credits Credits


About the Author

Bruce Frey, Ph.D., is a comic book collector and film buff. In his spare time, he teaches statistics to graduate students and conducts research in his secret identity as an assistant professor in Educational Psychology and Research at the University of Kansas. He is an award-winning teacher, and his scholarly research interests are in the areas of teacher-made tests and classroom assessment, the measurement of spirituality, and program evaluation methods. Bruce's honors include taking third place in the Kansas Monopoly Championship as a teenager, second place in the Kansas Film Festival as a college student, and a respectable third-place finish in the Lawrence, Kansas, Texas Hold 'Em Poker Tournament as a middle-aged man. He is proudest of two accomplishments: his marriage to his sweet wife, and his purchase of a low-grade copy of Showcase #4, a comic book wherein the "Silver Age Flash first appears," whatever that means.


The following people contributed their hacks, writing, and inspiration to this book:

  • Joseph Adler is the author of Baseball Hacks (O'Reilly), and a researcher in the Advanced Product Development Group at VeriSign, focusing on problems in user authentication, managed security services, and RFID security. Joe has years of experience analyzing data, building statistical models, and formulating business strategies as an employee and consultant for companies including DoubleClick, American Express, and Dun & Bradstreet. He is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with an Sc.B. and an M.Eng. in computer science and computer engineering. Joe is an unapologetic Yankees fan, but he appreciates any good baseball game. Joe lives in Silicon Valley with his wife, two cats, and a DirecTV satellite dish.

  • Ron Hale-Evans is a writer, thinker, and game designer who earns his daily sandwich with frequent gigs as a technical writer. He has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Yale, with a minor in Philosophy. Thinking a lot about thinking led him to create the Mentat Wiki (, which led to his recent book, Mind Performance Hacks (O'Reilly). You can find his multinefarious [sic] other projects at his home page,, including his award-winning board games, a list of his Short-Duration Personal Saviors, and his blog. Ron's next book will probably be about game systems, especially since his series of articles on that topic for the dearly departed The Games Journal ( has been relatively popular among both gamers and academics. If you want to email Ron the names of some gullible publishers, or if you just want to bug him, you can reach him at (rhymes with nudism and has nothing to do with Luddism).

  • Brian E. Hansen, 27, grew up in the Dallas, Texas area. After serving a two-year religious mission in Spain, he attended Texas A&M University and graduated in 2004 with a B.S. degree in Petroleum Engineering. He currently works as a Reservoir Engineer for a large independent oil and gas exploration and production company headquartered in Irving, Texas.

  • Jill H. Lohmeier received her Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from The University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is currently the Evaluation Director for the School Program Evaluation and Research group at the University of Kansas. Jill likes outdoor sports, especially running, hiking, and playing soccer with her kids.

  • Ernest E. Rothman is a Professor and Chair of the Mathematical Sciences Department at Salve Regina University (SRU) in Newport, Rhode Island. Ernie holds a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from Brown University and held positions at the Cornell Theory Center in Ithaca, New York before coming to SRU. His interests are primarily in scientific computing, mathematics and statistics education, and the Unix underpinnings of Mac OS X. You can keep abreast of his latest activities at

  • Neil J. Salkind is a sometimes faculty member at the University of Kansas with an office opposite that of Bruce Frey, of Statistics Hacks fame. In addition to being the author of Statistics for People Who (Think They) Hate Statistics (SAGE), Neil is a developmental psychologist who collects books, cooks, works on old houses and a p1800 Volvo, and is active in Masters swimming. He has also written over 100 trade books and textbooks, and works with StudioB Literary Agency in New York.

  • William Skorupski is currently an assistant professor in the School of Education at the University of Kansas, where he teaches courses in psychometrics and statistics. He earned his Bachelor's degree in educational research and psychology from Bucknell University in 2000, and his Doctorate in psychometric methods from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2004. His primary research interest is in the application of mathematical models to psychometric data, including the use of Bayesian statistics for solving practical measurement problems. He also enjoys applying his knowledge of statistics and probability to everyday situations, such as playing poker against the author of this book!


I'd like to thank all the contributors to this book, both those who are listed in the "Contributors" section and those who helped with ideas, reviewed the manuscript, and provided suggestions of sources and resources. Thanks in this capacity especially go to Tim Langdon, neon bender, whose gift of Harry Blackstone, Jr.'s paperback book There's One Born Every Minute (Jove Publications) provided great inspiration for many of the hacks herein.

I'd like to thank my editor, Brian Sawyer, who shepherded this project with a strong hand and a strong vision of what is and is not a hack. He was right most of the time. (Though not all the time, Brian. That hack about using a monkey to pick the winner of the Kentucky Derby should have made it in. Maybe next time....) Brian was instrumental in bringing this project to completion, especially during a string of unlucky rolls where the odds of success looked slim.

I'd like to thank Neil Salkind, statistics writer supreme, for his help with many facets of my professional life and this book.

Most importantly, thanks to Bonnie Johnson, my sweet wife, whom I vaguely recall, but who I think will be waiting for me at home when I finally turn in the last revision of this book.

Statistics Hacks
Statistics Hacks: Tips & Tools for Measuring the World and Beating the Odds
ISBN: 0596101643
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 114
Authors: Bruce Frey

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