This is my series on teaching statistics with cartoons. Finally we’re getting to “statistical” examples: Figures, graphs, visualisation techniques… Have fun with implementation no. 3: Descriptive statistics!

Pie charts: Always worth a cartoon

https://paulvanderlaken.com/2017/11/22/a-note-on-pie-charts/

“Pie charts have been used for jokes before, arguably their only good purpose.” (Paul Van der Laken)

And right he is. This one especially can keep me grinning for quite some time. Even if it is a kind of old joke by now… ;-P

Self-description

https://xkcd.com/688/

This. Because it is just very very cool.

Look here to read people discussing how to achieve this: http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/688:_Self-Description

Visualisation nerdyness

https://xkcd.com/657/

I use this to show students imaginative things you can do with charts. The x-axis is time, a line is a character (or group of characters) and they move together or apart. Love it.

Details explained here: http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/657:_Movie_Narrative_Charts

The most useful statistics (cartoon) ever

Doug Savage has quite a number of “Brilliant!” cartoons. I like this one about the amazing discoveries made in charts…Make sure you know what it is you are presenting!

Curve fitting: to do or not to do

https://xkcd.com/2048/
https://xkcd.com/2048/

This one is so new I haven’t had the chance to use it yet. But isn’t it great? <3

See here if confused: http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/2048:_Curve-Fitting

An averagely good statistical cartoon?

https://larspsyll.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/flaw-of-averages.jpg

The flaw of averages… doesn’t need any words. But check out Danzigers work!

How to be convincing

https://xkcd.com/833/

Just

do

it.

Please.

https://xkcd.com/539/

I really do like boxplots. Never used one for this reason, though. 😉

I hope you enjoyed these cartoons as much as I did!

I am sure, there’s much more out there and I’d be delighted if you shared the ones you know and love with me!

Sophie Schmidt

Founder & Editor

About the Author

My name is Sophie, I am a prehistoric and computational archaeologist and have been research associate at the Universities of Bonn and Cologne, as well as for the NFDI4Objects project at the German Archaeological Institute. I teach statistics for archaeologists, work on new methods in settlement archaeology (GIS, geostatistics in R and stuff) and am interested in archaeogaming. Now I started my phD-project on the 5th mill. BC in Brandenburg (that's North-East Germany).

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