I am working through Elements of Statistical Learning, and unfortunately have found great difficulty in following the math. I have taken the standard series of Calculus courses (i.e., up to multi-variable calculus) and linear algebra, and have taken introductory (non-calculus-based) statistics and econometric courses.

Please let me know if there are any courses or textbooks you would recommend in order to get my mathematics/statistics knowledge up to speed. For example, I am considering working through the relevant portions of Statistical Inference (Casella, Berger) as a prereq.

Thank you!

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    $\begingroup$ There is a more accessible book, based on Elements of Statistical Learning. Its called Introduction to Statistical Learning. www-bcf.usc.edu/~gareth/ISL. Its a great book for beginners and it explains concepts clearly. $\endgroup$
    – Kane Chua
    May 29, 2019 at 0:07
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you, that is very helpful! I will look into that book. My goal is eventually to be able to read and understand Elements of Statistical Learning itself, so any thoughts in that respect would also be appreciated. Thanks again! $\endgroup$ May 29, 2019 at 0:20
  • $\begingroup$ If you have enough time, there is a statistic course in UCSD Micromaster's program, it includes the formulas and proof but the concepts are greatly described. You can take a look at the syllabus from here: courses.edx.org/courses/course-v1:UCSanDiegoX+DSE210x+1T2019/… $\endgroup$ May 29, 2019 at 3:46

2 Answers 2


The authors of Elements of Statistical Learning have come out with a new book (Aug 2013) aimed at users without heavy math backgrounds.

An Introduction to Statistical Learning: with Applications in R

Download from here: http://faculty.marshall.usc.edu/gareth-james/


In addition to @MrDKB's suggestion.

Another book which eases the reader into mathematical statistics, which could serve as a warm up to ESL is:

Introduction Mathematical Statistics


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