ASA Stat. Ed. Section Newsletter - V10 N1

Newsletter of the Section on Statistical Education of the American Statistical Association


Contents of Volume 10, Number 1 (Spring 2004):
  • Report from the Section Chair
  • Editors
  • Mark Your Calendar
  • New Mentoring Program Within the Section on Statistical Education
  • Curriculum Immersion Workshop: Post-Calculus Introductory Statistics Course
  • ARTIST Roundtable Conference on Assessment in Statistics
  • THE GAISE PROJECT Develops Statistics Education Guidelines for K-12 and College Courses
  • Summary of International Association for Statistical Education (IASE) Activities in 2003
  • International Research Forums on Statistical Reasoning, Thinking, and Literacy
  • Questions on Non-Introductory Courses
  • New Website for Undergraduate Senior Statistics Abstracts
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    Report from the Section Chair

    Ron Wasserstein
    Washburn University
    Ron.wasserstein@washburn.edu

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 10, Number 1 (Spring 2004)


    I have the wonderful privilege of serving you as chair of the Statistics Education Section during this calendar year. And what a joy it is to work with such a talented, committed and delightful group of people!

    We share at least two common goals. First, we all want to see statistics instruction thrive at all levels and in all environments, and second, we want to make our Section as useful and effective as possible. As chair of the Section, I feel it is my responsibility (along with the excellent colleagues who serve on the Stat Ed Executive Committee) to focus for this year on that second goal. But we need your help.

    Please share with me your suggestions for activities in which the Section should take part, or services we should provide for you, our members. Drop me a note ( Ron.wasserstein@washburn.edu). Both comments and criticism are welcome, because at its core the Section exists to serve you.

    While you are thinking about this, I invite you to visit our home page. You will find out about section activities, and many other useful links as well. The URL is http://www.amstat.org/sections/educ, or you can find us by going to the ASA website (http://www.amstat.org) and clicking on "Sections." Our thanks to Jackie Dietz for maintaining this site.

    Of course, this newsletter is the best source for Section news and a rich variety of other useful information, thanks to the fine work of Brian Jersky, our newsletter editor.

    Completing the all-volunteer army that supports the Section are the officers and executive committee members. You'll find their names listed elsewhere, and these folks are eager to make this Section as effective as it can be. Don't hesitate to contact them with ideas as well.

    Thank you for this wonderful honor of serving you this year.

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    EDITORS

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 10, Number 1 (Spring 2004)


    Comments and suggestions for the improvement of the newsletter are most welcome, and should be sent to a member of the editorial board.

    Brian Jersky
    Sonoma State University
    Rohnert Park, CA 94928-3613
    (707) 664-2361
    Fax: (707) 664-3535
    brian.jersky@sonoma.edu

    Joan Garfield
    Department of Educational Psychology
    University of Minnesota
    332 Burton Hall
    128 Pillsbury Dr., S.E.
    Minneapolis MN 55455
    (612) 625-0337
    Fax: (612) 624-8241
    jbg@umn.edu

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    MARK YOUR CALENDAR

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 10, Number 1 (Spring 2004)


    June 17th, 2004 (Thu) -- June 19th, 2004 (Sat)
    Conference on "Making Statistics More Effective in Schools of Business"
    Vancouver, BC
    http://www.msmesb.org/

    June 21st, 2004 (Mon) -- June 25th, 2004 (Fri)
    Workshop on "Introductory Statistics: Concepts, Applications, Theory"
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    A Data-Oriented, Active-Learning, Post-Calculus Introduction to Statistical Concepts, Applications, and Theory
    http://www.rossmanchance.com/iscat/workshop.html

    August 1st, 2004 (Sun) -- August 4th, 2004 (Wed)
    ARTIST Roundtable Conference on Assessment in Statistics
    Appleton, WI
    http://www.rossmanchance.com/artist/roundtable.html

    August 5th, 2004 (Thu) -- August 6th, 2004 (Fri)
    "Beyond the Formula" Conference
    A Conference On Teaching Introductory Statistics
    Rochester, NY
    http://web.monroecc.edu/beyond/

    August 8th, 2004 (Sun) -- August 12th, 2004 (Thu)
    JSM: Joint Statistical Meetings
    Toronto, Canada
    "Statistics as a Unified Discipline"
    http://www.amstat.org/meetings/jsm/2004/

    May 19th, 2005 (Thu) -- May 21st, 2005 (Sat)
    United States Conference on Teaching Statistics (USCOTS)
    "Building Connections for Undergraduate Statistics Teaching"
    http://causeweb.org/calendar/uscots.php

    July 2nd, 2006 (Sun) -- July 7th, 2006 (Fri)
    7th International Conference on Teaching Statistics (ICOTS)
    Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
    "Working cooperatively in statistics education"
    http://www.maths.otago.ac.nz/icots7

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    New Mentoring Program Within the Section on Statistical Education

    Joy Jordan
    Lawrence University
    joy.jordan@lawrence.edu

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 10, Number 1 (Spring 2004)


    As a service to the new faculty members in the Section on Statistical Education (EDUC) and as a potential way to increase membership, I propose (and offer to organize) the creation of an EDUC mentoring program. Members of the section who are in their first five years of teaching will be given the opportunity to have a mentor. The mentor will serve as a resource for the new faculty member with regard to academic issues (e.g., choosing a textbook, creating new courses, balancing teaching and research). Many schools already have mentoring programs in place, but an EDUC mentor can still be effective, as he/she can bring a valuable perspective from outside the specific college of the mentee (note: mentee = person being mentored).

    The expectations of the mentor are fairly limited and hopefully not too time consuming: 1) Meet with his/her mentee while at JSM -- either through an official EDUC mentor/mentee event, or informally at lunch or dinner; 2) initiate contact with his/her mentee a few times during the academic year, either by phone or email; and 3) answer any questions that his/her mentee has during the course of the academic year. The official mentoring relationship will last for two years, although it can continue informally for much longer.

    I would greatly appreciate your help in getting the mentoring program started. Please contact me (via email or phone) if

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    Curriculum Immersion Workshop: Post-Calculus Introductory Statistics Course

    Allan Rossman
    Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo
    arossman@calpoly.edu

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 10, Number 1 (Spring 2004)


    Allan Rossman and Beth Chance will offer a summer workshop at Cal Poly in June, 2004 on their NSF curriculum development project titled "A Data-Oriented, Active Learning, Post-Calculus Introduction to Statistical Concepts, Applications, and Theory." This workshop is intended for faculty members who want to develop a data analysis course for mathematically inclined students, or to teach a course for prospective teachers that models the content and pedagogy of the AP curriculum and NCTM standards, or to infuse an existing course with more data and activities. Workshop participants will receive an immersion experience in using the curricular materials, as well as suggestions for implementing the materials in their own courses.

    A preliminary version of the text, titled Investigating Statistical Concepts, Applications, and Methods, will be available from Duxbury Press this fall. For more information, see http://www.rossmanchance.com/iscat/.

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    ARTIST Roundtable Conference on Assessment in Statistics

    Beth Chance
    Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo
    bchance@calpoly.edu

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 10, Number 1 (Spring 2004)


    The ARTIST (Assessment Resource Tools for Improving Statistical Thinking) project team (Joan Garfield, Bob delMas, Beth Chance) will offer a roundtable conference August 1-4, 2004 at Lawrence University in Appleton, WI. Presentations and discussions will center on assessment in introductory statistics courses. Topics include: Designing and implementing an assessment program, classroom assessment, developing effective tests, performance assessment methods, and using assessment to inform curricular development and improve student learning. The role of assessment in research on teaching and learning statistics will also be addressed. This workshop will provide opportunities for hands-on experience with the ARTIST web resources including the new test development software.

    Scheduled keynote speakers include:

    This will be a working conference for a limited number of participants, who are expected to engage in hands-on sessions and discussions, and will have the opportunity to make presentations. For more information on the ARTIST project see: http://www.gen.umn.edu/artist.

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    THE GAISE PROJECT Develops Statistics Education Guidelines for K-12 and College Courses

    Guidelines for Assessment and Instruction in Statistics Education

    Joan Garfield
    University of Minnesota
    jbg@umn.edu

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 10, Number 1 (Spring 2004)


    A draft of the new proposed college guidelines for instruction and assessment in statistics education is now available for review and feedback at http://it.stlawu.edu/~rlock/gaise. These guidelines were developed by the GAISE project, a strategic initiative grant from the ASA.

    Building on the recommendations of the past two presidents, the ASA Advisory Committee on Teacher Enhancement (ACTE), chaired by Robert Stephenson, proposed a strategic initiative grant to develop ASA-endorsed guidelines for assessment and instruction in statistics in the K-12 curriculum and for the introductory college statistics course. This project was funded by ASA last spring and is making good progress towards achieving these goals.

    The work of each focus group is building on:

    After sufficient revisions are made, the guidelines will be submitted to the ASA Board of Directors for endorsement. For further information please contact Christine Franklin (chris@stat.uga.edu) or Joan Garfield (jbg@umn.edu).

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    Summary of International Association for Statistical Education (IASE) Activities in 2003

    Carol Joyce Blumberg
    Vice President, IASE
    Winona State University
    cblumberg@winona.edu

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 10, Number 1 (Spring 2004)


    IASE has a new Website
    The IASE main website has been updated by Chris Wild (IASE President) and Rachel Cunliffe of the Department of Statistics at University of Auckland, New Zealand, and has been moved to http://www.stat.auckland.ac.nz/~iase. One of the main priorities has been to enable users to quickly locate and download IASE publications and proceedings. There are already over 500 papers on the site. Use the left-hand panel of the Publications page at http://www.stat.auckland.ac.nz/~iase/publications.php to locate them. The website also emphasizes upcoming conferences with substantial statistics education content and other resources that are useful for teachers of statistics.

    IASE Review is now an Electronic Publication
    "IASE Review" is a newsletter published annually by IASE. It contains a summary of IASE activities for the 12 months preceding its publication. The 2003 issue of IASE REVIEW was edited by Gilberte Schuyten (IASE President-Elect) and is now available electronically in two versions: Version 1 (900Kb with photos and live links) is at http://www.stat.auckland.ac.nz/~iase/publications/review/2003.pdf and Version 2 (370Kb version with no photos and no live links) is at http://www.stat.auckland.ac.nz/~iase/publications/review/2003.NoPicts.NoLinks.pdf

    If you are an IASE member and did not receive an email notifying you about the new issue of IASE Review, that is because IASE does not a correct email for you. Please contact mmly@cbs.nl in the International Statistics Institute Permanent Office with your correct email. Also, if you are an IASE member and not able to successfully use or download these files, please contact Carol Joyce Blumberg (cblumberg@winona.edu or Department of Mathematics & Statistics, Winona State University, Winona MN 55987-5838) and a hardcopy will be sent to you in the mail. Please make sure to include your complete mailing address.

    ICOTS-7 Website
    The seventh International Conference on Teaching Statistics will be held from July 2-7, 2006, in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. The International Program Committee Executive is Carmen Batanero (IPC Chair), Susan Starkings (Program Chair), John Harraway (Scientific Secretary), Allan Rossman and Beth Chance (Editors of Proceedings), and Lisbeth Cordani (local representative at the IPC). The main webpage for ICOTS-7 is at http://www.maths.otago.ac.nz/icots7. Information on Salvador de Bahia is available at http://www.salvadorconvention.com.br.

    Papers from IASE-sponsored session on "Using the History of Statistics to Enhance the Teaching of Statistics" at JSM 2003
    The papers from the IASE-sponsored session on "Using the History of Statistics to Enhance the Teaching of Statistics" at the Joint Statistical Meetings held on 7 August 2003 are now available at http://course1.winona.edu/cblumberg/jsm2003.htm. Also included is a list compiled by Herb David of books on the history of statistics.

    Papers from IASE Satellite Conference on "Statistics Education and the Internet"
    The papers from the IASE Satellite Conference on "Statistics Education and the Internet" held in August 2003 in Berlin, Germany are now available at http://www.stat.auckland.ac.nz/~iase/publications.php?show=6. Further details on the conference are at http://www.ph-ludwigsburg.de/iase/.

    IASE-sponsored session on "Training of Government Statisticians" at JSM 2004
    IASE won one of the six slots in the JSM 2004 competition for Invited Sessions from Outside Societies. This session on "Training of Government Statisticians" will be co-sponsored by ASA Section on Statistical Education, International Statistical Institute, and ASA Section on Government Statistics. The session will include three paper presentations: Patrick Murphy (University College Dublin, Ireland) on "A European Undergraduate Degree Course in Government Statistics", Cynthia Z. F. Clark (U.S. Census Bureau) and Roger Tourangeau (University of Maryland and The University of Michigan, USA) on "The Joint Program in Survey Methodology and its Impact on the Federal Statistical System Workforce", and Elizabeth Taylor (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) on "International Continuing Education Programs for Statisticians". The discussants will be Ivan Fellegi (Chief Statistician, Statistics Canada) and Luigi Biggeri (President, Italian National Statistics Institute (ISTAT)). The organizer and chair of the session is Carol Joyce Blumberg.

    Update on International Statistical Literacy Project (ISLP) website
    The mission of the ISLP is to provide information and resources to aid in the development of statistical literacy around the world. The major project at this time has been to develop a website on resources to enhance the development of statistical literacy. This website is now fully operational. The best way to begin to access it is to go to http://course1.winona.edu/cblumberg/islplist.htm, which gives a listing of the webpages contained within the site. You can then choose the topics that interest you.

    Most of the entries have 3 to 5 sentence summaries. Whenever possible, urls and direct links to the materials described in an entry are given. The emphasis is on materials that can be obtained for free over the Internet or via other means. However, some excellent materials that must be purchased at a cost are also included. The website is maintained at Winona State University by Carol Joyce Blumberg.

    If you have any items that you feel are appropriate for inclusion on the website or have any other suggestions or comments on the ISLP, please contact Carol Joyce Blumberg at cblumberg@winona.edu or at Department of Mathematics & Statistics, Winona State University, Winona MN 55987-5838. Tel: (507) 457-5589; Fax: (507) 457-5376.

    Institutional Membership and Regular Membership in IASE
    Even though IASE is a Section of the ISI (International Statistical Institute), many people join IASE without being a member of ISI. The benefits of membership in IASE are many. By joining IASE you are helping to support a worldwide effort to improve the state of statistics education. IASE members receive free the IASE Review, the ISI Newsletter, and the ISI Membership Directory. Members of IASE also receive reduced rates on almost all of the publications of the ISI and IASE. Further, IASE members are allowed to register for IASE- and ISI-sponsored conferences at reduced rates. Annual dues for Individual Membership in IASE are only 35 Euro (approximately US $40). Institutional Membership in IASE is 210 Euro (approximately US $241). Downloadable application forms are at http://www.stat.auckland.ac.nz/~iase/members.php.

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    International Research Forums on Statistical Reasoning, Thinking, and Literacy

    Dani Ben-Zvi (University of Haifa)
    Joan Garfield (University of Minnesota)

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 10, Number 1 (Spring 2004)


    SRTL-3, 2003: Reasoning about Variability
    The third in a series of international research forums on statistical reasoning, thinking and literacy (SRTL) took place this past summer at the Teachers College Institute of the University of Lincoln-Nebraska. This particular gathering of researchers has played an important role in advancing our understanding of the richness and depth of reasoning about variability, a key focus of statistics education.

    The forum was sponsored by Teachers College Institute of the University of Lincoln-Nebraska (UNL), Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), Faculty of the Quantitative and Qualitative Methods in Education (QQME) Program at UNL, the IASE Statistical Education Research Group (IASE-SERG), the ASA Section on Statistics Education, and Vanderbilt University.

    The focus of SRTL-3 on reasoning about variability emerged from the previous two conferences (SRTL-1 in 1999, SRTL-2 in 2001). Variability stands in the heart of statistical theory and practice. "Variation is the reason why people have had to develop sophisticated statistical methods to filter out any messages in data from the surrounding noise" (Wild & Pfannkuch, 1999, p. 236).

    Eighteen researchers in statistics education from six countries shared their work, discussed important issues, and initiated collaborative projects in a stimulating and enriching environment. Sessions were held in an informal style, with a high level of interaction. With emphasis on reasoning about variability, a wide range of research projects (listed below) were presented spanning learners of all ages, as well as teachers. These demonstrated an interesting diversity in research methods, theoretical approaches and points of view. As a result of the success of this gathering, plans are already underway for the next gathering (SRTL-4) in 2005 in New Zealand (further details are provided below).

    The program began with an overview talk by Robert Gould titled "Variability: One statistician's view". The following ten research presentations were thematically grouped into clusters. A cluster included two one-hour research presentations to the entire group, small group discussions, small group reports and finally a whole group discussion. Most presenters showed a small subset of video segments of their research. In addition, optional time was devoted to viewing and discussing the research video-tapes.

    The research forum proved to be very productive in many ways. Several types of scientific publications will be produced including a CD-ROM of the proceedings (further details are provided below), papers in refereed journals, and a special issue of Statistics Education Research Journal (SERJ) on reasoning about variability (see: http://www.stat.auckland.ac.nz/~iase/publications.php?show=serj#archives/). These will all serve as rich resources for statistics educators and researchers.

    SRTL-4, 2005: Reasoning about Distribution
    The Fourth International Research Forum on Statistical Reasoning, Thinking, and Literacy will be hosted by the Department of Statistics, The University of Auckland, New Zealand, July 2-7, 2005. The Forum's theme is "Reasoning about Distribution".

    The focus of this gathering on reasoning about distribution has naturally emerged from the previous three conferences. Distribution is a key concept in statistics, and yet statisticians and educators may not be aware of how difficult it is for students to develop a deep understanding of this concept. When students are given tasks involving comparing distributions or making inferences, they often fail to utilize relevant information contained in the underlying distributions. Curricular materials often focus on construction and identification of distributions, but not on what these distributions mean to students and how they interpret them. Realizing the importance and complexity involved in understanding this concept, SRTL-4 will focus on the challenge of developing students' reasoning about distributions. We welcome presentations of research at SRTL-4 that address questions such as the following.

    What does distribution mean to students? What are the simplest forms and representations of distributions that children can understand? When and how do children begin to develop the idea of distribution? How does reasoning about distribution develop from the simplest forms to the more complex ones? What are instructional tasks and technological tools that promote the understanding of distribution? What are the common misconceptions involved in reasoning about distribution? How does an understanding of distribution connect and effect understanding of other statistical concepts and how does it relate to other kinds of statistical reasoning (e.g., reasoning about variation, covariation)? What are the difficulties that students encounter when working with, analyzing and interpreting distributions? What are ways to assess understanding of distribution? What are useful methodologies for studying the understanding of distributions? What type of understanding of distribution is sufficient for a statistically literate person?

    For further information on SRTL-4, contact Maxine Pfannkuch, Department of Statistics, The University of Auckland, New Zealand. Phone: 64 9 373 7599, ext 88794; Fax: 64 9 373 7018; E-mail: m.pfannkuch@auckland.ac.nz; or see SRTL-4 Web site: http://www.stat.auckland.ac.nz/srtl4/.

    Reasoning about Variability: A Collection of Current Research Studies (CD)
    We are pleased to announce the publication of Reasoning about Variability: A Collection of Current Research Studies, a unique CD that contains research papers on reasoning about variability that were presented at the Third International Research Forum on Statistical Reasoning, Thinking and Literacy (SRTL-3) held July 2003 in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA. Many of these papers (which are all written in English) contain video segments (in English or with English subtitles) of student interviews or teaching experiments in classrooms. These video segments and research studies provide a rich resource for researchers and teachers. The video segments included on the CD are to be used only for research purposes. For any other purpose, permission should be obtained from the individual authors.

    The CDs are available for a minimal cost that covers materials and postage. They may be purchased from Professor Carl Lee who is the treasurer for the SRTL non-profit organization. The total cost including shipping in the USA is $10 and the total cost for shipping overseas is $15.

    Please make checks payable to Carl Lee (SRTL3). Mail checks to: Professor Carl Lee, Att: SRTL-3 Proceedings, Department of Mathematics, Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48859.

    Papers included in the CD Reasoning about Variability: A Collection of Current Research Studies:

    1. Rob Gould -- Variability: One Statistician's View
    2. Jane Watson & Ben Kelly -- Developing Intuitions about Variation: The Weather
    3. Chris Reading -- Student Perceptions of Variation in a Real World Context
    4. Bob delMas & Yan Liu -- Exploring Students' Understanding of Statistical Variation
    5. Avital Lann & Ruma Falk -- What are the Clues for Intuitive Assessment of Variability?
    6. Dani Ben-Zvi -- The Emergence of Reasoning about Variability in Comparing Distributions: A Case Study of Two Seventh Grade Students
    7. Arthur Bakker -- Reasoning About Shape as a Pattern in Variability
    8. James Hammerman & Andee Rubin -- Reasoning in the Presence of Variability
    9. Katie Makar & Jere Confrey -- Chunks, Clumps, and Spread Out: Secondary Preservice Teachers' Informal Notions of Variation and Distribution
    10. Maria Meletiou & Carl Lee -- Studying the Evolution of Students' Conceptions of Variation: Using the Transformative and Conjecture Driven Research Design
    11. Ruth Heaton & William Mickelson -- Purposeful Statistical Investigation Merged with K-6 Content: Variability, Learning and Teacher Knowledge Use in Teaching

    For further information on any SRTL related issue please contact the SRTL Co-Chairs Joan Garfield (jbg@umn.edu) and Dani Ben-Zvi (dbenzvi@univ.haifa.ac.il).

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    Questions on Non-Introductory Courses

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 10, Number 1 (Spring 2004)


    Carol Joyce Blumberg is updating and preparing for publication a presentation that she gave at the ISI (International Statistical Institute) Biennial Session in 2001. It deals with the variety of non-introductory courses for non-mathematics and non-statistics first degree students in higher education institutions around the world. If your institution offers such courses or if you have any opinions on the questions listed below, please email her at cblumberg@winona.edu or send by fax to (507) 457-5376. Your help will be acknowledged in the final manuscript.

    Questions:

    1. What is your definition of introductory statistics?
    2. What statistics courses does your institution teach beyond introductory statistics that are REQUIRED for any non-mathematics or non-statistics degree students and why? Also, please indicate which majors take each of these courses.
    3. What statistics courses does your institution teach beyond introductory statistics that are OPTIONAL for any non-mathematics or non-statistics degree students?
    4. Which of the OPTIONAL courses are most often taken and which majors tend to take each of these courses?
    5. Why do students take these OPTIONAL courses?
    6. Why do many students NOT take any statistics beyond introductory statistics?

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    New Website for Undergraduate Senior Statistics Abstracts

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 10, Number 1 (Spring 2004)


    Does your school offer/require some sort of "capstone", honors or independent project of senior majors? Need some ideas for topics to suggest to students who are interested in pursuing a statistics related thesis? Want an outlet for publicizing the work your seniors have done? If your answer is "yes" to any of these questions, you might want to check a new website set up to disseminate abstracts of senior projects in statistics at http://it.stlawu.edu/~rlock/ussa. The site is starting with abstracts from St. Lawrence University and Westminster College (thanks to Carolyn Cuff), but its success depends on the willingness of statistics instructors at other schools to submit abstracts and/or project topics. The current setup has a main page with links to schools, lists of student names and project titles within each school and links from each student to the full abstract (including e-mail contact for the advisor for more info if needed). Contributions (student name, title and abstract - or a link to a departmental webpage with this information) and comments should be sent to Robin Lock at St. Lawrence University (rlock@stlawu.edu).

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