Category Archives: Stats in Education

Items of interest that relate to the teaching of statistics.

School Resources

Occasionally a resource will pop-up that may prove useful in a stats lesson. Here are links to two…one old, one new.

The first is from Sir David Spiegelhalter, who is Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk at the University of Cambridge. you can find it on his blog Understanding Uncertainty.

It is an interactive version of the famous Florence Nightingale Coxcombs, the originals being produced by Nightingale sometime after the Crimean War (1853-1856). There are links here to other related resources making this a fantastic cross-curricular activity. The resource itself is in Adobe Flash.

The second is a game stumbled upon on Twitter. Created by Omar Wagih a Bioinformatics PhD student, who you can tweet @omarwagih. The game called guessthecorrelation.com produces a series of scatter plots and asks participants to guess the correlation between two variables.

I am sure you can think of lots of ways the game can be incorporated into a stats lesson. It might also be fun  to combine it with a discussion of correlation more generally. This could include a link to Spurious Correlation (featured here before) that now has a spurious correlation discovery tool.

Winton Infographic Competition

The Winton Infographic Competition, open to UK schools, has now closed. However, we decided to allow late entries to give teachers time to submit their class/team entries. All entries have to be emailed to us and that can take time to organise.Winton Logo

If you have taken part and have yet to submit your entries please do so via email (icse@plymouth.ac.uk) as soon as possible. Judging takes place in the next couple of weeks. You can find all the details for entry at CensusAtSchool.org.uk.

The competition provides an ideal opportunity to work with real data in a  creative way, requiring the use of ICT tools like Word and Excel to produce interesting data visualisations.

Chris Wild – Getting Further with Data Analysis Faster and Easier

In September 2015 Professor Chris Wild from the Department of Statistics at the
University of Auckland, New Zealand, gave a PedRIO (Pedagogic Research Institute and Observatory at the University of Plymouth) talk at Plymouth University entitled Getting Further with Data Analysis Faster and Easier.

Chris talked about his recent work with Future Learn developing a MOOC for the University of Auckland. The Future Learn platform and the introductory statistics course entitled ‘Data to Insight’ has been mentioned here before.

In addition, and the main focus of the presentation, Chris talks about the use of software to teach statistics faster and easier, using examples from iNZight, the data analysis software, to demonstrate thisinzight_transp.

The talk was very well attended and included academic staff from across the University. We would like to thank Chris for his presentation and all those who attended and made the event what it was, as well as PedRio for hosting the talk.

Chris was keen to collaborate with others on new and existing projects so please visit his site and email him should you have any further comments or questions.

Notes

The video covers the first 40 minuets of the presentation. Video clips from the MOOC, that are now freely available online (check the previous blog post), have been removed to shorten the video.  A further half hour has also been removed, this included an extended live demo of the iNZight software that was not clear enough to view in the video.

This video is a .MOV and may take a while to download.

Dr Michael A Posner – School Statistics Talk

Here is a link to the presentation (PowerPoint) by Dr Posner for his school STEM talk he gave recently here at Plymouth.

This is just the first half, the second half containing the activities has been removed as it would be difficult for someone to deliver these without supporting material. However if you are interested in finding out more please visit Dr Posner’s profile page at Villanova University.

The talk detailed Dr Posner’s personal journey to becoming AssociatArt_of_Stats_Talke Professor of Statistics in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Villanova University. It covered the STEM career opportunities for those studying statistics, the importance of data and some innovative uses of data. It also included some current trending topics such as Big Data and the rise of the Data Scientist.

 “For Today’s Graduate, Just One Word: Statistics”

- NYTimes (2009)

We would again like to thank Dr Posner for his time and of course the two local schools who brought their pupils along and made the event possible ( these were Plymouth High School for Girls and Stover School).

Talk_on_Statistics_Plymouth University_Jan2016

Unfortunately the sound recording from this session had far too much echo and wasn’t clear, if there is time in the future we will put up a transcript of the Q&A.

Dr Michael A. Posner – Propensity Score Analysis

Recently Dr Michael A. Posner, Associate Professor of Statistics, Villanova University, USA, visited Plymouth University.

Dr. Posner gave two talks during his visit the first of which is now available to view online. The talk held on the 20th of January 2016 was entitled ‘Making Valid Inferences in Observational Studies using Propensity Score Analysis’, you can read the full abstract by downloading the leaflet for the day, linked below.

Making Valid Inferences in Observational Studies using Propensity Score Analysis

We would like to thank Michael for his visit and talk, we have had wonderful comments from attendees to both talks and have had many requests externally for links to the presentation. Incidentally, if you would rather view just the slides you can view Michael’s profile and previous talks on his profile page, linked to above and in the leaflet.

We would like to thank PedRIO (Pedagogic Research Institute and Observatory at the University of Plymouth) who supported the event and of course all those who attended, we had a great turnout with a wide cross section of academic staff from across the University.

Notes

The audience audio for the questions and answers segment was not totally clear so these are part of a separate video.

These videos are .MOV and large and may take a while to download.

There are more videos from other talks to follow, once these are done they will all be added to our resource page.

 

Official Statistics, our Infographic Competition and Excel

As part of the new Winton Infographic Competition KS3 and KS4 students will be expected to produce various graphs to add to their submitted Infographic. So, we thought this would be an ideal time to link to the updated Graph It resource.

Originally part of CensusAtSchool UK the resource has been updated with instructions on how to produce various graphs in Excel. This version forms part of the IASE (International Association for Statistical Education) GovStats resource for teaching Official Statistics.

The resource includes instructions for; Pie Charts, Bar Charts, Histograms, Population Pyramids, Box Plots, Time Series and Scatter Graphs.

If you are looking around for a Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 Mathematics and Statistics activity  why not take a look at the new Winton Infographic Competition, entries need to be submitted by the 25th of April.

 

School Event – Plymouth University

Following our news last week that Dr Michael A Posner will be visiting Plymouth to give a PedRio talk we can now announce that Dr Posner will also be giving a talk for local schools while he is in Plymouth.

Dr. Posner is an Associate Professor of Statistics, Villanova University, and director of the Center for Statistical Education (USA), he is currently on sabbatical at The Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics Centre for Mathematical Sciences at the University of Cambridge.

The school event will be held at Plymouth University (on the main campus) on the 21st of January from 10:00 until 11:30, and is for Y10-Y12 and beyond. Entitled “Statistics – The Art and Science of Making Decisions with Data” the event will include a short informal talk with questions and answers and then an activity, this event would be ideal for students looking to begin a career in STEM

If you would like some of your students to attend, or require further details, please contact us as soon as possible via email at icse@plymouth.ac.uk, you can download more information here.

Dr Michael A Posner to visit the ICSE

We are very excited to announce that Dr Michael A Posner, Associate Professor of Statistics, Villanova University, USA and director of the Center for Statistical Education (not related), will be visiting Plymouth University early in the New Year to give a talk.

Dr. Posner is currently on sabbatical at The Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics Centre for Mathematical Sciences at the University of Cambridge.

The talk to be held on the 20th of January 2016 is entitled ‘Making Valid Inferences in Observational Studies using Propensity Score Analysis’, you can read the full abstract, get further information and book your place using the link below. All are welcome but priority will be for Plymouth University staff so please book early if you wish to attend.

The talk is supported by PedRIO (Pedagogic Research Institute and Observatory at the University of Plymouth).

Making Valid Inferences in Observational Studies using Propensity Score Analysis

 

The American Statistician – The Undergraduate Curriculum

The American Statistician, the official journal of the American Statistical Association, have a special issue focusing on the undergraduate curriculum. You can read the press statement and access the journal pages using the links below.

Although this issues looks at Undergraduate Programmes in Statistical Science in the States there will be a great deal to interest those involved at this level in the UK.

On a related note, there is an extremely good interview with Professor Stephen Fienberg on the Statistics Views blog (dated November 10th 2015). The interview has some insights into the future of data science and the use of Big Data. Find it on the link below.

 

Statistical Education Links

While looking over the proceedings for #60ISIWSC and the satellite IASE event a link was found, via one of the keynotes, to five statistical education resources.

They are all common links that will have been on the ICSE site at one point in time but here they are together, in one place.