Statistics Hacks

book cover
Statistics Hacks
By Bruce Frey
Publisher: O'Reilly
Pub Date: May 2006
Print ISBN-10: 0-596-10164-3
Print ISBN-13: 978-0-59-610164-0
Pages: 356

Table of Contents  | Index

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.

book cover
Statistics Hacks
By Bruce Frey
Publisher: O'Reilly
Pub Date: May 2006
Print ISBN-10: 0-596-10164-3
Print ISBN-13: 978-0-59-610164-0
Pages: 356

Table of Contents  | Index

   credits Credits
        Chapter 1.  The Basics
      Hack 1.  Know the Big Secret
      Hack 2.  Describe the World Using Just Two Numbers
      Hack 3.  Figure the Odds
      Hack 4.  Reject the Null
      Hack 5.  Go Big to Get Small
      Hack 6.  Measure Precisely
      Hack 7.  Measure Up
      Hack 8.  Power Up
      Hack 9.  Show Cause and Effect
      Hack 10.  Know Big When You See It
        Chapter 2.  Discovering Relationships
      Hack 11.  Discover Relationships
      Hack 12.  Graph Relationships
      Hack 13.  Use One Variable to Predict Another
      Hack 14.  Use More Than One Variable to Predict Another
      Hack 15.  Identify Unexpected Outcomes
      Hack 16.  Identify Unexpected Relationships
      Hack 17.  Compare Two Groups
      Hack 18.  Find Out Just How Wrong You Really Are
      Hack 19.  Sample Fairly
      Hack 20.  Sample with a Touch of Scotch
      Hack 21.  Choose the Honest Average
      Hack 22.  Avoid the Axis of Evil
        Chapter 3.  Measuring the World
      Hack 23.  See the Shape of Everything
      Hack 24.  Produce Percentiles
      Hack 25.  Predict the Future with the Normal Curve
      Hack 26.  Give Raw Scores a Makeover
      Hack 27.  Standardize Scores
      Hack 28.  Ask the Right Questions
      Hack 29.  Test Fairly
      Hack 30.  Improve Your Test Score While Watching Paint Dry
      Hack 31.  Establish Reliability
      Hack 32.  Establish Validity
      Hack 33.  Predict the Length of a Lifetime
      Hack 34.  Make Wise Medical Decisions
        Chapter 4.  Beating the Odds
      Hack 35.  Gamble Smart
      Hack 36.  Know When to Hold 'Em
      Hack 37.  Know When to Fold 'Em
      Hack 38.  Know When to Walk Away
      Hack 39.  Lose Slowly at Roulette
      Hack 40.  Play in the Black in Blackjack
      Hack 41.  Play Smart When You Play the Lottery
      Hack 42.  Play with Cards and Get Lucky
      Hack 43.  Play with Dice and Get Lucky
      Hack 44.  Sharpen Your Card-Sharping
      Hack 45.  Amaze Your 23 Closest Friends
      Hack 46.  Design Your Own Bar Bet
      Hack 47.  Go Crazy with Wild Cards
      Hack 48.  Never Trust an Honest Coin
      Hack 49.  Know Your Limit
        Chapter 5.  Playing Games
      Hack 50.  Avoid the Zonk
      Hack 51.  Pass Go, Collect $200, Win the Game
      Hack 52.  Use Random Selection as Artificial Intelligence
      Hack 53.  Do Card Tricks Through the Mail
      Hack 54.  Check Your iPod's Honesty
      Hack 55.  Predict the Game Winners
      Hack 56.  Predict the Outcome of a Baseball Game
      Hack 57.  Plot Histograms in Excel
      Hack 58.  Go for Two
      Hack 59.  Rank with the Best of Them
      Hack 60.  Estimate Pi by Chance
        Chapter 6.  Thinking Smart
      Hack 61.  Outsmart Superman
      Hack 62.  Demystify Amazing Coincidences
      Hack 63.  Sense the Real Randomness of Life
      Hack 64.  Spot Faked Data
      Hack 65.  Give Credit Where Credit Is Due
      Hack 66.  Play a Tune on Pascal's Triangle
      Hack 67.  Control Random Thoughts
      Hack 68.  Search for ESP
      Hack 69.  Cure Conjunctionitus
      Hack 70.  Break Codes with Etaoin Shrdlu
      Hack 71.  Discover a New Species
      Hack 72.  Feel Connected
      Hack 73.  Learn to Ride a Votercycle
      Hack 74.  Live Life in the Fast Lane (You're Already In)
      Hack 75.  Seek Out New Life and New Civilizations