07 December 2013

Larry, No Curly or Moe

If you're in the mood for a compact refresher, or crash, course in probability and statistics (using R, but not overtly so), then Larry Wasserman's "All of Statistics" is where to go. A couple of pieces of the Preface are worth the price of admission. Alas, Amazon has banned copy from the Look Inside. Which makes no sense, since about the only thing you can see is the Copyright page and ToC. Silly.

Anyway, here are the two bits.

(my ten fingers):
Using fancy tools like neural nets, boosting, and support vector machines without understanding basic statistics is like doing brain surgery before knowing how to use a band-aid.

Amen, Brother! Now, could you smite those xml database zealots?

The Preface ends with a Rosetta Stone for stats/CS, and has been transcribed (by a student at Carnegie Tech) here (doesn't display worth a damn on Dr. Codd's page...). Whether both camps fully agree I don't know, but it rings true to my ears.

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