Learning Statistics independently?


I'm an adult learner, taking second term of Statistics through an online undergraduate program.
The course uses R, which I love, and an original textbook which I find difficult to follow.
I would like to continue learning statistics beyond this class, unfortunately my program does not offer any others.

Does anyone have a recommendation for learning materials, such as books and online resources,
which are especially lucid?

I have several excellent R books, Data analysis and graphics using R, and Applied Statistics with S, and I am looking for something similar in writing style for basic statistics and probability.

Otherwise, maybe just a list of concepts to master first.

Thank you,



Super Moderator
Hi mechnik

I totally understand where you are coming from because I was an adult learner when I put myself on a self taught path after my MSc (btw I am soon to begin an applied Stats MSc).

Are you taking stats as a decipline on its own or are you focusing in Biology, Finance..?

Here are a couple that I have found to be invaluable:

1) BIOMETRy - Sokal and Roff
2) Statistical Design and Data analysis for biologists - Quinn and Keough (by and for biologists but the concepts are really well expalined - but they use biological examples).

Anyway, one book that I have found invaluable (some may disagree because I know its had mixed reviews) is "The R Book" by Micheal Crawley.

The R home page has an excellent bibliography of R poublications.

But others I have found useful include:

1) An R and S companion to appllied regression
2) Mixed Effects Models in S and S-plus
3) A handbook of statistical analysis using R.

Thank you so much.
I do not have any particular discipline in mind.
I will take a close look at 'The R Book'.
I did read some reviews, if I recall Crawley is seen as some interloper, but I should be check it out for myself.

Thank you again.


Ambassador to the humans
I might be recalling incorrectly but I think a part of what some people didn't like about The R Book was that Crawley isn't part of the R development team and hasn't made any real useful packages so he isn't really part of the active R community. Which may or may not be a good thing depending on your point of view.


Super Moderator
That's right Dason. He was heavily criticised for that in some early reviews of his book and it really caused a bit of a stir within the R community. Despite this, I have learnt a great deal from his book since it is written without the assumption that the reader has a strong programming background (like me).