# Street-Smart Stats: A Friendly Introduction to Statistical Research Methods

Why is statistics awesome?

Statistics is awesome for many reasons, three being:
1. You can describe thousands of values with just a few special numbers
2. By knowing these special numbers, you can determine if something weird is going on
3. You can spot trends and make accurate predictions

By knowing statistics, you can make educated decisions (e.g., decide if target customers are more likely to prefer one product over another) and assess the accuracy, assumptions, and biases of any conclusions based on data rather than accepting them as fact. To hear some cool applications of statistics before we dive in, check out these videos by Hans Rosling: Crime spotting, Car accidents, Automatic translations.

Street-Smart Stats is meant for anyone who would like to learn statistics, especially those with no background in statistics. I wrote it as if I’m sitting right next to you and we’re having a pleasant conversation about using numbers to decipher the meaning of life. I recommend reading it like a regular book from front to finish and returning to various concepts afterwards to refresh your memory. You’ll see many questions throughout; after reading each, pause for a moment to think about the answer before moving on. Also, since math is meant to be visualized, you’ll see many graphs and diagrams visualizing the concepts we discuss. Throughout the book are examples, exercises, and R tutorials.

You can gain even more enlightenment by discussing mathematical concepts with others and continuing your learning journey beyond the information in this book. Think of more examples together. Ask each other questions. Post on Udacity’s online discussion forum, find additional practice problems and videos on the course index, reference Udacity’s course wiki, and engage with the resources presented at the end of the book to further your knowledge. This book will give you the foundation you need to continue building your statistics knowledge as much as you want.

Let’s dive in!

Purchase a hard copy of Street-Smart Stats, or access the digital version with a TURN THE WHEEL monthly subscription.

Due to the COVID situation, the digital version of Street-Smart Stats will be available here for free until May 31, 2020. Enjoy!