Letter To Students

Dear Reader,

Welcome to Significant Statistics: An Introduction to Statistics. This textbook was written to increase student access to high-quality learning materials at no cost. These types of materials available under Creative Commons licenses are often called Open Educational Resources (OER).

Statistics is about separating the signal from the noise, deciphering what is actually significant versus what is just happening due to random chance. In addition to demonstrating the basic concepts needed to do that, this book attempts to focus on what is significant and eliminate some of the noise that may commonly be found in many introductory statistics texts.

In this book I have “remixed” sections from two of the most widely used OER texts in the introductory statistics space and sprinkled in some thoughts of my own. This book does not focus or lean on any specific technology, but rather the concepts.

Most sections feature worked examples with solutions, some of which have interactive features. Then “Your Turn” problems are included to encourage readers to try similar problems independently. Each end of chapter “wrap-up” includes summaries of each section, key terms, and more practice problems.

Thanks for reading this book. I hope it proves useful!


John Morgan Russell

Learning Objectives

Significant Statistics: An Introduction to Statistics is intended as a one-semester introduction to statistics course for students who are not mathematics or engineering majors. It focuses on the interpretation of statistical results, especially in real world settings, and assumes that students have an understanding of intermediate algebra. In addition to end of section practice and homework sets, examples of each topic are explained step-by-step throughout the text and followed by a Your Turn problem designed as extra practice for students. 

Having successfully completed the course the student should be able to:

  1. Identify and critique the use of statistical reasoning in science, industry, and public discourse
  2. Identify appropriate data to be gathered to answer research questions
  3. Assign appropriate data collection methods
  4. Apply appropriate methods of data visualization to explore data from a variety of disciplines
  5. Analyze data provided and use relevant technology when needed
  6. Appropriately interpret results of data exploration and statistical tests
  7. Employ critical thinking to make decisions
  8. Apply ethical reasoning and principles to scientific research

Coverage and scope

Chapter 1 Sampling and Data
Chapter 2 Descriptive Statistics
Chapter 3 Probability Topics
Chapter 4 Discrete Random Variables
Chapter 5 Continuous Random Variables
Chapter 6 Introduction to Inference
Chapter 7 One Sample Inference
Chapter 8 Two Sample Inference
Chapter 9 Simple Linear Regression


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Significant Statistics Copyright © 2020 by John Morgan Russell, OpenStaxCollege, OpenIntro is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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