Josh Starmer is assistant professor at the genetics department of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
But more importantly: Josh is the mastermind behind StatQuest!
StatQuest is a Youtube channel (and website) dedicated to explaining complex statistical concepts — like data distributions, probability, or novel machine learning algorithms — in simple terms.
Once you watch one of Josh’s “Stat-Quests”, you immediately recognize the effort he put into this project. Using great visuals, a just-about-right pace, and relateable examples, Josh makes statistics accessible to everyone. For instance, take this series on logistic regression:
And do you really know what happens under the hood when you run a principal component analysis? After this video you will:
Or are you more interested in learning the fundamental concepts behind machine learning, then Josh has some videos for you, for instance on bias and variance or gradient descent:
With nearly 200 videos and counting, StatQuest is truly an amazing resource for students ‘and teachers on topics related to statistics and data analytics. For some of the concepts, Josh even posted videos running you through the analysis steps and results interpretation in the R language.
StatQuest started out as an attempt to explain statistics to my co-workers – who are all genetics researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill. They did these amazing experiments, but they didn’t always know what to do with the data they generated. That was my job. But I wanted them to understand that what I do isn’t magic – it’s actually quite simple. It only seems hard because it’s all wrapped up in confusing terminology and typically communicated using equations. I found that if I stripped away the terminology and communicated the concepts using pictures, it became easy to understand.
Over time I made more and more StatQuests and now it’s my passion on YouTube.
Statistics, and statistical inference in specific, are becoming an ever greater part of our daily lives. Models are trying to estimate anything from (future) consumer behaviour to optimal steering behaviours and we need these models to be as accurate as possible. Trevor Hastie is a great contributor to the development of the field, and I highly recommend the machine learning books and courses that he developed, together with Robert Tibshirani. These you may find in my list of R Resources (Cheatsheets, Tutorials, & Books).
Today I wanted to share another book Hastie wrote, together with Bradley Efron, another colleague of his at Stanford University. It is called Computer Age Statistical Inference (Efron & Hastie, 2016) and is a definite must read for every aspiring data scientist because it illustrates most algorithms commonly used in modern-day statistical inference. Many of these algorithms Hastie and his colleagues at Stanford developed themselves and the book handles among others:
Help yourself to these free books, tutorials, packages, cheat sheets, and many more materials for R programming. There’s a separate overview for handy R programming tricks. If you have additions, please comment below or contact me!
Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) & Graphical User Inferfaces (GUIs)
Descriptions mostly taken from their own websites:
RStudio*** – Open source and enterprise ready professional software
Jupyter Notebook*** – open-source web application that allows you to create and share documents that contain live code, equations, visualizations and narrative text across dozens of programming languages.