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I know there are some other questions out there on book recommendations, but I've looked into a lot of the books in those answers and haven't quite found what I'm looking for.

I am going to be starting a Masters program in Predictive Analytics this fall. My background is Bachelor's in CS with a couple years experience doing software development in the industry. I had an introductory statistics course in college, but it was rather worthless and, having not used it for a couple years, I've forgotten most of the information I did learn.

The topics for the prereq introductory course (for which I will likely receive a waiver, given my background) include: descriptive statistics, elementary probability rules, sampling, distributions, confidence intervals, correlation, regression and hypothesis testing. A book that provides at a minimum a solid understanding of these topics would be great. I imagine this is more of an applied statistics situation, versus deep mathematical foundations.

I'm looking for some recommendations on books that can get me prepared for the Masters program again. Introductory level and beyond. What I really want is some books that have problem sets and availability of corresponding answers. In order to learn, I really need to put the concepts to work, and would like to be able to check the answers I come up with.

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    $\begingroup$ You may need several books, depending on what you want to cover, & how far you want to go. So a list might be helpful. Also, it would help to know something about the level of mathematical difficulty you want; are you looking for mathematical statistics (mainly proofs) or applied statistics (primarily conceptual understanding)? $\endgroup$ – gung Jul 16 '12 at 15:43
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    $\begingroup$ @gung, I've added another paragraph in the original post that I think addresses your questions. $\endgroup$ – heavydutydev Jul 16 '12 at 16:21
  • $\begingroup$ As a side question why call the program "predictive analytics" as opposed to "statistics"? $\endgroup$ – Frank Harrell Dec 13 '12 at 22:56
  • $\begingroup$ @FrankHarrell, my cynical answer is that these days, the expression "Predictive Analytics" sells and sounds hot, but "Statistics" doesn't sound as hot. $\endgroup$ – user765195 Jan 13 '13 at 0:27
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    $\begingroup$ @FrankHarrell: Isn't Predictive Analytics only a smaller subset of Statistics? Those two terms don't seem identical to me. $\endgroup$ – curious_cat Mar 14 '13 at 9:22
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What about Larry Wasserman: "All of statistics": http://www.amazon.com/All-Statistics-Statistical-Inference-Springer/dp/1441923225/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1345051096&sr=1-1&keywords=larry+wasserman

This covers also more of newer ideas than the usual introduction. High on ideas, low on proofs.

To test out ideas with software, get some book on R, like Venables & Ripley: "MASS" or, if that is to heavy, Peter Dalgaards's book.

For challenging data sets to try out ideas, Andrews & Herzberg: "DATA" (springer)

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  • $\begingroup$ Dalgaard's book includes exercise solutions (with code) as an appendix. Wasserman's All of nonparametric statistics does not. What about “All of statistics” and Venables & Ripley? $\endgroup$ – Gala May 13 '13 at 9:45
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I think some of the books I mentioned for advanced undergraduate or first year graduate school are appropriate based on your description of what you need.

Something like Hogg and Tanis Probability and Statistical Inference 8th Edition would be very suitable. Here is a link to amazon where there are 48 customer reviews of the book.

http://www.amazon.com/Probability-Statistical-Inference-Robert-Hogg/dp/0321584759/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1342453674&sr=1-1&keywords=probability+and+statistical+inference+eighth+edition

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    $\begingroup$ Should I be concerned at all that a majority of folks on Amazon don't seem to like the book much at all? $\endgroup$ – heavydutydev Jul 16 '12 at 16:22
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    $\begingroup$ I haven't read the reviews. But often it is an issue of the level of the book. This is a book at an intermediate level. Many amazon reviewers that complain could be in need of something more elementary. I perosnally have the third and sixth editions of the book and think it is excellent at the level of your interest. $\endgroup$ – Michael Chernick Jul 16 '12 at 16:28
  • $\begingroup$ What about exercise solutions (a big part of the original question)? $\endgroup$ – Gala May 13 '13 at 9:46
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If you want a basic introductory statistics book, I recommend (undergraduate 1 year) "The Practice of Statistics for Business and Economics", 3rd edition BY David S. Moore, ISBN-13: 978-1429242530.

A higher level book is "Introduction to Econometrics", 3rd edition By James H Stock, ISBN-13: 978-0138009007.

I think they both have low cost International editions available on eBay. You can also try to find pdfs of both books.

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  • $\begingroup$ What about exercise solutions (a big part of the original question)? $\endgroup$ – Gala May 13 '13 at 9:46

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