Billy Foster, PhD

Billy Foster

Clinical Assistant Professor of Economics at

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The state — or, to make matters more concrete, the government — consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office. Their principal device to that end is to search out groups who pant and pine for something they can’t get, and to promise to give it to them. Nine times out of ten that promise is worth nothing. The tenth time it is made good by looting ‘A’ to satisfy ‘B’. In other words, government is a broker in pillage, and every election is a sort of advanced auction on stolen goods. — Henry Louis Mencken, Prejudices, First Series (1919)

Business Statistics II

Business Statistics II
Course number:


“All models are wrong, but some are useful”

- Statistician George E P Box in “Science and statistics,” Journal of the American Statistical Association 71:791-799

“As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as
they are certain, they do not refer to reality.”

- Einstein, Albert (1923) in Sidelights on Relativity (Geometry and Experience). P. Dutton., Co., p. 28.


This course is an exploration of writing about statistics. It will combine lecture
about new material, readings by many authors, discussions about writing, outside
writing assignments, and in-class writing exercises. Attendance and participation
will be very important each week.


John Allen Paulos
ISBN-13: 978-0809058402

Numbers Rule Your World
Kaiser Fung
ISBN-13: 978-0071626538

The Signal and the Noise
Nate Silver
ISBN-13: 978-1594204111

Fooled by Randomness
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
ISBN-13: 978-0812975215

Super Crunchers
Ian Ayres
ISBN-13: 978-0553384734

The Visual Display of Quantitative Information
Edward R. Tufte
ISBN-13: 978-0961392147

Statistics for Business and Economics
Anderson, Sweeney, and Williams
ISBN-13: 978-0538481649
(Any Stats II student should have this already or something similar from Stats I)

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