Monday, April 25, 2011

Last Stat Chat of the 2010/2011 Academic Year

The last Stat Chat of the 2010/2011 academic year is set for Tuesday April 21, 2011. Stat Chat is an informal, but informative, monthly get-together of local statistics educators. We meet in room 205 of the Olin-Rice Science Center at Macalester College [See Map].

The agenda for this Stat Chat is as follows:

  • 6:00 - 6:30, Dinner and presentation of two draft posters for USCOTS
  • 6:30 - 7:00, Journal Club: The Math-Stats Course (Laura Chihara)
  • 7:00 - 8:00, Main Event: Statistical Literacy Update Updates on recent work and a preview of USCOTS (Milo Schield and Marc Isaacson)
During this month's journal club, we will discuss the math stats course including, what the goals of a math stats course should be, and the topics that are essential to this course. To guide the discussion, consider the table of contents from these two books:

In the first part of the main discussion, Milo Schield will discuss Models and Assumptions: Statistics and Assembly. Checking assumptions is a critical activity in modeling. Often times the assumptions used in analyzing data influence — if not determine — the results. Milo will discuss an ISI draft paper that argues that statistics have the same status as models — they involve choices in assembly that influence — if not determine — the results. One of the five elements of the AACU 2009 Quantitative Literacy Rubric was assumptions:
Ability to make and evaluate important assumptions in estimation, modeling, and data analysis.
The ISI paper extends this focus on assumptions to include the formation of categories, measures and summary statistics. While statistics may have little to say about which assumptions are best, statistical literacy can highlight how choices in how groups are defined or how quantities are measured can influence the results.

In the second part of the main event, Marc Isaacson will present the USCOTS Theater-teaching activity: Multiple choice Olympic Success. This activity incorporates audience involvement to evaluate data from Olympic Competition results through the use of rankings. While rankings are commonly encountered by students in their everyday life, they are rarely discussed in an introductory statistics class. Audience members will be presented a handout, a single question and then asked to respond via text message or smartphone. Results will be collected via the internet and discussed instantaneously with an interesting twist.

Lastly, Milo Schield will present the USCOTS Theater-teaching activity: Where do Statistics come from? This activity incorporates audience involvement to compare related rates or percentages. Central question: Where do statistics come from; how are they assembled; what difference do their definitions make in their size or in the size of their association?

PLEASE RSVP to Danny Kaplan so that we can plan sensibly for dinner. As always, last-minute deciders and guests are welcome.

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