“Discovering Statistics Using R” for Computer Science

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    Hi all,

    I’m a Computer Science researcher and I’ve been doing more and more experimental work. As such, I feel a need to brush up my Statistics skills, and would also like to have a solid reference I could point grad students to. 

    I’m intrigued by “Discovering Statistics Using R”, since I read great reviews on Amazon and elsewhere. The extensive use of humor, examples and analogies are a definite plus, as is the promise of being “the only Statistics book you’ll ever need”. In an age where most textbooks cost more than USD 100, it is also affordable.

    However, it seems that the book is geared towards readers with a background in the Social Sciences, especially Psychology. I’ve searched on Amazon for some concepts I use often, such as coefficient of variation and biased/unbiased estimators, but (apparently) they are not mentioned in the book, which seemed odd given its nearly 1000 pages.

    Does anyone here with a Computer Science or Engineering background use the book, either personally or as a textbook? Could you offer some comments or advice on using the book with such an audience? I certainly don’t mind examples from a different area, but I wonder if the text goes to great lengths to simplify mathematical stuff that wouldn’t bother an Applied Sciences student or researcher (even if she forgot everything she was supposed to learn in her Calculus and Stats courses) and/or focuses on Statistics topics that are more useful in the Social Sciences than in CS/Eng.



    Dave Collingridge

    I am currently reading this book – about 25% through. The book is definitely geared toward a social science audience which is not surprising as that is Andy’s area of expertise. I already know all the concepts. I am reading it to improve my R skills. Andy does a good job of making learning R as pleasant as possible. I have tried other R books – most left me feeling extremely frustrated because they take for granted that you know certain things like how to set up a working directory, import data sets, and delete variables etc. Andy’s book assumes nothing which is great. He starts with the basics. However, I don’t think that this book is for CS and engineering folks unless they are running things like regression and ANOVA. 

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