Summer Reading List: Statistical Models and Shoe Leather

The UC Berkeley Summer Reading List is an annual compilation of recommended (though not required) readings suggested by Cal faculty, staff, and students as a welcome to incoming freshmen and transfer students. This week we take a closer look at

Statistical Models and Shoe Leather”

David A. Freedman

Sociological Methodology, volume 21, 1991

“One of the things we in Statistics try to do in our lower division courses is instill in our students a healthy level of skepticism about applications of statistical methodology. A reading that does a particularly good job of getting across the pitfalls inherent in many uses of simple statistical techniques as well as providing some success stories (such as John Snow’s classical 1855 epidemiological investigation into the causes of cholera outbreaks with its wonderful story about the removal of the handle of the Broad St pump) is this article by my late Statistics colleague David A. Freedman.

(To get an idea of David Freedman’s incredibly broad range of interests, I encourage you to read his Wikipedia page.)”

STEVEN N. EVANS, Professor of Statistics and Mathematics

This post was contributed by

Michael Larkin, Lecturer, College Writing Programs

Tim Dilworth, First Year Coordinator, Library

Jonathan Garrett, Site designer, Doe & Moffitt Libraries