Mindy Boland
Statistics and Probability
Material Type:
Community College / Lower Division, College / Upper Division
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0
Media Formats:
Text/HTML, Video


Section 1: Why Statistics?

Why study statistics?

Statistics deals with collecting, organizing, analyzing and interpreting data for the purpose of making informed decisions. It is widely used in business, medicine, biological and social sciences, humanities, etc. For example, regression analysis is used in business and economics to build predictiive models; ANOVA (analysis of variance) is used to study data from comparitive experiments in medicine, agriculture, etc.; in biological sciences cluster analysis is an important tool for taxonomy; etc. While these applications may seem intimidating, we use statistics everyday. For example, your car's fuel efficiency can be measured in terms of fuel economy (measured in tems of miles per gallon) or fuel consumption (measured in terms of number of gallons consumed per every 100 miles); your course overall average score is a good indicator of how well you have performed on testing material in a course; insurance and finance industry use statistical tools to assess risk...

There are many other areas of study where statistical methods are used to analyze data and explore relationships between factors of interest. This course introduces fundamental concepts of statistics.

Here are some online resources for you to browse. Watch the linked video or read the article. Describe in your own words your perspective on learning statistics.