**43.Statistics **

There were two widely divergent influences on the early development of statistical methods. Statistics had a mother who was dedicated to keeping orderly records of government units (states and statistics come from the same Latin root status) and a gentlemanly gambling father who relied on mathematics to increase his skill at playing the odds in games of chance. The influence of the mother on the offspring, statistics, is represented by counting, measuring, describing, tabulating, ordering, and the taking of censuses—all of which led to modern descriptive statistics. From the influence of the father came modern inferential statistics, which is based squarely on theories of probability.

Describing collections involves tabulating, depicting and describing collections of data. These data may be quantitative such as measures of height, intelligence or grade level------variables that are characterized by an underlying continuum---or the data may represent qualitative variables, such as sex, college major or personality type. Large masses of data must generally undergo a process of summarization or reduction before they are comprehensible. Descriptive statistics is a tool for describing or summarizing or reducing to comprehensible form the properties of an otherwise unwieldy mass of data.