Preface
Intended Audience
As the title suggests, this book is intended as an introduction to both the foun-
dations and applications of statistics. It is an introduction in the sense that it
does not assume a prior statistics course. But it is not introductory in the sense
of being suitable for students who have had nothing more than the usual high
school mathematics preparation. The target audience is undergraduate students at
the equivalent of the junior or senior year at a college or university in the United
States.
Students should have had courses in differential and integral calculus, but not
much more is required in terms of mathematical background. In fact, most of my
students have had at least another course or two by the time they take this course,
but the only courses that they have all had is the calculus sequence. The majority
of my students are not mathematics majors. I have had students from biology,
chemistry, computer science, economics, engineering, and psychology, and I have
tried to write a book that is interesting, understandable, and useful to students
with a wide range of backgrounds and career goals.
This book is suitable for what is often a two-semester sequence in “mathe-
matical statistics”, but it is different in some important ways from many of the
books written for such a course. I was trained as a mathematician first, and the
book is clearly mathematical at some points, but the emphasis is on the statistics.
Mathematics and computation are brought in where they are useful tools. The
result is a book that stretches my students in different directions at different times
sometimes statistically, sometimes mathematically, sometimes computationally.
The Approach Used in This Book
Features of this book that help distinguish it from other books available for such a
course include the following:
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