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Top 10 Books to Put Under Your Tree in 2020

Updated: Dec 24, 2020

top 10 books to put under the tree in 2020

The annual dilemma has returned. Shopping for the people in our lives can indeed be difficult. To help those shopping for the data scientists in their lives or those who want to gift themselves something this year, Asigmo has compiled a list of the top 10 books to keep even the most avid readers entertained.

10. Christian Rudder, Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking).

Dataclysm: Who We Are

In this book Christian Rudder claims our ‘‘personal data has been used to spy on us, hire and fire us, and sell us stuff we don't need’’. In Dataclysm, Christian uses data to show us who ‘these people’ truly are. By looking at the dating website OkCupid, this book presents data disparities between what people say they want in a relationship and what they actually do, filtered by geolocation.

9. Thomas Oléron Evans, The Indisputable Existence of Santa Claus: The Mathematics of Christmas by Hannah Fry,

The Indisputable Existence of Santa Claus

A fun book for all. Including those who hate math. The author touts the belief that mathematics is so powerful it has the ability to offer a new way of thinking. With delightful illustrations, this book will take you on a journey from cutting the Christmas tree, secret Santa gifts, to gift wrapping, all through the eyes of a mathematician!

8. Abby Smith Rumsey, When We Are No More: How Digital Memory Is Shaping Our Future

When We Are No More

This book offers an insightful Segway into the theory of personal and collective memory, as well as the evolution of how we deal with and handle knowledge and information.

7. Allan Gannet, The creative curve, How to develop the right idea at the right time.

The Creative Curve

Without offering spoilers, this book takes a unique approach by suggesting that ‘creativity is fuelled by practice, not intelligence’.

The book offers a refreshing take on creativity, ditching the fluffy advice of ‘’just go with the flow’’ and offering the more structured individual a blueprint to harness their ideas. He presents the idea of a paradox: preference of familiarity and novelty, and how to balance both to achieve success.

6. Cathy O’Neil, Weapons of Math Destruction. How big data increases inequality and threatens democracy

Weapons of Math Destruction

A captivating, gripping and insightful bird's eye view of automated big data. The book looks into how big data is used to understand human nature, and it's promises to ease the human condition. However, the book lodges a strong criticism towards corrupt power-seekers such as for-profit Institutions, politicians and system engineers, who seek to misuse this system.

5. Charles Wheelan, Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data

Naked Statistics

This books offered a humorous and clear introduction to basic statistics and probability. It covers the central limit theorem, multiple regression, correlation, normal distributions, standard error, and so on in a way that is light-hearted and easy to read.

4. Criado Perez, Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men Caroline.

 Invisible Women

Perhaps a more controversial book with some reviews calling it ‘’ a conspiracy nightmare’’ and another suggesting ‘‘if you have high blood pressure you should skip this book.’’ This book is about unconscious bias and how it has shaped the development of the world around us. The book also looks at how women are in danger if a workforce and society is built without considering their needs.

3. David J. Hand, Dark Data: Why What You Don't Know Matters

Dark Data

In the era of big data, one could find it hard to imagine that there is still a lacking in data that we need. David Hand theorises that we may be on the tip of the iceberg when it comes to relevant information, and proposes a solution.

2. David J Morin, Probability: For the Enthusiastic Beginner.

Probability: For the Enthusiastic Beginner

For a college student looking to expand their knowledge on probability, It will appeal to the reader who has a healthy level of enthusiasm for understanding how and why the various results of probability come about.

1. Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are.

Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are

An engaging book about how big data can be used to improve our understanding of human behaviour. Offering laugh-out-loud examples of how we as individuals lie to a machine and in turn ourselves. He explores the power of the truth serum that is data. His conclusions move from thought-provoking to disturbing and asks questions we are afraid to ask. I guarantee This one will remain on your shelf for years to come!

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