Section author: Danielle J. Navarro and David R. Foxcroft


“Begin at the beginning”, the King said, very gravely,
““and go on till you come to the end: then stop”*

—Lewis Carroll

It feels somewhat strange to be writing this chapter, and more than a little inappropriate. An epilogue is what you write when a book is finished, and this book really isn’t finished. There are a lot of things still missing from this book. It doesn’t have an index yet. A lot of references are missing. There are no “do it yourself” exercises. And in general, I feel that there a lot of things that are wrong with the presentation, organisation and content of this book. Given all that, I don’t want to try to write a “proper” epilogue. I haven’t finished writing the substantive content yet, so it doesn’t make sense to try to bring it all together. But this version of the book is going to go online for students to use, and you will may be to purchase a hard copy too, so I want to give it at least a veneer of closure. So let’s give it a go, shall we?

First, I’m going to talk a bit about some of the content that I wish I’d had the chance to cram into this version of the book, just so that you can get a sense of what other ideas are out there in the world of statistics. I think this would be important even if this book were getting close to a final product. One thing that students often fail to realise is that their introductory statistics classes are just that, an introduction. If you want to go out into the wider world and do real data analysis, you have to learn a whole lot of new tools that extend the content of your undergraduate lectures in all sorts of different ways. Don’t assume that something can’t be done just because it wasn’t covered in undergrad. Don’t assume that something is the right thing to do just because it was covered in an undergrad class. To stop you from falling victim to that trap, I think it’s useful to give a bit of an overview of some of the other ideas out there.