Statistical Resources: Free Statistics Lectures

The truly great thing about the internet is the amount of really good stuff you can get for free, and one of the best things if you want to learn something new is the availability of lectures from universities via media sites. YouTube has a large number of statistics lectures available for you to peruse: searching for “statistics lecture” returns 641 hits, and searching for specific topics in statistics and probability will return much more.

Here is a selection of introductory statistics lectures that are freely available on YouTube that you might want to try if you are interested in applying statistical methods in film studies and don’t have easy access to a statistician.

Possibly the best place to start is Daniel Judge’s Statistics Lecture from the Department of Mathematics at East Los Angeles College. This lecture is clearly delivered and starts with a focus on data. A good feature is that unlike some other available, this lecture is broken up into bite size chunks so its much easier to manage. Subsequent lectures in the series look at describing data numerically and graphically, probability theory, and the normal distribution.

Here’s a great introductory lecture that uses baseball to explain (amongst other things) the difference between parameters and statistics  and samples and populations (which I have commented on elsewhere), and which also explains why a batting average isn’t an average. A common problem in the use of statistics in film studies is that statistical terms are used without any proper understanding of what they mean, and this lecture goes to great lengths to explain what is meant by categorical data or relative frequency.

Math Doctor Bob has a whole series of video lectures available covering a very wide range of topics in mathematics, including statistics and probability. I’ve found his lectures on matrix algebra very useful. This is probably not the place to start if you’re a beginner since the lectures cover specific demonstrations of individual topics and often assume some knowledge of maths but they are very clear and easy to follow. Here is a lecture on how to do a two-tailed hypothesis test.

Finally, here is part 1 of Hans Rosling’s BBC programme The Joy of Stats from the Open University which is worth taking some time to watch (even if you only want to know which part of England had the highest rate of bastardy in 1842). The other parts of the programme can be accessed at the OU’s stats playlist here.

About Nick Redfern

I graduated from the University of Kent in 1998 with a degree in Film Studies and History, and was awarded an MA by the same institution in 2002. I received my Ph.D. from Manchester Metropolitan University in 2006 for a thesis title 'Regionalism and the Cinema in the United Kingdom, 1992 to 2002.' I have taught at Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Central Lancashire. My research interests include regional film cultures and industries in the United Kingdom; cognition and communication in the cinema; anxiety in contemporary Hollywood cinema; cinemetrics; and film style and film form. My work has been published in Entertext, the International Journal of Regional and Local Studies, the New Review of Film and Television Studies, Cyfrwng: Media Wales Journal, and the Journal of British Cinema and Television.

Posted on August 16, 2012, in Statistical Literacy, Statistics and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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