Sunday, August 23, 2015

Summer So Far Part 2: USCOTS 2015

Late May of this year kicked off summer adventures for more of our stat ed family!  Bob delMas and Nicola attended USCOTS 2015 in State College, PA.  A successful platter of data gathering, presentations, socializing, and good summer antics was nicely served.

All smiles!  Bob, Nicola, and colleague Catherine Case from the University of Florida.
Conference-wise, Nicola conducted focus groups to collect data for her thesis.  She met and had excellent conversations with a variety of graduate teaching assistants, who kindly shared their experiences.

Bob was active with several presentations and papers.  He delivered a three-hour session titled, "Bringing the Statistics Education Research Literature into your Classroom", to community college statistics instructors as part of a USCOTS pre-conference training workshop.  The session involved participants reading from and discussing chapters from Garfield & Ben-Zvi's 2008 book, "Developing Students' Statistical Reading: Connecting Research and Teaching Practice."  Along with Michael Posner from Villanova, Bob also lead breakout session to help participants start statistics educational research programs and agendas in their respective departments.  Finally, Bob contributed two poster presentations.  One focused on the STI and GOALS v.2 instruments developed under e-ATLAS, including national data from teachers and students (poster co-authored with Joan Garfield, Andy Zieffler, and Elizabeth Fry).  The other presented validity and reliability aspects of the LOCUS assessments using the modified evidence-centered design approach, based on data from 3,430 students in grades 6 through 12 (co-authored with Tim Jacobbe and Douglas Whitaker).

Amid all of the excellent scholarly work was plenty of fun!  Bob and Nicola explored State College, including an important walk for ice cream from a local creamery.  Statistics PhD folks from Penn State further served as gracious guests, providing rewarding socializing and taking Bob and Nicola out to dinner.  They also spent quality time with stat ed colleague Catherine Case from the Florida LOCUS group.

The trip was not without some traveling adventures!  A poor bird flapped its way into the wrong tree at the airport, as shown below, delaying the flight.

The sad fluff from a feathered friend who flew too well -- leading to an adventurous flight delay.

To round out the trip, Bob graciously took a moment to show off his harmonica skills with a bluesy and delightful performance!

All in all, it was a great conference and a fantastic part of this summer!

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