Tag Archives: Statistics

Data, Traffic and the need for Statisticians

arrow-44131_1280Although unrelated to statistical education or our activities we thought a recent local news story might be a good ‘piece for the archive’ for the statistical education champions out there.

The story in question regards the closure of a recently created bus lane along a busy stretch of road in to and out of a small city, Truro, located in Cornwall, South West UK.  For the full details  via the local newspaper use the link below.

Apart from the costs involved, that incidentally do not cover the difficult to measure knock-on costs related to delays, the most significant point  is that a measure intended to ease congestion and speed up journey times for road users has had the exact opposite effect.

Truro bus lane will be scrapped on Monday

This is a vast over-simplification to illustrate a point – traffic control is a fairly universal issue, common to civil authorities of any municipality large or small, and this is a nice example of how things can go wrong if data diligence (I just made that up) is not done or not done with great care. What can we learn from this?

1.  There is a general lack of knowledge and skill when it comes to the use of statistics and data handling, even among those in technical careers .

2. Employ a statistician, they could save you £60,000 in the long run.

As a frivolous afterthought…even if data for this particular stretch of road did not exist, it almost certainly did exist and must, one would hope, have informed the planning decision. You can download data for South West roads via the Department of Transport website that would provide an insight helpful for planning – make of it what you will.

Traffic Points – Cornwall traffic profile for 2000 to 2014

 

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

 

Plymouth University launches statistical education centre

Welcome to our website, the home of the International Centre for Statistical Education (ICSE).

Based at Plymouth University in the School of Computing and Mathematics the ICSE aims to develop innovative projects that enhance statistical education in schools, colleges, universities and the workplace, as well as establishing a range of ‘tools’ and utilities that develop statistical understanding.

We will be building on the award-winning work already carried out by the Royal Statistical Society’s Centre for Statistical Education.

Press Release PDF