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University of California, Berkeley

Introduction to Statistics: Descriptive Statistics

University of California, Berkeley via edX


We are surrounded by information, much of it numerical, and it is important to know how to make sense of it. Stat2x is an introduction to the fundamental concepts and methods of statistics, the science of drawing conclusions from data.

The course is the online equivalent of Statistics 2, a 15-week introductory course taken in Berkeley by about 1,000 students each year. Stat2x is divided into three 5-week components. Stat2.1x is the first of the three.

The focus of Stat2.1x is on descriptive statistics. The goal of descriptive statistics is to summarize and present numerical information in a manner that is illuminating and useful. The course will cover graphical as well as numerical summaries of data, starting with a single variable and progressing to the relation between two variables. Methods will be illustrated with data from a variety of areas in the sciences and humanities.

There will be no mindless memorization of formulas and methods. Throughout Stat2.1x, the emphasis will be on understanding the reasoning behind the calculations, the assumptions under which they are valid, and the correct interpretation of results.


  • What is the format of the class?
    • Instruction will be consist of brief lectures and exercises to check comprehension. Grades (Pass or Not Pass) will be decided based on a combination of scores on short assignments, quizzes, and a final exam.
  • How much does it cost to take the course?
    • Nothing! The course is free.
  • Will the text of the lectures be available?
    • Yes. All of our lectures will have transcripts synced to the videos.
  • Do I need to watch the lectures live?
    • No. You can watch the lectures at your leisure.
  • Can I contact the Instructor or Teaching Assistants?
    • Yes, but not directly. The discussion forums are the appropriate venue for questions about the course. The instructors will monitor the discussion forums and try to respond to the most important questions; in many cases response from other students and peers will be adequate and faster.
  • Do I need any other materials to take the course?
    • If you have any questions about edX generally, please see the edX FAQ.

Taught by

Ani Adhikari and Philip B. Stark

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4.8 rating, based on 10 reviews

Start your review of Introduction to Statistics: Descriptive Statistics

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    The professor's video presentations are excellent. She mixes a casual humor with an astonishing ability to communicate complex ideas and concepts clearly and articulately.

    The online textbook, with its statistics calculators, is an excellent resource and great benefit of the course.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Excellent and very well organised course for an intro to stats. There is no software package needed to learn for the completion of the assignments and tests. Everything is provided and explained thoroughly.

    Highly recommended.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Great teacher, focus on understanding of the subject and not on a bunch of formulas.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    + interesting material

    + very good teacher

    + short lectures
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    It's an excellent course for a beginner in Statistics.
  • Mia Rogelsek completed this course.

  • Liviu completed this course.

  • Huy

    Huy completed this course, spending 6 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

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  • Sanjay Singh completed this course.

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