Review of ActivStats 2.0 introductory statistics courseware by Paul F. Velleman (1998) ISBN 0-201-31068-6 \$44.25 (student) ISBN 0-201-31070-8 \$90.50 (institution) Addison Wesley Longman review by Donald B. Macnaughton donmac@matstat.com ActivStats is a complete introductory statistics textbook on a CD. It is the most exciting development in statistics education I have ever experienced. ActivStats has all the features of a traditional statistics textbook: coverage of statistical concepts with text, graphics, and exercises (plus a table of contents, index, and glossary). What's different is that ActivStats provides powerful features that are only available on a computer: interactive lessons, videos, and (amazingly) a built-in data analysis package (the award-winning Data Desk). ActivStats emphasizes data visualization and data analysis. Less emphasis is placed on the mathematical mechanics of statistics, which can now be mostly handled by the computer, as in real data analysis. The sequence of topics is as follows: data and variables, univariate distributions, relationships between variables (correlation, regression, surveys, experiments), randomness, probability, random variables, sampling distributions, and statistical inference. (The sequence of topics in ActivStats exemplifies the currently most popular sequence for the introductory course. I recommend a substantially different emphasis and sequence of topics for the introductory course [1996], but I shall not discuss that here.) ActivStats consists of twenty-four "lessons", each of which is between two and six "pages" long. Each page in a lesson appears on the computer screen as a scrollable block of text and graphics. Each page gives a high-level summary of a sub-topic of the lesson topic. Most pages contain between one and five icons, each representing an "activity". When a student clicks on an icon, it expands on the screen into a window containing a presentation. Activities come in four flavors: Narrated Videos (average length around two minutes). These describe real-world problems that motivate the statistical topic under discussion on the page. Narrated Mini-Lectures (average length around five minutes). These are on a single statistical topic and are carefully illustrated with innovative moving graphics. Many are punctuated with "hands-on" sessions in which students interact with the computer to gain experience with the topic. Data Analysis Exercises (average length around eight minutes). These guide students through the use of Data Desk to display or analyze data to reinforce the statistical topic under discussion. Concept-Review Exercises (average length under two minutes). These contain a set of sentences describing the main ideas presented earlier on the page. Students fill blanks in the sentences with supplied words, and the computer indicates the correctness of the answers. These help students to assess their understanding of the ideas.