Monthly Archives: September 2014

Statistical Concepts Using Spreadsheets

The ICSE is proud to announce that we are now the home of DISCUSS the Discovering Important Statistical Concepts Using SpreadSheets project.

DISCUSS was a modified and supplemented web-based implementation of the widely used DISCUS materials for teaching elementary statistics. It aimed to integrate the powerful interactive capabilities of Microsoft Excel with the convenience of web-based resource materials. The project was originally produced at Coventry University, UK by the main authors, Neville Hunt and Sidney Tyrrell (other authors contributed to various units).

As part of the transition all pages have been updated to display correctly in modern web browsers and while it is the intention of the centre to update DISCUSS further, so that it remains a useful and relevant tool kit for teaching elementary statistics, users should be aware that the content, including spreadsheets, has not been updated since 2003.

Note also that you can find guidance notes on how to create box plots within Excel, that are also included as part of the DISCUSS materials.

We would like to extend our thanks to Dr Neville Hunt for maintaining this excellent resource, for providing it to us at the centre and for assisting with the transition.



Plymouth SciTech Showcase

This week saw the ICSE taking part in the Plymouth University #SciTech Showcase 2014.

The activity day provides an opportunity for school aged learners to visit the campus and see the technical innovation taking place at the university and the sort of career paths that are possible for future graduates.

Giant bubbles, Origami, Puzzles, Computer Security, Computer Games, Robots all on show at #SciTech 2014.

This event included everything from chemistry experiments and dinosaurs to computer games and robots. Maths and Stats were represented by our colleagues from the School of Computing and Mathematics, with their #MathBubble, Code Breaking and some impressive origami, while we provided a sample of our #WinAtSchool competition using an Audience Response System.

We would like to thank all the student ambassadors who helped out with the #WinAtSchool quiz and the PGCSE students from the Institute of Education who ably demonstrated their paper folding skills.

The #WinAtSchool Maths and Stats Quiz Competition for schools goes live on the 3rd of November, visit the website for more information

Showcase site


Blogs of Interest

If you will excuse the peculiarity of a blog post on a blog post…there are two excellent Statistical Education resources that are worth your attention.

The first is the personal blog of Robert Kosara a Visual Analysis Researcher at Tableau Software. Robert attended the recent Graphical Web conference (held in Winchester, UK) and presented Data Storytelling Beyond the Hype.

Robert’s blog is full of information visualisation insights, a recent post regarding charts, coming so soon after the conference, is especially interesting:

The second blog is one the centre has referenced more than once in the past. This is Burns Statistics, established in 2002 as the consulting and software vehicle for Patrick Burns.

After working on some spreadsheets this post sprang to mind, others will undoubtedly find it useful; if you find yourself using spreadsheets a bit too much and have a basic familiarity with the use of R,

Teaching Statistics – Autumn 2014

If you have an interest in statistical education you should know that the latest issue of the Teaching Statistics Journal is out now (Autumn 2014: Volume 36 – Number 3).  This issue has an original article on developing consistency in the terminology and display of Bar Graphs and Histograms, and a fascinating practical activity for teaching Poisson Distribution using the Stock Market.

You can view the current issue here at the Wiley Online Library. The Wiley site contains all the information you need to subscribe or contribute to Teaching Statistics.

Follow Wiley Stats on Twitter @wiley_stats 

The Graphical Web 2014

Last week the University of Winchester became the venue for The Graphical Web conference (#tgw2014), the annual event, a showcase for the presentation of visual information on the web, was this year organised by the Data Visualisation Centre, UK Office for National Statistics (ONS). As you can imagine this global conference attracts a broad range of professionals and certainly proved popular this year with over 160 delegates attending over 4 days.

The conference was excellent, with some amazingly insightful and engaging presentations on the theme of Visual Storytelling, the conference had three paths or strands; Technical / Standards, Visual Storytelling and Case Studies. You can check the conference website (link below) to view any of the various keynotes, presentations and videos – many will be added over the next few days so keep checking back. Of particular interest to many visiting the ICSE will be talks by members of the ONS Digital Content team.

  • SVG: Storytelling & Visualisation in Government: - Robert Fry (Office for National Statistics, Digital Content)
  • Learning to program graphics – a key to unlocking innovation: - Alan Smith (Office for National Statistics, Principal Methodologist, Data Visualisation)

You can read the thoughts of chief conference organiser Alan Smith OBE, Head of Digital Content at the ONS, here.

Next year The Graphical Web 2015 will be held at Slippery Rock University, Pennsylvania, USA … that already sounds like an exciting proposition.

The Graphical Web