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Archive of posts filed under the Teaching category.

God is in every leaf of every probability puzzle

Radford shared with us this probability puzzle of his from 1999: A couple you’ve just met invite you over to dinner, saying “come by around 5pm, and we can talk for a while before our three kids come home from school at 6pm”. You arrive at the appointed time, and are invited into the house. […]

Because there is no observable certainty other than the existence of thought

Someone who is teaching a college philosophy class writes: We discussed Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy last week — specifically, concerning the existence of God — and I had students write down their best proof for God’s existence in one minute, independent of their beliefs. Attached is a particularly funny response: Another good one was […]

Applied regression and multilevel modeling books using Stan

Edo Navot writes: Are there any plans in the works to update your book with Prof. Hill on hierarchical models to a new edition with example code in Stan? Yes, we are planning to break it up into 2 books and do all the modeling for both books in Stan. It’s waiting on some new […]

We need a title for our Daily Beast column

Kaiser and I will soon start a weekly column for the Daily Beast, focusing on statistics that are cited in political and civic debates. The question is, what to call it? We have a few possibilities but aren’t thrilled with any of them. So we could use some help from the wisdom of the crowd. […]

In criticism of criticism of criticism

I do a lot of criticism. I’m sure you can think of lots of things that I like to criticize, but to keep things simple, let’s focus on graphics criticism, for example this post where I criticized a graph for false parallelism. At this point some people would say that graphics criticism is mean, and […]

He’s looking for probability puzzles

Adrian Torchiana writes: I recently created a little probability puzzle app for android, and I was wondering whether you have any suggestions for puzzles that are engaging, approachable to someone who hasn’t taken a probability course, and don’t involve coins or dice. I think my easy puzzles are easy enough, but I’m having trouble thinking […]

Which of these classes should he take?

Jake Humphries writes: I for many years wanted to pursue medicine but after recently completing a master of public health, I caught the statistics bug. I need to complete the usual minimum prerequisites for graduate study in statistics (calculus through multivariable calculus plus linear algebra) but want to take additional math courses as highly competitive […]

Why do we communicate probability calculations so poorly, even when we know how to do it better?

Haynes Goddard writes: I thought to do some reading in psychology on why Bayesian probability seems so counterintuitive, and making it difficult for many to learn and apply. Indeed, that is the finding of considerable research in psychology. It turns out that it is counterintuitive because of the way it is presented, following no doubt […]

How can teachers of (large) online classes use text data from online learners?

Dustin Tingley sends along a recent paper (coauthored with Justin Reich, Jetson Leder-Luis, Margaret Roberts, and Brandon Stewart), which begins: Dealing with the vast quantities of text that students generate in a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is a daunting challenge. Computational tools are needed to help instructional teams uncover themes and patterns as MOOC […]

A rare topical post

Harvey Motulsky writes: Every year at passover, I struggle to peel two dozen hard boiled eggs and search the web to see if there isn’t a trick to do it better. But all the hits say the same thing: put the eggs in cold water, then bring to a boil. But this guy [J. Kenji […]