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Statistical Computing Environments for Social Research by Robert A. Stine

Statistical Computing Environments for Social Research


Statistical Computing Environments for Social Research by Robert A. Stine

The nature of statistics has changed from classical notions of hypothesis testing, towards graphical and exploratory data analysis which exploits the flexibility of interactive computing and graphical displays. This book describes seven statistical computing environments - APL2STAT, GAUSS, Lisp-Stat, Mathematica, S, SAS/IML, and Stata - which can be used effectively in graphical and exploratory modeling. These statistical computing environments, in contrast to standard statistical packages, provide programming tools for building other statistical applications. Programmability, flexible data structures, and - in the case of some of the computing environments - graphical interfaces and object-oriented programming, permit researchers to take advantage of emerging statistical methodologies. Three additional chapters, describing the Axis, R-code and ViSta statistical packages, demonstrate how researchers have extended one of the computing environments - Lisp-Stat - to produce significant statistical applications employing graphical interfaces to statistical software.

About the Author

John Fox is professor of sociology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Fox earned a PhD in sociology from the University of Michigan in 1972, and prior to arriving at McMaster, he taught at the University of Alberta and at York University in Toronto, where he was cross-appointed in the sociology and mathematics and statistics departments and directed the university's statistical consulting service. He has delivered numerous lectures and workshops on statistical topics in North and South America, Europe, and Asia, at such places as the summer program of the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, the Oxford University Spring School in Quantitative Methods for Social Research, and the annual meetings of the American Sociological Association. Much of his recent work has been on formulating methods for visualizing complex statistical models and on developing software in the R statistical computing environment. He is the author and co-author of many articles, in such journals as Sociological Methodology, Sociological Methods and Research, The Journal of the American Statistical Association, The Journal of Statistical Software, The Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics, Statistical Science, Social Psychology Quarterly, The Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, and The Canadian Journal of Sociology. He has written a number of other books, including Regression Diagnostics (SAGE, 1991), Nonparametric Simple Regression (SAGE, 2000), Multiple and General-ized Nonparametric Regression (SAGE, 2000), A Mathematical Primer for Social Statistics (SAGE, 2008), and, with Sanford Weisberg, An R Companion to Applied Regression, Second Edition (SAGE, 2010). Fox also edits the SAGE Quantitative Applications in the Social Sciences (QASS) monograph series.

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Book Info

Publication date

5th September 1996


Robert A. Stine

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SAGE Publications Inc


256 pages


Social research & statistics



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