Shortlisted for the British Psychological Society Book Award 2017
Shortlisted for the British Book Design and Production Awards 2016
Shortlisted for the Association of Learned & Professional Society Publishers Award for Innovation in Publishing 2016
An Adventure in Statistics: The Reality Enigma by best-selling author and award-winning teacher Andy Field offers a better way to learn statistics. It combines rock-solid statistics coverage with compelling visual story-telling to address the conceptual difficulties that students learning statistics for the first time often encounter in introductory courses - guiding students away from rote memorization and toward critical thinking and problem solving. Field masterfully weaves in a unique, action-packed story starring Zach, a character who thinks like a student, processing information, and the challenges of understanding it, in the same way a statistics novice would. Illustrated with stunning graphic novel-style art and featuring Socratic dialogue, the story captivates readers as it introduces them to concepts, eliminating potential statistics anxiety.
The book assumes no previous statistics knowledge nor does it require the use of data analysis software. It covers the material you would expect for an introductory level statistics course that Field's other books (Discovering Statistics Using IBM SPSS Statistics and Discovering Statistics Using R) only touch on, but with a contemporary twist, laying down strong foundations for understanding classical and Bayesian approaches to data analysis.
In doing so, it provides an unrivalled launch pad to further study, research, and inquisitiveness about the real world, equipping students with the skills to succeed in their chosen degree and which they can go on to apply in the workplace.
The Story and Main Characters
The Reality Revolution
In the City of Elpis, in the year 2100, there has been a reality revolution. Prior to the revolution, Elpis citizens were unable to see their flaws and limitations, believing themselves talented and special. This led to a self-absorbed society in which hard work and the collective good were undervalued and eroded.
To combat this, Professor Milton Grey invented the reality prism, a hat that allowed its wearers to see themselves as they really were - flaws and all. Faced with the truth, Elpis citizens revolted and destroyed and banned all reality prisms.
The Mysterious Disappearance
Zach and Alice are born soon after all the prisms have been destroyed. Zach, a musician who doesn't understand science, and Alice, a geneticist who is also a whiz at statistics, are in love. One night, after making a world-changing discovery, Alice suddenly disappears, leaving behind a song playing on a loop and a file with her research on it.
Statistics to the Rescue!
Sensing that she might be in danger, Zach follows the clues to find her, as he realizes that the key to discovering why Alice has vanished is in her research. Alas! He must learn statistics and apply what he learns in order to overcome a number of deadly challenges and find the love of his life.
As Zach and his pocket watch, The Head, embark on their quest to find Alice, they meet Professor Milton Grey and Celia, battle zombies, cross a probability bridge, and encounter Jig:Saw, a mysterious corporation that might have something to do with Alice's disappearance...
"Eight years ago I had the idea to write a fictional story through which the student learns statistics via a shared adventure with the main character..." Read the complete article from Andy Field on writing his new book
Times Higher Education article: "Andy Field takes statistics adventure to a new level"
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Go behind the scenes and learn more about the man behind the book:
Watch Andy talk about why he created a statistics book using the framework of a novel and illustrations by one of the illustrators for the show, Doctor Who.
See more videos on Andy's YouTube channel
Students who come to the book for statistics learning stay with it for the engaging story. By the end of the book, the reader gets completely satiated not only from the story but also from the abundant concepts learned during the unfolding of the story. The book is highly entertaining, tremendously exciting, meticulously thorough on subject matter coverage and amazingly simple to understand and follow -- Naveen Kashyap "I have at last encountered a book that provides solid, innovative statistics instruction alongside lessons in coding. And it's fair to say that it does so like no other. Andy Field's An Adventure in Statistics: The Reality Enigma-an introductory statistics educational text embedded in a science fiction story with graphic-novel artwork-has caught my attention and kept it. If only I'd had this book back in grad school...As an experienced educator, Field has a good sense of where a student might get held up, and he makes sure to cover such topics repeatedly to emphasize certain points...the fictional story exists in service of the statistics instruction, as the narrative flow is driven by wherever the statistics lessons need to go next...it succeeds in making a normally dry read into one that is fun, emotive, and even suspenseful." -- Katie L. Burke * The Scientific Research Society * "This book is EXTREMELY HELPFUL IN UNDERSTANDING THE BASICS behind some of the more complex statistical procedures gone over in lectures." -- Rebecca, Payne "Funny and engaging book, YOU CANNOT STOP READING it because you cannot wait to know what happens to Zach and Alice." -- Eszter Stockl "A UNIQUE, ENGAGING EXPERIENCE...The narrative helps to build a context for introducing concepts and allows for the characters to explain the concepts through their successive parts. This is a must-have for those studying statistics." -- Benjamin Schade "A MUST-HAVE FOR ANY STATISTICS STUDENT looking for a thorough understanding of statistical terminology and concepts. Students will come for the statistics and stay for the narrative." -- Tess Liddell See what students are saying!
"PERFECT FOR EVERYONE that finds stats difficult, pointless or boring, this book proves them wrong! The way the concepts are explained is so easy to grasp and it makes it even entertaining to learn! I wish I had discovered this sooner!" -- Larissa Quiroga Escamilla