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Archive of posts filed under the Teaching category.

“Why continue to teach and use hypothesis testing?”

Greg Werbin points us to an online discussion of the following question: Why continue to teach and use hypothesis testing (with all its difficult concepts and which are among the most statistical sins) for problems where there is an interval estimator (confidence, bootstrap, credibility or whatever)? What is the best explanation (if any) to be […]

What to think about in 2015: How can the principles of statistical quality control be applied to statistics education

Happy new year! A few years ago, Eric Loken and I wrote, Statisticians: When we teach, we don’t practice what we preach: As statisticians, we give firm guidance in our consulting and research on the virtues of random sampling, randomized treatment assignments, valid and reliable measurements, and clear specification of the statistical procedures that will […]

I’m sure that my anti-Polya attitude is completely unfair

Reading this post in which Mark Palko quotes from the classic “How to Solve It” by the legendary mathematician and math educator George Polya, I was reminded of my decades-long aversion to Polya, an attitude that might seem odd given that (a) Polya has an excellent reputation, and (b) I’ve never read more than a […]

Common sense and statistics

John Cook writes: Some physicists say that you should always have an order-of-magnitude idea of what a result will be before you calculate it. This implies a belief that such estimates are usually possible, and that they provide a sanity check for calculations. And that’s true in physics, at least in mechanics. In probability, however, […]

Damn, I was off by a factor of 2!

I hate when that happens. Demography is tricky. Oh well, as they say in astronomy, who cares, it was less than an order of magnitude!

The latest episode in my continuing effort to use non-sports analogies

In a unit about the law of large numbers, sample size, and margins of error, I used the notorious beauty, sex, and power example: A researcher, working with a sample of size 3000, found that the children of beautiful parents were more likely to be girls, compared to the children of less-attractive parents. Can such […]

I like the clever way they tell the story. It’s a straightforward series of graphs but the reader has to figure out where to click and what to do, which makes the experience feel more like a voyage of discovery.

Jonathan Falk asks what I think of this animated slideshow by Matthew Klein on “How Americans Die”: Please click on the above to see the actual slideshow, as this static image does not do it justice. What do I think? Here was my reaction: It is good, but I was thrown off by the very […]

How to read (in quantitative social science). And by implication, how to write.

It all started when I was reading Chris Blattman’s blog and noticed this: One of the most provocative and interesting field experiments I [Blattman] have seen in this year: Poor people often do not make investments, even when returns are high. One possible explanation is that they have low aspirations and form mental models of […]

Students don’t know what’s best for their own learning

[This post is by Aki] This is my first blog posting. Arthur Poropat at Griffith University has a great posting Students don’t know what’s best for their own learning about two recent studies which came to the same conclusion: university students evaluate their teachers more positively when they learn less. My favorite part is That is why many […]

Quick tips on giving research presentations

Hi, I’m writing this so I can refer to it when covering “giving a presentation” in my statistical communication class. The general idea is for me to spend less time in class talking and more time helping out students with their ideas. So, if I have any general advice on presentations, let me give it […]