There is an "official" textbook for this course. As of Fall 2015, this was
__Elementary Statistics__ by
Navidi/Monk, published by MCG CUSTOM.
The ISBN for the book is 9780077762841, and this is the 13^{th} Edition.
In the WCC bookstore this should cost about $85.75 - $114.30.
This is actually quite a good book. It covers all of our topics and does so in
a fairly straight forward manner.
In addition, the book contains helpful guides on how to do the
statistical computations using a TI-83/84 calculator, or using Excel, or using Minitab.
You might note that the book does not cover using the R language to do
statistical work.

The previous textbook is just a modified version of
__Elementary Statistics__ by
Navidi/Monk, published by MCG CUSTOM.
The ISBN for the book is 0077762843, and this is the 1^{st} Edition.
You could look for this on-line or at other bookstores.

An alternative textbook is
__OpenIntro Statistics__, the 3^{rd} Edition, available on-line, at no cost,
at
https://www.openintro.org/stat/textbook.php?stat_book=os. This book (site) has almost no
coverage for **descriptive** statistics, but it does a good job of presenting
**inferential** statistics.

Another alternative text is Applied Statistics, also available on-line at no cost. [Note that the process for getting this book includes you identifying your email, your area of interest/study, and the university you are attending. Washtenaw Community College is not in that list, but there is no harm in selecting the name of the university that you want to attend after WCC.] This book does cover probability, descriptive, and inferential statistics.

Finally, there is the no cost approach of just using my web pages which will present all of the material needed for the course.

The advantage of the computers has always been that they can hold large amounts of data, they can get that data by automated means, and they can process that data in almost no time. Any real statistical work is done on computers.

- Kinds of computers: Computers are everywhere today.
There is a computer in your phone, in
your car, in your sewing machine, in many of your appliances,
in your calculator, in your tablets,
and of course in your notebook, laptop, and desktop devices called computers.
In addition, computers act as the servers that hold web pages on the internet,
servers to run email accounts, servers to handle instant messaging and video conferencing,
servers to handle electronic banking and
online purchasing, servers to do web processing for our
various popular search engines, and virtually all of the other
automatic processing that we have grown to just assume
will always take care of us.
Our particular desire is to use the computer to do statistical computations. For this we will use a general purpose computer, usually a PC or a Mac, running some sort of statistical program. That computer needs to be able to allow for data input (often directly from the web, but also from data entry via a keyboard or data entry via a USB drive). The computer will also need to run the R language. In general, desktop, laptop, and notebook computers fit this need, whereas tablets do not.

- Software: Programs that run on computers are referred to as software.
Our statistical software is designed to do statistical computations as well as
to interact with us to get and correctly interpret our commands.
The number of different versions of software, programs
which do statistical
computations, is large and growing.
Some of these (e.g., SPSS) are dedicated systems
that purport to provide you, the user, with every conceivable
statistical command that you will need. Others (e.g., Excel)
have added statistical processing
to some other functionality, thus giving their users the ability to
do some statistical processing in the midst of what is considered a
different task. And some, (e.g., R) provide access to statistical
processing
as part of a computer language. One additional note here: While we
can use R on a PC or on a Mac directly, there is yet another program,
RStudio, that is an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) for R
that we will use to help us use R. RStudio also runs on
both PC's and Mac's.
- Internet: The Internet provides all sorts of tools for everyone to use.
As noted above, all of the statistical tables that used to be provided in textbooks are
available on the Internet.
In addition, there are various sites that will do some statistical processing
for you. In general, those sites require you to have done some "preprocessing"
to get the values that are needed in those computations.
Another, interesting aspect of the Internet is that it now provides us with an incredible diversity and depth of data. Where we used to have to ask governmental units to prepare, record, and send to us data, those same agencies now post their data on the web, ready for us to access and use. For example, see http://www.ewashtenaw.org/government/boc/open-book/open-book for such things as all Washtenaw County credit card expenditures [Now updated to https://www.washtenaw.org/584/Open-Book.] And, just to give a small example, you might look at the EPA Air Quality site to see just a tiny fraction of the data from the federal govenment that has been provided for anyone to use.

©Roger M. Palay
Saline, MI 48176 September, 2015