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# Foundations of Statistics for Data Scientists With R and Python

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**Foundations of Statistics for Data Scientists: With R and Python** is designed as a textbook for a one- or two-term introduction to mathematical statistics for students training to become data scientists. It is an in-depth presentation of the topics in statistical science with which any data scientist should be familiar, including probability distributions, descriptive and inferential statistical methods, and linear modeling. The book assumes knowledge of basic calculus, so the presentation can focus on "why it works" as well as "how to do it." Compared to traditional "mathematical statistics" textbooks, however, the book has less emphasis on probability theory and more emphasis on using software to implement statistical methods and to conduct simulations to illustrate key concepts. All statistical analyses in the book use R software, with an appendix showing the same analyses with Python.

Key Features:

- Shows the elements of statistical science that are important for students who plan to become data scientists.
- Includes Bayesian and regularized fitting of models (e.g., showing an example using the lasso), classification and clustering, and implementing methods with modern software (R and Python).
- Contains nearly 500 exercises.

The book also introduces modern topics that do not normally appear in mathematical statistics texts but are highly relevant for data scientists, such as Bayesian inference, generalized linear models for non-normal responses (e.g., logistic regression and Poisson loglinear models), and regularized model fitting. The nearly 500 exercises are grouped into "Data Analysis and Applications" and "Methods and Concepts." Appendices introduce R and Python and contain solutions for odd-numbered exercises. The book's website (http://stat4ds.rwth-aachen.de/) has expanded R, Python, and Matlab appendices and all data sets from the examples and exercises.

1. Introduction to Statistical Science

1.1 Statistical science: Description and inference

Design, descriptive statistics, and inferential statistics

Populations and samples

Parameters: Numerical summaries of the population

Defining populations: actual and conceptual

1.2 Types of data and variables

Data files

Example: The General Social Survey (GSS)

Variables

Quantitative variables and categorical variables

Discrete variables and continuous variables

Associations: response variables and explanatory variables

1.3 Data collection and randomization

Randomization

Collecting data with a sample survey

Collecting data with an experiment

Collecting data with an observational study

Establishing cause and effect: observational versus experimental studies

1.4 Descriptive statistics: Summarizing data

Example: Carbon dioxide emissions in European nations

Frequency distribution and histogram graphic

Describing the center of the data: mean and median

Describing data variability: standard deviation and variance

Describing position: percentiles, quantiles, and box plots

1.5 Descriptive statistics: Summarizing multivariate data

Bivariate quantitative data: The scatterplot, correlation, and

regression

Bivariate categorical data: Contingency tables

Descriptive statistics for samples and for populations

1.6 Chapter summary

Exercises

2. Probability Distributions

2.1 Introduction to probability

Probabilities and long-run relative frequencies

Sample spaces and events

Probability axioms and implied probability rules

Example: Diagnostics for disease screening

Bayes' theorem

Multiplicative law of probability, and independent events

2.2 Random variables and probability distributions

Probability distributions for discrete random variables

Example: Geometric probability distribution

Probability distributions for continuous random variables

Example: Uniform distribution

Probability functions (pdf, pmf) and cumulative distribution

function (cdf)

Example: Exponential random variable

Families of probability distributions indexed by parameters

2.3 Expectations of random variables

Expected value and variability of a discrete random variable

Expected values for continuous random variables

Example: Mean and variability for uniform random variable

Higher moments: Skewness

Expectations of linear functions of random variables

Standardizing a random variable

2.4 Discrete probability distributions

Binomial distribution

Example: Hispanic composition of jury list

Mean, variability, and skewness of binomial distribution

Example: Predicting results of a sample survey

The sample proportion as a scaled binomial random variable

Poisson distribution

Poisson variability and overdispersion

2.5 Continuous probability distributions

The normal distribution

The standard normal distribution

Examples: Finding normal probabilities and percentiles

The gamma distribution

The exponential distribution and Poisson processes

Quantiles of a probability distribution

Using the uniform to randomly generate a continuous random variable

2.6 Joint and conditional distributions and independence

Joint and marginal probability distributions

Example: Joint and marginal distributions of happiness and family income

Conditional probability distributions

Trials with multiple categories: the multinomial distribution

Expectations of sums of random variables

Independence of random variables

Markov chain dependence and conditional independence

2.7 Correlation between random variables

Covariance and correlation

Example: Correlation between income and happiness

Independence implies zero correlation, but not converse

Bivariate normal distribution *

2.8 Chapter summary

Exercises

3. Sampling Distributions

3.1 Sampling distributions: Probability distributions for statistics

Example: Predicting an election result from an exit poll

Sampling distribution: Variability of a statistic's value among samples

Constructing a sampling distribution

Example: Simulating to estimate mean restaurant sales

3.2 Sampling distributions of sample means

Mean and variance of sample mean of random variables

Standard error of a statistic

Example: Standard error of sample mean sales

Example: Standard error of sample proportion in exit poll

Law of large numbers: Sample mean converges to population mean

Normal, binomial, and Poisson sums of random variables have the same distribution

3.3 Central limit theorem: Normal sampling distribution for large samples

Sampling distribution of sample mean is approximately normal

Simulations illustrate normal sampling distribution in CLT

Summary: Population, sample data, and sampling distributions

3.4 Large-sample normal sampling distributions for many statistics *

Delta method

Delta method applied to root Poisson stabilizes the variance

Simulating sampling distributions of other statistics

The key role of sampling distributions in statistical inference

3.5 Chapter summary

Exercises

4. Statistical Inference: Estimation

4.1 Point estimates and confidence intervals

Properties of estimators: Unbiasedness, consistency, efficiency

Evaluating properties of estimators

Interval estimation: Confidence intervals for parameters

4.2 The likelihood function and maximum likelhood estimation

The likelihood function

Maximum likelihood method of estimation

Properties of maximum likelihood estimators

Example: Variance of ML estimator of binomial parameter

Example: Variance of ML estimator of Poisson mean

Sufficiency and invariance for ML estimators

4.3 Constructing confidence intervals

Using a pivotal quantity to induce a confidence interval

A large-sample confidence interval for the mean

Confidence intervals for proportions

Example: Atheists and agnostics in Europe

Using simulation to illustrate long-run performance of CIs

Determining the sample size before collecting the data

Example: Sample size for evaluating an advertising strategy

4.4 Confidence intervals for means of normal populations

The $t$ distribution

Confidence interval for a mean using the $t$ distribution

Example: Estimating mean weight change for anorexic girls

Robustness for violations of normal population assumption

Construction of $t$ distribution using chi-squared and standard normal

Why does the pivotal quantity have the $t$ distribution?

Cauchy distribution: t distribution with df=1 has unusual behavior

4.5 Comparing two population means or proportions

A model for comparing means: Normality with common variability

A standard error and confidence interval for comparing means

Example: Comparing a therapy to a control group

Confidence interval comparing two proportions

Example: Does prayer help coronary surgery patients?

4.6 The bootstrap

Computational resampling and bootstrap confidence intervals

Example: Confidence intervals for library data

4.7 The Bayesian approach to statistical inference

Bayesian prior and posterior distributions

Bayesian binomial inference: Beta prior distributions

Example: Belief in hell

Interpretation: Bayesian versus classical intervals

Bayesian posterior interval comparing proportions

Highest posterior density (HPD) posterior intervals

4.8 Bayeian inference for means

Bayesian inference for a normal mean

Example: Bayesian analysis for anorexia therapy

Bayesian inference for normal means with improper priors

Predicting a future observation: Bayesian predictive distribution

The Bayesian perspective, and empirical Bayes and hierarchical Bayes extensions

4.9 Why maximum likelihood and Bayes estimators perform well *

ML estimators have large-sample normal distributions

Asymptotic efficiency of ML estimators same as best unbiased estimators

Bayesian estimators also have good large-sample performance

The likelihood principle

4.10 Chapter summary

Exercises

5. Statistical Inference: Significance Testing

5.1 The elements of a significance test

Example: Testing for bias in selecting managers

Assumptions, hypotheses, test statistic, P-value and conclusion

5.2 Significance tests for proportions and means

The elements of a significance test for a proportion

Example: Climate change a major threat?

One-sided significance tests

The elements of a significance test for a mean

Example: Significance test about political ideology

5.3 Significance tests comparing means

Significance tests for the difference between two means

Example: Comparing a therapy to a control group

Effect size for comparison of two means

Bayesian inference for comparing means

Example: Bayesian comparison of therapy and control groups

5.4 Significance tests comparing proportions

Significance test for the difference between two proportions

Example: Comparing prayer and non-prayer surgery patients

Bayesian inference for comparing two proportions

Chi-squared tests for multiple proportions in contingency table

Example: Happiness and marital status

Standardized residuals: Describing the nature of an association

5.5 Significance test decisions and errors

The alpha-level: Making a decision based on the P-value

Never ``accept H_0'' in a significance test

Type I and Type II errors

As P(Type I error) decreases, P(Type II error) increases

Example: Testing whether astrology has some truth

The power of a test

Making decisions versus reporting the P-value

5.6 Duality between significance tests and confidence intervals

Connection between two-sided tests and confidence intervals

Effect of sample size: Statistical versus practical significance

Significance tests are less useful than confidence intervals

Significance tests and P-values can be misleading

5.7 Likelihood-ratio tests and confidence intervals *

The likelihood-ratio and a chi-squared test statistic

Likelihood-ratio test and confidence interval for a proportion

Likelihood-ratio, Wald, score test triad

5.8 Nonparametric tests

A permutation test to compare two groups

Example: Petting versus praise of dogs

Wilcoxon test: Comparing mean ranks for two groups

Comparing survival time distributions with censored data

5.9 Chapter summary

Exercises

6. Linear Models and Least Squares

6.1 The linear regression model and its least squares fit

The linear model describes a conditional expectation

Describing variation around the conditional expectation

Least squares model fitting

Example: Linear model for Scottish hill races

The correlation

Regression toward the mean in linear regression models

Linear models and reality

6.2 Multiple regression: Linear models with multiple explanatory variables

Interpreting effects in multiple regression models

Example: Multiple regression for Scottish hill races

Association and causation

Confounding, spuriousness, and conditional independence

Example: Modeling the crime rate in Florida

Equations for least squares estimates in multiple regression

Interaction between explanatory variables in their effects

Cook's distance: Checking for unusual observations

6.3 Summarizing variability in linear regression models

The error variance and chi-squared for linear models

Decomposing variability into model explained and unexplained parts

R-squared and the multiple correlation

Example: R-squared for modeling Scottish hill races

6.4 Statistical inference for normal linear models

The F distribution: Testing that all effects equal 0

Example: Linear model for mental impairment

t tests and confidence intervals for individual effects

Multicollinearity: Nearly redundant explanatory variables

Confidence interval for E(Y) and prediction interval for Y

The F test that all effects equal 0 is a likelihood-ratio test *

6.5 Categorical explanatory variables in linear models

Indicator variables for categories

Example: Comparing mean incomes of racial-ethnic groups

Analysis of variance (ANOVA): An F test comparing several means

Multiple comparisons of means: Bonferroni and Tukey methods

Models with both categorical and quantitative explanatory variables Comparing two nested normal linear models

Interaction with categorical and quantitative explanatory variables

6.6 Bayesian inference for normal linear models

Prior and posterior distributions for normal linear models

Example: Bayesian linear model for mental impairment

Bayesian approach to the normal one-way layout

6.7 Matrix formulation of linear models

The model matrix

Least squares estimates and standard errors

The hat matrix and the leverage

Alternatives to least squares: Robust regression and regularization

Restricted optimality of least squares: Gauss--Markov theorem

Matrix formulation of Bayesian normal linear model

6.8 Chapter summary

Exercises

7. Generalized Linear Models

7.1 Introduction to generalized linear models

The three components of a generalized linear model

GLMs for normal, binomial, and Poisson responses

Example: GLMs for house selling prices

The deviance

Likelihood-ratio model comparison uses deviance difference

Model selection: AIC and the bias/variance tradeoff

Advantages of GLMs versus transforming the data

Example: Normal and gamma GLMs for Covid-19 data

7.2 Logistic regression for binary data

Logistic regression: Model expressions

Interpreting beta_j: effects on probabilities and odds

Example: Dose-response study for flour beetles

Grouped and ungrouped binary data: Effects on estimates and deviance

Example: Modeling Italian employment with logit and identity links Complete separation and infinite logistic parameter estimates

7.3 Bayesian inference for generalized linear models

Normal prior distributions for GLM parameters

Example: Bayesian logistic regression for endometrial cancer patients7.4 Poisson loglinear models for count data

Poisson loglinear models

Example: Modeling horseshoe crab satellite counts

Modeling rates: Including an offset in the model

Example: Lung cancer survival

7.5 Negative binomial models for overdispersed count data *

Increased variance due to heterogeneity

Negative binomial: Gamma mixture of Poisson distributions

Example: Negative binomial modeling of horseshoe crab data

7.6 Iterative GLM model fitting *

The Newton--Raphson method

Newton--Raphson fitting of logistic regression model

Covariance matrix of parameter estimates and Fisher scoring

Likelihood equations and covariance matrix for Poisson GLMs

7.7 Regularization with large numbers of parameters

Penalized likelihood methods

Penalized likelihood methods: The lasso

Example: Predicting opinions with student survey data

Why shrink ML estimates toward 0?

Dimension reduction: Principal component analysis

Bayesian inference with a large number of parameters

Huge n: Handling big data

7.8 Chapter summary

Exercises

%

8. Classification and Clustering

8.1 Classification: Linear Discriminant Analysis and Graphical Trees

Classification with Fisher's linear discriminant function

Example: Predicting whether horseshoe crabs have satellites

Summarizing predictive power: Classification tables and ROC curves

Classification trees: Graphical prediction

Logistic regression versus linear discriminant analysis and classification trees

Other methods for classification: k-nearest neighbors and neural networks

prediction

8.2 Cluster Analysis

Measuring dissimilarity between observations on binary responses

Hierarchical clustering algorithm and its dendrogram

Example: Clustering states on presidential election outcomes

8.3 Chapter summary

Exercises

9. Statistical Science: A Historical Overview

9.1 The evolution of statistical science

Evolution of probability

Evolution of descriptivev and inferential statistics

9.2 Pillars of statistical wisdom and practice

Stigler's seven pillars of statistical wisdom

Seven pillars of wisdom for practicing data science

Appendix A: Using R in Statistical Science

Appendix B: Using Python in Statistical Science

Appendix C: Brief Solutions to Odd-Numbered Exercises

Bibliography

Example

Subject Index

### Biography

**Alan Agresti,** Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Florida, is the author of seven books, including *Categorical Data Analysis* (Wiley) and *Statistics: The Art and Science of Learning from Data* (Pearson), and has presented short courses in 35 countries. His awards include an honorary doctorate from De Montfort University (UK) and Statistician of the Year from the American Statistical Association (Chicago chapter).

**Maria Kateri**, Professor of Statistics and Data Science at the RWTH Aachen University, authored the monograph *Contingency Table Analysis: Methods and Implementation Using R* (Birkhäuser/Springer) and a textbook on mathematics for economists (in German). She has long-term experience in teaching statistics courses to students of Data Science, Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science, Business Administration, and Engineering.

"[...] Overall, I found the book to be a creative and refreshing take on the challenge of building foundations of “classical” statistics while helping introduce newer topics that are increasingly central to the statistical sciences. Important ideas of the past 50 years (see Gelman and Ahtari 2021) such as resampling, regularization, and hierarchical modeling are incorporated as optional sections (marked with an asterisk). The authors have captured much of the excitement of the statistical sciences and shared it in a way that I believe that students (and instructors) will share their enthusiasm. I look forward to teaching using this book."

-Nicholas J. Horton in theJournal of the American Statistical Association,July 2022"If you find the other books (co-)authored by A. Agresti interesting, you will not be disappointed this time either. The book is a very good mixture of theory and practice. It presents the topics in statistical science that any data scientist should be familiar with. ... In general, the theory is provided in an easy to read and understand way. Mathematical details are limited to minimum. The emphasis is on the intuitive explanation of the statistical theory and its implementation in practice. And because of that the theory is broadly illustrated with examples based on the real data (which is an additional asset of the book). ... Another pro worth mentioning is the way how the book is organized. It is extremely easy to go back and find the content which is needed. Blueshaded areas with key messages, R codes presented in blue, summaries at the end of each sections – all of this makes this book very transparent and well organized. The book can be truly recommended to students who would like to start their journey as Data Scientists or young practitioners in this field. It can be also a great inspiration for lecturers."

-Kinga Sałapa inISCB Book Reviews, September 2022"The main goal of this textbook is to present foundational statistical methods and theory that are relevant in the field of data science. The authors depart from the typical approaches taken by many conventional mathematical statistics textbooks by placing more emphasis on providing the students with intuitive and practical interpretations of those methods with the aid of R programming codes. The book also takes slightly different organizations and presents a few topics that are not commonly found in conventional mathematical statistics textbooks. Notably, the book introduces both the frequentist approach and the Bayesian approach for each chapter on statistical inference in Chapters 4 – 6...I find its particular strength to be its intuitive presentation of statistical theory and methods without getting bogged down in mathematical details that are perhaps less useful to the practitioners."

-Mintaek Lee, Boise State University"The statistical training for budding data scientists is different than the statistical training for budding statisticians, or other scientists. Data scientists require a different mix of theory and practice than statisticians, plus a great deal more exposure to computation than many other types of scientists. The aspects of this manuscript that I find appealing for the courses I teach: 1. The use of real data. 2. The use of R but with the option to use Python. 3. A good mix of theory and practice. 4. The text is well-written with good exercises. 5. The coverage of topics (e.g. Bayesian methods and clustering) that are not usually part of a course in statistics at the level of this book".

-Jason M. Graham, University of Scranton"This book distinguishes itself with its focus on computational aspects of statistics (the appendices on R and Python and the examples throughout the text that use R). The ‘cost’ of this approach seems to be that much less attention is given to probability than in a standard text. There is a definite market for this approach – computational statistics/data science do not really require as much probability background as is usually given, while more focus on the way that things are actually done in practice (with software such as R or Python) is extremely beneficial to students that are looking to apply statistical methods. There is a wealth of problems in the book, and their variety (both computational and theoretical) is much appreciated. Also, the expansive appendices on R and Python wonderful, and will be of great help to students…Two major reasons that I would adopt the book are that its discussions seem to be slightly nontraditional in some cases (see above), yet still getting the salient points across. I also am happy about the examples throughout the text that use R–this is very useful for my students."

-Christopher Gaffney, Drexel University"I will most likely adopt the proposed book for my class. The book seems to provide just about right level of mathematics—not too theoretical or like many other cookbooks which are available for R programming."

-Tumulesh Solanky, University of New Orleans"The book is well-written and the examples are well-suited for building foundations for statistical science for data science as a discipline. The material covers most of the theoretical backgrounds in statistics. Throughout the book, the authors have used R programming to illustrate the concepts. In many cases, simulations were presented to support the theory. Each chapter has abundant practical exercises for the readers to explore the materials further. This textbook can serve as a textbook for a data science curriculum."

-Steve Chung,Cal State University Fresno

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