Skip to main content

Statistics Seminar Series - Session 1

Video recording of the speakers presentation

Session Description

This introductory session to the new Maths & Statistics Seminar Series will discuss the role of statistics in research from the framing of the initial research objectives through the design of the research programme, data collection, inference and analysis to the publication of results. Particular attention will be paid to the context of research and how this determines the appropriateness (or inappropriateness) of particular techniques. In this introductory seminar and discussion we will not enter into details of any particular technique but consider more generally why – and how – statistical thinking can benefit your research.


Seminar Session Resources:

Powerpoint Presentation (Powerpoint Presentation)


Further Details

Date: 20th September 2012

Speaker: Simon French, Director of the Risk Initiative and Statistical Consulting Unit (RISCU)

Keywords: Statistics, Researcher

Suggested References & Further Resources:

An introduction to Cynefin is given in the early sections of:
S. French (2011). "Cynefin, Statistics and Decision Analysis." Journal of the Operational Research Society(Published online July 4th). DOI: doi:10.1057/jors.2012.23.
It is difficult to give references that cover the generality and breadth of the points that I intend to make in this introductory seminar. Most statistics texts cover some of these points, but only very briefly. A bit of an exception is given by Gliner et al below: however, the text is written more for the social sciences, humanities and psychology than the physical or biological sciences.
J. A. Gliner, G. A. Morgan and N. L. Leech (2009). Research Methods in Applied Settings: An Integrated Approach to Design and Analysis. New York, Routledge - Taylor and Francis.
The classic text on exploratory data analysis (EDA) is:
J. W. Tukey (1977). Exploratory Data Analysis, Addison-Wesley.
Very old, but hardly bettered. Most introductory statistics texts provide some material on EDA, but seldom enough before they launch into confirmatory statistics.

You may also like to listen to podcasts in 'More or Less' - A BBC Radio Series which aims to explain - and sometimes debunk - the numbers and statistics used in political debate, the news and everyday life.