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Download Weighing the Odds: A Course in Probability and Statistics epub

by David Williams

In this lively look at both subjects, David Williams convinces Mathematics students of the intrinsic interest of Statistics and Probability, and Statistics students that the language of Mathematics can bring real insight and clarity to their subject. He helps students build the intuition needed, in a presentation enriched with examples drawn from all manner of applications. Statistics chapters present both the Frequentist and Bayesian approaches, emphasizing Confidence Intervals rather than Hypothesis Test, and include Gibbs-sampling techniques for the practical implementation of Bayesian methods. A central chapter gives the theory of Linear Regression and ANOVA, and explains how MCMC methods allow greater flexibility in modeling. C or WinBUGS code is provided for computational examples and simulations.
Download Weighing the Odds: A Course in Probability and Statistics epub
ISBN: 052100618X
ISBN13: 978-0521006187
Category: Science
Subcategory: Mathematics
Author: David Williams
Language: English
Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (September 24, 2001)
Pages: 568 pages
ePUB size: 1351 kb
FB2 size: 1871 kb
Rating: 4.7
Votes: 997
Other Formats: txt lit mobi azw

The biggest problem with this book is that it might require a bit background to appreciate. To be fair to the author he makes this very clear on the first page of the preface, that it's intended for two types of people: (1) people with at least a year of probability/statistics and are familiar with the mechanics (2) people with pure math backgrounds. I fit in both categories and found the book very enjoyable. If you're neither, you'll probably find the book confusing. So most likely it won't be a good intro text or reference book or the only probability/statistics book you'll ever open, if you don't have a math background. (If you have to buy Sheldon Ross's book to make sense out of a course, this book was not intended for you...)

That aside the book is really beautifully written. He has a bit of a rambling style, probably because the book came from a class he taught, according to the preface. So there are q&a's, side remarks, and all the examples/exercises are actually interesting and important. Someone complained about lack of proofs - you can find them in any standard text, but the intuition is much more valuable in order to make the material more than just mechanical. If you're like me and know what it feels like to have a bad professor who just copies the textbook line by line on the board without bothering to actually communicate with you, this is the opposite. It's amazing that he's distilled so much insight into this book and made it so accessible.
I can't disagree with the criticisms here. I picked up this book, read the first chapter and went and pulled out my old stats book (Bulmer) which I read over the weekend and then went back to Williams.

So, the negative: not for the faint of heart and a bit challenging where it needn't be.

The positive: Engaging enough to cause me to reread the dry as dust Bulmer just to be able to read it. This, I think, far outweighs the negative. Far, far outweighs.
It seems only fair to remark that the invective directed against the book by some Amazon customers is something profoundly different in kind from what one finds in reviews by authoritative people. See, for example, the detailed reviews by Ed Waymire in American Mathematical Monthly, Vol. 110, 2003, pp. 964-967, and by Marjorie Hahn in Computing in Science and Engineering, Vol. 6, 2004, pp. 85-88. In forty years of teaching probability theory, I have had very many students who would not have found a book such as this particularly challenging, but who would have welcomed what challenges it does pose.
A book that is different, indeed, but this difference is what makes it interesting. It bridges the gap between the teaching of Probability and Statistics, and does so in style. The book IS accessible to students, especially those who are accustomed to learning by thinking and not by rote (alas, an endangered species, during, say, the last forty years of Williams' teaching).
Fun, engaging, and at times challenging. This is definitely the best introductory probability book ... well, introductory if you are already mathematically sophisticated enough, and engaging if you are willing to do almost all the exercises.

The only two things that I have with this book is, first, at places it reads too much like an encyclopaedia, especially in the parts on statistics. The author tries to cram too much stuff into too little space. Second, there are quite a number of typos, many of them in the exercises, which will take quite some time for the reader to debug (which may provide even better exercise than originally intended, but still ...)
Beautifully written, interesting perspective, and as suggested in some of the reviews - it will make you THINK!

As my high school math teacher said (some 30 yrs ago), mathematics is not a spectator sport...this is an exellent book if you don't want to be a spectator.