Beside the professional statistical software Online statistical computation , and the use of a scientific calculator is required for the course. A Scientific Calculator is the one, which has capability to give you, say, the result of square root of 5. Any calculator that goes beyond the 4 operations is fine for this course. These calculators allow you to perform simple calculations you need in this course, for example, enabling you to take square root, to raise e to the power of say, . and so on. These types of calculators are called general Scientific Calculators. There are also more specific and advanced calculators for mathematical computations in other areas such as Finance, Accounting, and even Statistics. The last one, for example, computes mean, variance, skewness, and kurtosis of a sample by simply entering all data one-by-one and then pressing any of the mean, variance, skewness, and kurtosis keys.

“Estimation statistics” is a fancy way of saying that you are estimating population values based on your sample data. Let’s think back to our sample ice cream data. First, let’s assume that we had a true random sample of 35 people on this globe and that our full target population is every human alive (7 billion people). Let’s say that 37% of people in our sample said that vanilla is their favorite flavor. Can we safely extrapolate that 37% of all people in the world also think that vanilla is the best? Is that the true value of the world? Well, we can’t say with 100% confidence, but–using inferential statistical techniques such as the “confidence interval”–I can provide a range of people that prefer vanilla with some level of confidence.