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Archive of posts filed under the Teaching category.

Hark, hark! the p-value at heaven’s gate sings

Three different people pointed me to this post, in which food researcher and business school professor Brian Wansink advises Ph.D. students to “never say no”: When a research idea comes up, check it out, put some time into it and you might get some success. I like that advice and I agree with it. Or, […]

Avoiding only the shadow knowing the motivating problem of a post.

Given I am starting to make some posts to this blog (again) I was pleased to run across a youtube of Xiao-Li Meng being interviewed on the same topic by Suzanne Smith the Director of the Center for Writing and Communicating Ideas. One thing I picked up was to make the problem being addressed in […]

“Dear Major Textbook Publisher”: A Rant

Dear Major Academic Publisher, You just sent me, unsolicited, an introductory statistics textbook that is 800 pages and weighs about 5 pounds. It’s the 3rd edition of a book by someone I’ve never heard of. That’s fine—a newcomer can write a good book. The real problem is that the book is crap. It’s just the […]

Stan Webinar, Stan Classes, and StanCon

This post is by Eric. We have a number of Stan related events in the pipeline. On 22 Nov, Ben Goodrich and I will be holding a free webinar called Introduction to Bayesian Computation Using the rstanarm R Package. Here is the abstract: The goal of the rstanarm package is to make it easier to use Bayesian […]

Goucher College is looking for a founding director of their Quantitative Reasoning Center

Mileah Kromer writes: We are currently searching for a founding Director of the Quantitative Reasoning Center. Goucher is a small liberal arts college and we are trying to make data analytics and quant reasoning a larger part of our core curriculum. The academic discipline of the center is open. While its advertised as mathematics education […]

3 secrets to giving a remote lecture!

Someone writes in: I noticed that you did a remote lecture in Warwick and I—thinking of organizing such a lecture—was wondering about the logistics. (1) What software did you use? Was any special IT required for it to run? (2) Did you feel that it was a positive speaking experience? Were there any challenges, especially […]

How not to analyze noisy data: A case study

I was reading Jenny Davidson’s blog and came upon this note on an autobiography of the eccentric (but aren’t we all?) biologist Robert Trivers. This motivated me, not to read Trivers’s book, but to do some googling which led me to this paper from Plos-One, “Revisiting a sample of U.S. billionaires: How sample selection and […]

He wants to get started on Bayes

Mathew Mercuri writes: I am interested in learning how to work in a Bayesian world. I have training in a frequentist approach, specifically from an applied health scientist/epidemiologist approach. However, while i teach courses in applied statistics, I am not particularly savvy with heavy statistical mathematics, so I am a bit worried bout how to […]

Free workshop on Stan for pharmacometrics (Paris, 22 September 2016); preceded by (non-free) three day course on Stan for pharmacometrics

So much for one post a day… Workshop: Stan for Pharmacometrics Day If you are interested in a free day of Stan for pharmacometrics in Paris on 22 September 2016, see the registration page: Stan for Pharmacometrics Day (free workshop) Julie Bertrand (statistical pharmacologist from Paris-Diderot and UCL) has finalized the program: When Who What […]

Stan Course up North (Anchorage, Alaska) 23–24 Aug 2016

Daniel Lee’s heading up to Anchorage, Alaska to teach a two-day Stan course at the Alaska chapter of the American Statistical Association (ASA) meeting in Anchorage. Here’s the rundown: Information and Free Registration I hear Alaska’s beautiful in the summer—16 hour days in August and high temps of 17 degrees celsius. Plus Stan! More Upcoming […]


Robert Grant writes: This web page is something I constructed recently. You might find it useful for making artificial datasets that demonstrate a particular point for students. At any rate, if you have any feedback on it I’d be interested to hear it. I’ve tried to keep it as simple as possible but in due […]

Bayesian Inference with Stan for Pharmacometrics Class

Bob Carpenter, Daniel Lee, and Michael Betancourt will be teaching the 3-day class starting on 19 September in Paris. Following is the outline for the course: Day 1 Introduction to Bayesian statistics Likelihood / sampling distributions Priors, Posteriors via Bayes’s rule Posterior expectations and quantiles Events as expectations of indicator functions Introduction to Stan Basic […]

What they’re saying about “blended learning”: “Perhaps the most reasonable explanation is that no one watched the video or did the textbook reading . . .”

Someone writes in: I was wondering if you had a chance to see the commentary by the Stockwells on blended learning strategies that was recently published in Cell and which also received quite a nice write up by Columbia. It’s also currently featured on Columbia’s webpage. In fact, I was a student in Prof. Stockwell’s […]

Changing everything at once: Student-centered learning, computerized practice exercises, evaluation of student progress, and a modern syllabus to create a completely new introductory statistics course

I’m speaking at the Electronic Conference on Teaching Statistics on Mon 16 May at 11am. I’ve given many remote talks but this is the first time I’ve spoken at an all-electronic conference. It will be a challenge. In a live talk, everyone’s just sitting in the room staring at you, but in an electronic conference […]

Who falls for the education reform hype?

Phillip Middleton writes: My wife is a 5th grade teacher, in Texas, in a title I school (free lunch, other subsidies, poor and emotionally disturbed kids, CPS cases, you name it) on the west side of San Antonio. There are a number of things I’ve been exposed to as a result, the net of which […]

All that really important statistics stuff that isn’t in the statistics textbooks

Kaiser writes: More on that work on age adjustment. I keep asking myself where is it in the Stats curriculum do we teach students this stuff? A class session focused on that analysis teaches students so much more about statistical thinking than anything we have in the textbooks. I’m not sure. This sort of analysis […]

Should he major in political science and minor in statistics or the other way around?

Andrew Wheeler writes: I will be a freshman at the University of Florida this upcoming fall and I am interested in becoming a political pollster. My original question was whether I should major in political science and minor in statistics or the other way around, but any other general advice would be appreciated. My reply: […]

The difference between “significant” and “not significant” is not itself statistically significant: Education edition

In a news article entitled “Why smart kids shouldn’t use laptops in class,” Jeff Guo writes: For the past 15 years, educators have debated, exhaustively, the perils of laptops in the lecture hall. . . . Now there is an answer, thanks to a big, new experiment from economists at West Point, who randomly banned […]

Beautiful Graphs for Baseball Strike-Count Performance

This post is by Bob. I have no idea what Andrew will make of these graphs; I’ve been hoping to gather enough comments from him to code up a ggplot theme. Shravan, you can move along, there’s nothing here but baseball. Jim Albert created some great graphs for strike-count performance in a series of two […]

Happy talk, meet the Edlin factor

Mark Palko points us to this op-ed in which psychiatrist Richard Friedman writes: There are also easy and powerful ways to enhance learning in young people. For example, there is intriguing evidence that the attitude that young people have about their own intelligence — and what their teachers believe — can have a big impact […]