Books

These books are recommended by the AnswerPanel Community.  Please send more. (see Resources for books on survey design and analysis)


Nate Silver, master forecaster, celebrates the virtues of probabilistic thinking.  Silver is well known for his often counterintuitive, amazingly accurate predictions.


Automate This: How Algorithms Came to Rule Our World. It used to be that to diagnose an illness, interpret legal documents, analyze foreign policy, or write a newspaper article you needed a human being. High-level tasks are increasingly being handled by algorithms that can do precise work not only with speed but also with nuance. The reach of these “bots” now extends beyond what their creators ever expected.


Guesstimation 2.0 reveals the simple and effective techniques needed to estimate virtually anything, and illustrates them using an eclectic array of problems.


Fascinating walk through the hills and valleys of randomness and how it directs our lives more than we realize.


Martin Seligman conducted the foundational learned helplessness experiments. This is an excellent review of the psychological and sociological research into what actually makes us happy. What does all the empirical research have to say on this most metaphysical of questions?


David Brooks draws impressively from multidisciplinary research to explore why we grow up to be who we are.   Wonderfully insightful.


Must read. Steven D. Levitt is an economist with a difference — he uses an empirical approach! (as in real data). He studies the riddles of everyday life — from cheating and crime to sports and child-rearing — and his conclusions turn conventional wisdom on its head.


You may have noticed that we are awash in data. Yale professor Ayres argues in this lively book that the recent creation of these humongous datasets allows people to make previously impossible predictions.


Kaiser Fung is a statistician who unlocks the relationship between advertising and consumer behavior.


A black swan is an event, positive or negative, that is deemed improbable yet causes massive consequences.  Sound familiar?


Engaging applications to motivate readers from diverse majors and backgrounds. Draws from the author’s unique background in art, psychology, and math to present math in the context of real-world applications.

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