A too-brief and too-long introduction to statistics

This section is for those students who have had little or no exposure to statistics before taking this tutorial.

Strictly speaking, this section has nothing to do with ROOT per se; that’s part of why it’s “too long.” However, I was asked to include something on these topics to hopefully give you a head start as you get involved with the research you’ll do this summer. 1

My goal is to explain the terms of “physicist jargon” you see in the topic headers. 2



The full subject of statistics is deep and beautiful, and you can spend a lifetime… well, you know the rest.


In this discussion, when I say “physicists do this” or “physicists do that,” it’s not exclusive. Other fields of study use the same terms. However, since I mostly hang out with physicists and not cultural anthropologists or meteorologists, I’ll only speak for the folks I know.