Learning Statistics: Concepts and Applications in R [TTC Video]
12 October 2017, 13:55
Course No 1480 | MP4, AVC, 1100 kbps, 856x480 | AAC, 192 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 8.54GB
“Show me the data!” This is coin of the realm in science, medicine, business, education, journalism, and countless other fields. Of course, it’s more complicated than that, because raw data without interpretation is useless. What they mean is “Show me the statistics”—well-founded, persuasive distillations of data that support a claim under discussion.
The ability of statistics to extract insights from a random collection of facts is one of the most astonishing and useful feats of applied mathematics. That power is all the more accessible today through the statistical programming language R, a free, open-source computer language with millions of users worldwide—everyone from students and nonprofessionals to managers and researchers at the forefront of their disciplines.
In this era of big data, with a solid understanding of statistics and the tools for interpreting data, you don’t have to trust someone else’s analysis of medical treatments, financial returns, crop yields, voting trends, home prices, or any other interpretation of data. You can do it yourself.
Designed for those who appreciate math or want an introduction to an essential toolkit for thinking about the uncertainty inherent in all sorts of information, Learning Statistics: Concepts and Applications in R teaches you elementary statistical methods and how to apply them in R, which is made even more powerful when combined with the user interface of RStudio. (Both R and RStudio are free and downloadable for multiple platforms.)
In 24 challenging and in-depth half-hour lectures, award-winning Professor Talithia Williams of Harvey Mudd College walks you through major concepts of an introductory college-level statistics course, and beyond, using examples developed and presented in R. Compared with “canned” statistics packages, R brings users into a more hands-on, mind-engaging approach that is becoming the standard at top-tier statistics programs throughout the country.
An Associate Professor of Mathematics and the Associate Dean for Research and Experiential Learning at Harvey Mudd, Dr. Williams is a nationally recognized innovator in statistics education, noted for her popular TED Talk, “Own Your Body’s Data,” and she is cohost of the PBS NOVA series NOVA Wonders.
R You Ready for a Fresh Approach to Statistics?
In a course that repays multiple viewings, Professor Williams presents the most widely-used statistical measures, concepts, and techniques: how and when to use them, what they mean, and how to recognize when arguments or conclusions based on statistical data are suspect or wrong.
Learning Statistics will especially benefit those who want to go beyond a beginner level and get a deeper, fuller understanding of the discipline. And for anyone who learned statistics many years ago, this course gives an updated experience of what is going on in the field today and how user access to the R programming language is transforming the everyday practice of statistics.
The special advantages of this video-only course include:
- Statistics concepts combined with R examples: Viewers get a two-for-one combination of thorough grounding in statistical concepts with ground-up demonstrations of how problems are solved with the R programming languge
- A guided tour of R in action: Viewers get a gentle introduction to R in use—from how to download R and RStudio, to importing and exporting data, writing code, and generating plots. All examples in the course are conducted in R.
- Enhanced graphics: On-screen graphics are based on outputs from RStudio, but with frequent enhancements to make the visuals even easier to read and understand.
- Large screen or handheld: The presentation has been optimized for everything from TVs and computers to mobile devices, meaning you can watch it on a handheld device with the same comfort and clarity as on a television screen.
- Links to the R community: When you finish these lectures, you are not on your own. Professor Williams helps you join the worldwide community of R users, who have been advising the novice and expert alike for two decades.
Professor Williams has organized the course so that it can be taken straight through, proceeding from elementary descriptive statistics to standard and advanced techniques in statistical inference. Those with a background in other statistics software may also find the progression very helpful, while students seeking help in specific areas can jump in and out at any point throughout the course.
Discover a Powerful Set of Statistical Tools
Learning Statistics begins with an overview of the field, including how to calculate and display summaries of data. Professor Williams then introduces R and discusses its advantages over other statistical analysis packages. Unlike many such products, which are costly to purchase and upgrade, R and RStudio are entirely free. Before the end of Lecture 2, you are up and running R code.
The next six lectures cover descriptive statistics and probability, in which you learn to draw conclusions from a given sample of data by using visual aids such as histograms, scatterplots, and box plots. Employing concepts such as the normal distribution, central limit theorem, and correlation, you explore a variety of probability distributions and graphical analysis techniques. You are introduced to the formulas for these operations as well as the simple R commands that run them automatically.
Starting in Lecture 8, you explore the remarkable power of statistics to make inferences about an entire population, based on a small sample. You discover how to frame a hypothesis, build a model, and deduce propositions from the resulting data. You study simple linear regression, multiple linear regression, ANOVA (analysis of variance), and other cornerstone techniques, while also using R to run simulations of many different scenarios from the R Datasets Package.
In the last third of the course, you learn how statisticians go beyond what beginners are often taught, developing branches of applied statistics that have spun off to form their own immensely productive specialties. These include:
- Experimental design: While there are many techniques for analyzing data you already have, even more powerful is designing an experiment to decide how data is collected from the start. Consider such elements of good design as blocking, randomization, and replication to ensure that your experiment produces sound statistical results.
- Spatial statistics: Maps have always been information-rich artifacts, but they are now more useful than ever thanks to the advent of GPS-enabled data-gathering devices and powerful computers, combined with a panoply of statistical tools for treating spatial autocorrelation as a rich new source of information.
- Time series analysis: Just as fascinating as spatial data is information collected sequentially over time—in finance, meteorology, biology, agriculture, and other fields. One of the most important goals of time series analysis is forecasting, which extracts short- and longer-term patterns in the data.
- Bayesian inference: Textbook statistics is often based on a “frequentist” paradigm, in which sampling is theoretically unlimited. But for many real-life situations, your information is almost always incomplete, and likely to be revised. This is the forte of Bayesian inference.
You close the course with a lecture on how to customize R to select and combine information in whatever way you want, so that R best serves your own needs.
Dr. Williams has made it her life’s work to get students, parents, educators, and the community at large excited about mathematics and especially statistics, which she describes as “a powerful framework for THINKING—for reaching insights and solving problems.” As witnessed by her TED Talk, which has been viewed over one million times, Dr. Williams has a gift for demystifying statistics and making it relevant to everyone—because whenever you hear a statistical argument that directly affects your health, livelihood, autonomy, or your firmly held beliefs, you should say, “Show me the data, so I can decide for myself.” With this course, you will be able to do exactly that.
The American West: History, Myth, and Legacy [TTC Video]
12 October 2017, 13:47
Course No 8552 | MP4, AVC, 1250 kbps, 856x480 | AAC, 192 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 8.02GB
The brutal conflict of cowboys and Indians. Dusty, dangerous outposts policed by vigilante justice. The six-shooter showdown at high noon. Daring railroad heists and arduous cattle drives. These and other scenes from countless Western films have so shaped our conception of the American West that it’s impossible to separate myth from reality. But how wild was the West? Was it really ever “won”?
According to historian and award-winning Professor Patrick N. Allitt of Emory University, the historical approach to understanding the American West has moved far beyond pop culture in recent years. “Nearly all the clichés and bromides of the old Western history have been discarded,” he says. “We’re now much more aware of the histories, not just of the people who happened to end up on top—but also the histories of the diverse peoples who were defeated or displaced.”
It turns out that the legendary people and events we associate with the Wild West—the last stand at the Alamo, the Battle of Little Bighorn, the exploits of Calamity Jane and Kit Carson, the glories and hardships of the Gold Rush and the Oregon Trail—are just as exciting in the light of history as the tall tales that have defined our conception of them.
Explored chronologically, they form a story more thrilling than any Hollywood Western. And it’s a story not just of adventure and danger but a story about how the United States, as it acquired new territories and encountered new peoples, transformed a collection of newly independent states into a continent-bestriding colossus that would dominate the 20th century.
Designed to shine a light on truths about westward expansion and the American frontier (sometimes uncomfortable, always insightful), The American West: History, Myth, and Legacy is a way for you to experience the grit and grandeur of an epic period in American history. Professor Allitt’s 24 lectures, rich with historical detail, take you from the era of the American Revolution to the beginning of the 20th century and uncover new historical angles and perspectives about events and themes ranging from the Lewis and Clark expedition to the Indian Removal Act to the creation of America’s first national parks. Packed with period maps and artwork, photographs, diary entries, and more, this course is an entertaining, eye-opening, balanced look at the achievements and sufferings of a period and place as important as it was wild.
Over 200 Years of Frontier History
Central to Professor Allitt’s course is dispelling the idea of the American West as a single, monolithic place and idea. There is a great diversity to the American West that it is easy to overlook.
“It’s actually an area almost as big as Europe, incorporating some of the hottest and coldest places in the inhabited world,” says Professor Allitt. “The area we think of as the West today includes mountain ranges, deserts, canyons, badlands and some of the richest, most productive farmland in the world. At different times, it has been inhabited and claimed by indigenous peoples, Spaniards, Frenchmen, Britons, and Americans. Its people today have distinctive voices, clothes, traditions, and music, and they keep alive a distinct set of ideals and attitudes different from those of their fellow Americans back East.”
Befitting an area of such epic scope and diversity, The American West encompasses more than 200 years of history and the most important events, themes, and ideas that form the backbone of the frontier’s reality—and legend. Just some of the major topics you will explore in this course include:
- The Transcontinental Railroad: Perhaps the most defining moment for the American West was 1869, when the two lines of the Transcontinental Railroad met at Promontory Point in Utah. While the system brought more people (including immigrants) and money out west, many sections were built so badly they had to be renewed almost at once.
- The Trail of Tears: Named the “Trail of Tears” by the Cherokee, the forced migration of America’s “Five Civilized Tribes” in the 1830s resulted in the loss of traditional homes in the East in exchange for federal lands out West (referred to as “Indian Territory”). A central figure in this dark moment in American history: President Andrew Jackson.
- Manifest Destiny: This phrase, coined by journalist John O’Sullivan regarding the nation’s claims on the Oregon territory in the 1840s, came to embody the spirit of westward expansion—and the conflicts it provoked. The idea behind Manifest Destiny was that it was America’s God-given right to spread liberty and democracy across the continent.
- The Gold Rush: With the discovery of Californian gold in 1848, the American West, for the first time, became a destination of mass appeal for Americans. With the mad rush for quick wealth, however, came rampant fraud. Prospectors had to learn quickly how to distinguish gold from “fool’s gold” (iron pyrites). The simplest way to do so is now the most iconic: biting it.
- Cowboys and Cattle: After the Civil War, American cowboys herded cattle to railheads across the West, from where they would eventually feed the industrial workers back East. The most famous cattle trail, the Chisholm Trail (named after a half-Cherokee cowboy) spanned over 500 miles between Texas and Kansas, and could take up to two months to traverse.
The West in Popular Culture
A vivid popular culture sprang up around the American West as the area developed. While Professor Allitt uses these lectures to lay bare the often harsh realities of life out west, he also points out how popular culture—books, paintings, films—can help us understand the intimate details of life for everyday men and women. By looking critically at popular depictions of the West, you will:
- Learn about one of the best accounts we have of the cowboy way of life: the 1885 biography A Texas Cowboy, or Fifteen Years on the Hurricane Deck of a Spanish Pony.
- Open an illuminating window into the emotional lives of homesteaders on the Great Plains through novels including My Ántonia and Little House on the Prairie.
- See how paintings by iconic American artist Frederic Remington emphasized the adventurous men who pitted themselves against the landscape of the West.
- Discover how historian Frederick Jackson Turner’s “frontier thesis” (that the frontier defined American democracy) had an immense influence on generations of historians.
- Break down the main plots of Western films and understand how new historical understanding has led to a shift in the genre’s plots and characters.
A Clearer Picture of the Wild West
Over the years, Professor Allitt has brought his incredible historical knowledge and his engaging teaching style to multiple Great Courses popular with our lifelong learners. The American West is no exception to this tradition. Professor Allitt imbues every single lecture not only with insight and knowledge, but with a contagious passion for the American West—both the heroic idea of it and the more complex historical reality.
Additionally, the lectures in The American West are enriched with historic photographs and illustrations, period artworks and maps, and quotes from first-person accounts and history-changing documents.
“Anyone who studies the subject of the American West quickly discovers that the myths sometimes had a more tenacious grip on Westerners’ minds than the realities,” says Professor Allitt. “But with a close look at the facts and how they’ve been stretched and spun over time, the muddled picture of the place that many people have in their minds will become clearer.”
Saddle up for an exciting adventure in learning.
The Everyday Gourmet: Cooking with Vegetables [TTC Video]
12 October 2017, 13:36
Course No 9275 | M4V, AVC, 1000 kbps, 1280x720 | AAC, 162 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x35 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 7.03GB
Too often, vegetables are an afterthought when we cook. Whether served as a side dish or mindlessly heated from a frozen package, they have long been relegated to second-class status. But with the widespread appeal of the farm-to-table movement and chefs everywhere featuring seasonal produce and innovative cooking techniques to set their menus apart, vegetables have officially graduated from something we have to eat to something we want to eat.
Complex, vibrant, and versatile, vegetables are deeply satisfying when given the proper attention. But cooking them at home, however, can be daunting. Confusion can start right in the grocery store or farmers’ market. Should you choose that photo-worthy, overgrown zucchini or the smaller, less remarkable one? How do you know if an artichoke is past its prime? And once you bring your bounty home: Do the tomatoes go in the crisper or on the counter? How can you speed up the ripening of that rock-hard avocado—or keep a soft one from spoiling before you can use it?
The Everyday Gourmet: Cooking with Vegetables answers your questions and more about selecting and storing produce while revealing how you can take the same fresh ingredients, bright flavors, and unexpected combinations you love at restaurants and easily prepare them in your own kitchen every night of the week. Presented in 24 easy-to-follow lessons by Chef Bill Briwa, an award-winning Professor of Culinary Arts at the esteemed Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, this course provides the expert insight and techniques you need to elevate vegetables from supporting player to star attraction, no matter what your skill level. With step-by-step demonstrations of delicious main dishes, sides, soups, stews, and even desserts and cocktails, you’ll develop a culinary repertoire based on produce that is more varied, pleasurable, and nourishing than ever before.
This course delivers a broad range of ideas that can be accomplished quickly when time is limited as well as more elaborate preparations that you can experiment with when time allows or impress with at a dinner party. While these lessons do incorporate fish, chicken, and pork, they are also packed with vegetarian and vegan recipes that will delight carnivores and herbivores alike. You will find unique and surprising techniques to:
- Transform summer squash into a “pasta” studded with pecorino, almonds, tomatoes, and garlic.
- Reinterpret classic meat dishes without the meat in vegetable pot pie, carrot osso buco, cauliflower shawarma, celery root tonkatsu, and carrot tartare.
- Make guacamole tacos using thinly sliced jicama as your tortillas and tamales stuffed with maitake, trumpet royale, and button mushrooms.
- Turn out salads bursting with flavor, from kale with tapenade and pecorino to an esquites salad inspired by Mexican street corn.
- Prepare unexpected snacks such as yucca chips tinted with beet juice and pinzamonio, an Italian dish featuring thinly shaved vegetables.
- Create indulgent desserts, including carrot cake with parsnip frosting, corn ice cream with blackberry swirl, and maple custard baked in a pumpkin.
With an array of dishes from around the world—from Thai soup to chili rellenos to tabbouleh salad—your taste buds will never get bored.
Approach Cooking from a Plant-based Perspective
Filmed at the CIA’s Greystone campus in Napa Valley, California, each lesson brings you closer to achieving a new level of comfort with cleaning, cutting, seasoning, and cooking an enormous array of vegetables, from the common ones you may be in a rut with (think carrots, potatoes, and corn) to the more unusual and perplexing ones you might typically avoid (such as turnips, beets, and spaghetti squash).
Here’s just a taste of what you’ll become more confident working with.
- Fruit we treat as vegetables: While not technically vegetables, tomatoes, avocados, eggplant, peppers, and cucumbers are a savory addition to any meal.
- Inflorescents: Actually flowers, this category includes cauliflower, broccoli, broccolini, squash blossoms, Romanesco broccoli, and broccoli rabe.
- Summer and winter squash: Found in varieties from the ultra-delicate to the creamy and hearty, squash can be roasted, grilled, sautéed, or fried.
- Root vegetables: Representing celery root, parsnips, and carrots, these veggies will surprise you with their versatility in everything from snacks to desserts.
- Beets: While part of the root vegetable family, beets are worthy of their own lesson, with novel preparations from fresh-pressed juice to roast beet in salt crust.
- Mushrooms: Packed with vitamins, protein, and savory umami flavor, this “meaty” vegetable is uniquely satisfying.
- Herbs: Delicate yet packed with flavor, herbs brighten everything from cocktails to pizza.
The What, the How, and the Why
In addition to inventive recipes you’ll be anxious to try, this course is filled with expert insights into why you’re doing what you’re doing. You’ll develop an understanding of why you need to continue frying vegetables until the oil stops bubbling and how you need to prepare fibrous food such as lemongrass, rhubarb, and asparagus to make them palatable. In fact, Chef Briwa takes the fear factor out of dealing with a great deal of what may be considered intimidating produce, including fresh artichokes, leeks, and celery root, as well as more exotic vegetables such as cactus paddles, yucca, and purslane.
From proper knife skills to how to store and cook leftovers safely, he delivers numerous tips, tricks and techniques you’ll use in the kitchen every day. Learn how to:
- cut herbs like mint and basil without damaging the leaves;
- chop vegetables to uniform sizes for even cooking;
- create vinaigrettes that complement your salad greens;
- slice a lime so it releases the most juice;
- keep leafy greens from wilting in your refrigerator;
- determine when pasta is done; and
- give your everyday meals a chef’s visual panache.
Perhaps the most beneficial aspect of this course is the knowledge it arms you with when food shopping. No longer will you stand in the produce section with an item in hand, wondering what you’re supposed to be looking for and what you should avoid. Once you know what to buy and how to store it, you’ll extend the shelf life of your vegetables and waste less in the long run.
Enter the Kitchen of an Acclaimed Chef
Taught by a culinary educator who has spent three decades teaching audiences around the world, Chef Briwa empowers you experiment, offering ideas on how to translate methods and components across recipes and to create dishes around whatever vegetable you happen to find at the farmers market. Culinary novices will appreciate his detailed, methodical instruction while more experienced home cooks will find inspiration in the templates he provides.
Cooking with Vegetables broadens your concept of what vegetables are capable of and how they can fit into your life. Let it turn the vegetable skeptics in your home into vegetable believers once and for all.