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My course on Statistical Communication and Graphics

Screen Shot 2013-08-03 at 4.23.29 PM

We will study and practice many different aspects of statistical communication, including graphing data and fitted models, programming in Rrrrrrrr, writing for specialized and general audiences, lecturing, working with students and colleagues, and combining words and pictures in different ways.

You learn by writing an entry in your statistics diary every day.

You learn by doing: each week we have two classes that are full of student participation, and before each class you have a pile of readings, a homework assignment, and jitts.

You learn by teaching: you spend a lot of time in class explaining things to your neighbor.

You learn by collaborating: you’ll do a team project which you’ll present at the end of the semester.

The course will take a lot of effort on your part, effort which should be aligned with your own research and professional goals. And you will get the opportunity to ask questions of guest stars who will illustrate diverse perspectives in statistical communication and graphics.

See also the statistical communication and graphics manifesto.

Here’s what’s happening in the 12 weeks of the course:

1. Introducing yourself and telling a story
2. Giving a presentation
3. Graphing data
4. Communicating uncertainty
5. Graphing models
6. Collaboration nd the scientific communiity
7. Dynamic graphics
8. Data processing and programming
9. Writing
10. Teaching
11. Student projects
12. Student projects

[I’ll be regularly updating this post, which I sketched out (with the help of the students in my statistical communication and graphics course this semester) and put here so we can link to it from the official course description.]


  1. Rahul says:

    Is there a way to somewhat eavesdrop / gatecrash from online? Any chance the course materials, reading lists, assignments etc. are posted online? Videotaped lectures?

    • Andrew says:


      I’ll post the syllabus when it’s more together. There will be no lectures, at least no hour-long lectures; the course is structured through class participation. Ultimately I’d like to be able to put together a packet so that others can teach or self-organize the course for their own groups.

  2. Nisha says:

    I would love to take this class in the Spring. I would be cross-registering from the Business School. Do you have a better idea of when it might be offered?


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  4. Ray Fisman says:

    i can’t come on Wed evening but am very interested in the topic. Would it be interesting/useful/allowable to sit in on the friday classes? ray

  5. Lizzie says:

    Hi Andrew, through the magic of Harvard it seems I cannot figure where (physically) the class is meeting tomorrow. Do you know?

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