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Stats without Tears
Cover, Contents, Intro

Updated 2 Sept 2023 (What’s New?)
Copyright © 2001–2024 by Stan Brown,

(The cover sheet appears when you print this Web page. I suggest black-and-white, two-sided printing.)




Copyright © 2001–2024 by Stan Brown,
Updated 2 Sept 2023


Help » About This Book

This book is an alternative to the usual textbooks for a one-semester course in statistics. Whether you’re teaching in a classroom or learning on your own, you’ve come to the right place.


Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy bore a “large, friendly label” with those words, and that’s also my message to you.

I don’t see any reason for students to be afraid of statistics. It’s no more difficult than any other technical course, and it’s much more practical than other math courses. The mathematical details are here for those who want them, but I lean heavily on technology to relieve students of the “grunt work”.


You need a TI-83 or TI-84 family calculator to get the most out of this book. For $100 or less, this calculator has amazing capabilities for statistics, and it also supports other math courses up through calculus. I suggest you download my free MATH200A program, which adds some capabilities to the calculator, but this is optional.

Some error conditions on your calculator can be scary when you see them the first time. Don’t panic! See TI-83/84 Troubleshooting.

View or
These pages change automatically for your screen or printer. Underlined text, printed URLs, and the table of contents become live links on screen; and you can use your browser’s commands to change the size of the text or search for key words. If you print, I suggest black-and-white, two-sided printing. (A magically beautiful cover sheet appears when you print this page.)
History of
this book:

This textbook grew out of handouts I made for my students at TC3 (Tompkins Cortland Community College in Dryden, New York). The handouts filled gaps and corrected errors in our standard textbook.

As time went on, I found myself replacing whole chapters. Student evaluations showed that they preferred these replacements to the textbook. In Spring 2013 I reached the tipping point: I had replaced more than half of the twelve textbook chapters. In good conscience I didn’t feel I could ask students to buy an expensive textbook that they would use less than half of, so I burned my bridges and announced the required textbook beginning in Summer 2013 as “none”.

In Fall 2013, a second instructor at TC3 adopted this textbook for his class. Benjamin Kirk provided a lot of valuable suggestions and corrections, and I’m very grateful. They have improved the book considerably.


Contact information is at

Please share your reactions, whether positive or negative! If I could explain something better, I’d like to know. If some section works particularly well for you, please tell me. If you find an error, I especially want to know about it. (My own students get extra credit for pointing out errors.)

Being on the Web, this book will get updated frequently, based on your feedback. You can see the revision dates in the chapter list above, and a revision history is shown at the end of every chapter. at .


This eTextbook is a free resource for you. You can read it on line or print any or all chapters. Links to all the chapters are at <>. If you print any chapters, you can keep your costs down by choosing black-and-white printing in duplex (two-sided) mode.

Just a word of advice. I’ve tried to make statistics approachable to anyone with high-school math, but it’s still a technical subject. You can’t just read a chapter in one pass from start to end, the way you would a novel or a book of history. Please see How to Read a Math Book for some tips on getting the most out of your time with this book, or any math book.

Some material is marked BTW. This is stuff I find interesting, including mathematical details that some students have asked for, but you can get through the course without it.


Although this is a free resource, it is copyrighted and I would appreciate your asking permission to copy and distribute any of it. My contact information is at

Though you don’t need to ask permission simply to link to this material, I would appreciate knowing about it.

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