be a pretty interesting topic if you are looking at interesting data. It could probably help some folks get over their fear of the topic, I'm not sure, but I do like the cartoons. I pull some of them in to the stats class I'm teaching, just for fun.
Tim
As an introduction to basic concepts and applications, Gonick's artistry with Smith's expert guidance illuminates neatly the shiny nuggets of modern statistical knowledge. It's as good a place as any to start - or to which to return to - the matter of meaning in the modern world.
Matt
I usually don't count books I read for class, but this one was optional and pretty fun. I definitely would have been at sea without my course and a textbook to supplement what I've read, but it's an engaging and rigorous look at statistics, a field I continue to want to know more about.
Davina Becker
This book is amazing! It helped me through TWO college level statistics courses. It illustrates statistics through humor and cartoons. I highly recommend for anyone who has struggled understanding statistics. It brakes concepts down so they make common sense.
Trajan Bayly
Having the concepts laid out this way helped my understanding of stats in grad school. Finally had good foundational knowledge from which to build. Shortly after grad school earned six-sigma black belt. Breezed through applied stats in professional setting.
Indah Threez Lestari
Satu-satunya komik Gonnick yang bikin puyeng... tapi jadi memahami filosofi ilmu statistik yang pernah dipelajari pada semester awal kuliah. Dulu cuma ngapalin rumus doang! Coba dulu dosennya pake buku ini sebagai pengantar, pasti lebih asyik.
Christina
I read this book as a supplement for my statistics class at Anderson. Although it is sometimes too simple in it's approach, there are some sections in which a simplified point of view helped to clarify the concepts and equations in the textbook.
Rock
If the only cartoons you can think of to illustrate statistical concepts are drawings of people being driven insane by the same statistical concepts, then maybe you have written the wrong cartoon guide.
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Larry Gonick (born 1946) is a cartoonist best known for The Cartoon History of the Universe, a history of the world in comic book form, which he has been publishing in installments since 1977. He has also written The Cartoon History of the United States, and he has adapted the format for a series of co-written guidebooks on other subjects, beginning with The Cartoon Guide to Genetics in 1983. The ...more
More about Larry Gonick...

Other Books in the Series

Cartoon Guides (10 books)
  • The Cartoon Guide to Calculus
  • Cartoon Guide to Genetics
  • The Cartoon Guide to Physics
  • The Cartoon Guide to Chemistry
  • Cartoon Guide to the Environment
  • The Cartoon Guide to Sex
  • The Cartoon Guide to the Computer
  • Kartun (Non) Komunikasi
  • The Cartoon Guide To U. S. History
Cartoon History of the Universe I, Vol. 1-7: From the Big Bang to Alexander the Great Cartoon History of the Universe II, Vol. 8-13: From the Springtime of China to the Fall of Rome The Cartoon History of the Universe III: From the Rise of Arabia to the Renaissance The Cartoon History of the Modern World Part 1: From Columbus to the U.S. Constitution Cartoon History of the United States

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