Statistics and Survey Sampling: Recommended Reading

In our list of suggested reading, two books stand out. Each is clear, concise, and enlightening; and each is a pleasure to read. Kudos to the authors!

The Cartoon Guide to Statistics
Larry Gonick, Woollcott Smith

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The Cartoon Guide to Statistics

by Larry Gonick and Woolcott Smith

This is a must-read for beginners and a guilty pleasure for world-class statisticians. The Cartoon Guide to Statistics covers all the central ideas of modern statistics - probability, sampling, data analysis, estimation, hypothesis testing, and more.

Everything is explained clearly, in simple English. The authors boil complex statistical ideas down to understandable essentials. They reinforce key points with easy-to-follow charts, tables, and relevant examples.

Here's the twist. The authors present their material with humor in a non-threatening comic book format. It's funny, it's entertaining, and it's educational. It should be everybody's first statistics text.

Mathematical Methods in Sample Surveys
by Howard G. Tucker

This is an amazing book! The author provides a concise, technical explanation of the math that underlies survey sampling. He shows how basic notions of probability provide the foundation for advanced survey sampling - simple random sampling, stratified sampling, cluster sampling, and more.

Here's the amazing part. Although the author's presentation is comprehensive and mathematically rigorous, he explains everything using only arithmetic (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) plus some basic algebra. There is no calculus or other advanced math.

If you want to understand the math behind survey sampling, you will not be disappointed. This book really delivers. (One warning: Even without calculus, the material can be demanding. It is, after all, math. If you are intimidated by mathematical proofs, this book is not for you.)