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|Dave Rusin; The Mathematical Atlas|
|A short article designed to provide an introduction to statistics: the science of obtaining, synthesizing, predicting, and drawing inferences from data. Elementary calculations of mean and standard variation suffice to summarize a large, finite, normally-distributed dataset; the field of Statistics exists since data are not usually so nicely given. If we do not know all the elements of the dataset, we must discuss sampling and experimental design; if the data are not normal we must use other parameters to summarize them, or resort to nonparametric methods; if multiple data are involved, we study the measures of interaction among the variables. Other topics include the study of time-dependent data, and the foundations necessary to avoid ambiguity or paradox. Computational methods (e.g. for curve-fitting) are of particular importance in applications to the sciences and engineering as well as financial and actuarial work. History; applications and related fields and subfields; textbooks, reference works, and tutorials; software and tables; other web sites with this focus.|
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