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June 15, 2017 (Vol. 37, No. 12)

Seeing Theory

  • Beautiful design, interactive simulations
  • Concepts not fully explained (requires additional knowledge)

Seeing Theory is a beautiful website that graphically illustrates fundamental concepts in statistics. The site was created by Daniel Kunin, who at the time was a senior at Brown University. The site contains 15 modules that are organized into five categories: basic probability, compound probability, distributions, statistical inference, and linear regression. Each module consists of a brief introduction to the specific concept and an interactive simulation that illustrates the concept in action. For example, the “likelihood” module compares the observed and the theoretical probabilities of a flipped coin landing heads or tails. The simulation allows users to click buttons that flip a virtual coin either once or 100 times to construct a graph of the observed probabilities of each outcome. While beautifully rendered and informative, the units unfortunately do not provide enough information to the novice student to be stand-alone resources. However, the interactive activities would make a great supplemental resource to any introductory statistics course.

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