ASA Stat. Ed. Section Newsletter - V12 N1

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


Contents of Volume 12, Number 1 (Spring 2007):
  • Message from the Section Chair
  • Editors
  • Mark Your Calendar
  • Looking Ahead to JSM 2007
  • Roundtables for JSM 2007
  • From the JSM Program Chair
  • USCOTS '07
  • CAUSE Webinars
  • Report from the Joint ASA/AMATYC Committee
  • Technology Innovations in Statistics Education: A New E-Journal
  • Statistical Education Sessions for ISI-56 Conference in Lisbon
  • IASE Satellite Conference on Assessing Student Learning in Statistics
  • The Fifth International Research Forum on Statistical Reasoning, Thinking, and Literacy
  • Joint ICMI/IASE Study
  • AIMS Project Looking for Potential Class Testers
  • Undergraduate Statistics Project Competition
  • AWM Teacher Partnership
  • The International Statistical Literacy Project
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    Message from the Section Chair

    Jessica Utts
    University of California, Davis

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 12, Number 1 (Spring 2007)


    I am delighted to have the opportunity to serve as Section Chair for 2007. There will be a quiz in a minute, but first I want you to join me in thanking the dedicated individuals whose terms on the Executive Committee ended in December 2006. (Please hold your applause until all names have been read. Better yet, please hold your applause until you can thank them in person, then do so!) They are 2005 Section Chair Robin Lock, 2006 Program Chair Paul Roback, Secretary/Treasurer Beth Chance and members Marjorie Bond and Michael Kahn. I would like to welcome the incoming Executive Committee members, including Chair-Elect Linda Young, 2008 Program Chair Jackie Miller, Secretary/Treasurer Tom Short and at-large members Jo Hardin and Deb Rumsey. Finally, I would like to extend a big thank-you to our newsletter editors Joan Garfield and Jackie Dietz. Jackie maintains our web site as well. Without their hard work, you wouldn't be reading this!

    Now it's time for that quiz I promised. Close your eyes, don't peek, and answer this simple question: What is the name of our Section?? OK, now open your eyes.

    If you said "Section on Statistics Education," you probably are in the majority, but you are wrong. The name is "Section on Statistical Education." Why is that the name of our Section, when most people talk about "Statistics Education?" I wasn't there when the Section name was established, but I suspect it's because "statistical" is an adjective and "statistics" is a noun. Therefore, it is grammatically correct to say "statistical education."

    How many of you have subtracted points from students' papers for bad grammar? If you have been brave enough to do so, your students probably have complained, "This isn't an English class, it's a math class -- you can't take off points for bad grammar!"

    The wonderful truth about Statistics is that it is about English (or whatever your language is), because it's about good communication. And it's about philosophy and science and logical reasoning and a wealth of other interrelated subjects and ideas. It's not about math alone. That broad view of our discipline is what the Section on Statistical Education is all about. What unites us is a desire to provide the best statistical education possible to students at all levels, including those who are no longer formal students, and to help them understand the comprehensive nature of what Statistics has to offer. If you have ideas about how the Section can do a better job of facilitating that, please get involved in the Section activities and let us hear your ideas. You can send an email to me (jmutts@ucdavis.edu), or get involved in one of the many exciting activities you read about elsewhere in our newsletters.

    I'm looking forward to a productive year as Chair of the Stat Ed Section (the safe name to use when discussing our Section)!

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    EDITORS

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 12, Number 1 (Spring 2007)


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

    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

    E. Jacquelin Dietz
    Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
    Meredith College
    3800 Hillsborough Street
    Raleigh, NC 27607-5298
    (919) 760-8234
    Fax: (919) 760-8141
    dietzjac@meredith.edu

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    MARK YOUR CALENDAR

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 12, Number 1 (Spring 2007)


    May 17-19, 2007
    United States Conference on Teaching Statistics (USCOTS '07)
    Columbus, Ohio, USA
    "Statistics Teaching to the Next Level"
    http://www.causeweb.org/uscots

    July 29 - August 2, 2007
    Joint Statistical Meetings
    Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
    http://www.amstat.org/meetings/jsm/2007/index.cfm

    August 11-17, 2007
    The Fifth International Research Forum on Statistical Reasoning, Thinking, and Literacy
    The University of Warwick, UK
    SRTL-5: Reasoning about Informal Inference
    http://srtl.stat.auckland.ac.nz/

    August 19-21, 2007
    Satellite Conference IASE 56
    Guimarães, Portugal
    Assessing Student Learning in Statistics
    http://www.stat.auckland.ac.nz/iasesat07

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    Looking Ahead to JSM 2007

    Patti Collings, Brigham Young University
    Section Program Chair

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 12, Number 1 (Spring 2007)


    We just completed the program for JSM 2007 and it's a great program. Make your plans now to attend July 29 through August 2, 2007 in Salt Lake City and don't forget to register beginning May 1, 2007. As a sneak preview, you'll want to be sure to attend our session on the 20/20 of Statistical Education. And what about our sessions on technology and implementing GAISE? Then there's always our sessions on Stat Ed research, not to mention all of the contributed papers giving great ideas for teaching statistics.

    Those of you who have submitted abstracts may edit them online March 26 - April 11, 2007.

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    Roundtables for JSM 2007

    Jackie Miller, The Ohio State University
    Section Program Chair-Elect

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 12, Number 1 (Spring 2007)


    We have an exciting slate of roundtables for JSM 2007 in Salt Lake City. Each day there will be one coffee roundtable and three lunch roundtables. Here's the list of topics:

    Coffee roundtables:
    Coordinating the Large Undergraduate Course
    Study Design in Statistics Education
    Successful Statistics Class Projects
    Lunch roundtables:
    Academic Integrity in a High-Tech Classroom
    Group Work and How to Assess It
    Integrating Data Analysis with Parametric Inference in Undergraduate Statistics
    Learning to Teach Statistics: Challenges and Suggestions
    My Favorite Case-Study
    Spanning the Globe: Using Data to Introduce Students to the Rest of the World
    Statistics and Research Design: Oil and Vinegar?
    TA Training for Introductory Statistics Courses
    What Is So Great About Service Learning and How Much Work Is It?

    The roundtable entitled "Learning to Teach Statistics: Challenges and Suggestions" is for graduate students only and is being graciously sponsored by the Section. If you know any graduate students who will be attending JSM and would be interested in participating in this roundtable, please either let me know their names or have them contact me directly.

    Keep these roundtables in mind when you register for JSM. And, if you've already registered, add a roundtable to your registration! If you have any questions, please contact me at miller.203@osu.edu.

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    From the JSM Program Chair

    Allan Rossman, Cal Poly

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 12, Number 1 (Spring 2007)


    In addition to the terrific sessions organized under Patti Collings' leadership and roundtables put together by Jackie Miller (described above), the 2007 JSM also features many other sessions that may interest Stat Ed members.† A few of these include:

    The popular series of sessions known as Introductory Overview Lectures (IOLs) should also interest many Stat Ed members.† These sessions are:

    Please examine the online program (http://www.amstat.org/meetings/jsm/2007/OnlineProgram) closely to plan your schedule for Salt Lake City.

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    USCOTS '07

    Deborah Rumsey, The Ohio State University

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 12, Number 1 (Spring 2007)


    Never heard of USCOTS, the United States Conference on Teaching Statistics? Check it out -- http://www.causeweb.org/uscots/.

    The USCOTS program line-up is fantastic and can be viewed at http://www.causeweb.org/uscots/program/.

    New for USCOTS '07 -- cluster groups, check out these opportunities on the registration page.

    There are two pre-conference workshops offered, in addition to our summer workshops. Space is limited, so register soon! http://www.causeweb.org/workshop/

    The Idea Exchange Forum, "Posters and Beyond," selection is through a competitive process to ensure that the quality is in keeping with our USCOTS '07 theme of "Statistics Teaching to the Next Level." The deadline for final abstract submission is April 1. You must register for the conference first and submit your abstract through the link at the bottom of the registration page.

    Submit your statistics humor, cartoons/jokes, poems, songs, and videos to the A-Mu-Sing Competition and you could win a cash prize. For details see http://www.causeweb.org/contest/.

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    CAUSE Webinars

    Dennis Pearl, The Ohio State University

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 12, Number 1 (Spring 2007)


    You can now enjoy a CAUSE webinar from your home or office.

    CAUSE presents a free series of web-based seminars ("webinars") the second Tuesday of each month at 2 p.m. EST. Upcoming webinars include the April 10th presentation by Maria Pruchnicki describing the secrets to successful implementation of web-based instruction and the May 13th presentation by Bill Notz on what's new at the Journal of Statistics Education. On-line registration for the next webinar and archived video and audio from each of the previous 15 CAUSE webinars can be found at http://www.causeweb.org/webinar.

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    Report from the Joint ASA/AMATYC Committee

    Bob delMas, University of Minnesota
    Joint Committee Chair

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 12, Number 1 (Spring 2007)


    Members of the Joint ASA/AMATYC committee made several presentations at the AMATYC Annual Conference held November 2006 in Cincinnati, OH.†Brian Smith and Bob delMas conducted a two-hour workshop,†Implementing the GAISE Guidelines to Teach Introductory Statistics, that was well attended.† Twenty†people participated in the workshop. Forty people were on a waiting list, indicating the interest in statistics education by the AMATYC community.† The workshop received very positive feedback from the participants. Bob delMas presented a paper titled†Assessment of Students' Conceptual Understanding of Statistics on results from the ARTIST CAOS test based on large a national sample. John Climent made a presentation titled†Suggestions for Curve Fitting in Algebra or Statistics, which was well attended. John also had a second presentation with Kristy Erickson (Effective Use of Clickers in Math and Statistics Classes).†Brian Smith chaired a meeting of the Statistics Subcommittee on Program/Curriculum Issues. The main topic of discussion was a possible AMATYC Summer Institute focusing on statistics education in summer 2008.† Mary Moynihan, from Cape Cod Community College, suggested their campus as a possible venue.† The committee has moved forward with this suggestion and submitted a proposal that will be reviewed for approval at the April 2007 meeting of the AMATYC Board of Directors.

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    Technology Innovations in Statistics Education: A New E-Journal

    Rob Gould, UCLA

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 12, Number 1 (Spring 2007)


    The UCLA Department of Statistics' Center for Teaching Statistics is pleased to announce a new e-journal devoted to the intersection of statistics education and technology. Technology Innovations in Statistics Education (TISE) will launch in the Fall of 2007.

    TISE is founded on the principle that we must teach students to become data scientists who can think about and reason with data. This requires that educators employ a variety of technologies to develop students' conceptual understanding and to give them the skills and tools needed to access and analyze data. TISE will publish scholarly papers that address any of these themes: designing technology to improve statistics education, using technology to develop conceptual understanding, and teaching the use of technology to gain insight into and access to data. The journal will also publish "technology innovations," which are either new technologies that improve statistics education or case studies that describe particularly innovative uses of existing technologies.

    More information, including author guidelines and submission instructions, can be found at http://tise.stat.ucla.edu.

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    Statistical Education Sessions for ISI-56 Conference in Lisbon

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 12, Number 1 (Spring 2007)


    The International Association for Statistical Education (IASE) is sponsoring the following session for the 56th meeting of the International Statistical Institute, to be held in Lisbon on August 22-29:

    In addition, IASE is co-sponsoring the session:

    Finally, IASE will sponsor two open meetings at which broad participation is encouraged:

    For more information, please see the ISI-56 website (www.isi2007.com.pt) or the IASE website (http://www.stat.auckland.ac.nz/~iase/).† You may also contact Allan Rossman, IASE President-Elect, at arossman@calpoly.edu.

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    IASE Satellite Conference on Assessing Student Learning in Statistics

    Guimarães, Portugal, August 19-21, 2007
    Beth Chance, Cal Poly

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 12, Number 1 (Spring 2007)


    This satellite conference will include papers on all aspects of assessing student learning in statistics. For example, we expect to have papers on writing effective exam questions, on exam implementation strategies, and on alternative assessment methods such as projects, lab assignments, and writing assignments. We also encourage submissions on how to use assessment to improve student learning, and on developing and administering assessments items to conduct research into student learning. Proceedings will be available free at the publication page of IASE.

    CONFERENCE COMMITTEE
    Brian Phillips (Australia) (Joint Chair and Joint Chief Editor) bphillips@swin.edu.au
    Beth Chance (USA) (Joint Chair) bchance@calpoly.edu
    Allan Rossman (USA) arossman@calpoly.edu
    Ginger Rowell (USA) rowell@mtsu.edu
    Gilberte Schuyten (Belgium) gilberte.schuyten@UGent.be
    Larry Weldon (Canada) (Joint Chief Editor) weldon@sfu.ca
    Local Organiser: Bruno C. de Sousa (Portugal) bruno@mct.uminho.pt
    For more information visit the website: http://www.stat.auckland.ac.nz/~iase/conferences.php?show=iasesat07

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    The Fifth International Research Forum on Statistical Reasoning, Thinking, and Literacy

    The University of Warwick, UK, August 11-17, 2007
    SRTL-5: Reasoning about Informal Inference
    SRTL Website:
    http://srtl.stat.auckland.ac.nz/

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 12, Number 1 (Spring 2007)


    The fifth in a series of International Research Forums on Statistical Reasoning, Thinking and Literacy (SRTL-5) is to be held in the UK from August 11 to August 17, 2007. The Centre for New Technologies Research in Education (CeNTRE), the University of Warwick, will host the Forum. In addition, the Forum is sponsored by The Royal Statistical Society (UK), The American Statistical Association (ASA) Section on Statistical Education, the Institute of Education, University of Warwick and the School of Education, University of Leicester.

    This gathering offers an opportunity for a small, interdisciplinary group of researchers from around the world to meet for a few days to share their work, discuss important issues, and initiate collaborative projects. The Forum's focus will be on informal ideas of statistical inference rather than on formal methods of estimation and tests of significance. This topic is emerging from the presentations and discussions at SRTL-3 and 4 and is a topic of current interest to many researchers as well as teachers of statistics. As new courses and curricula are developed, a greater role for informal types of statistical inference is anticipated, introduced early, revisited often, and developed through use of instructional activities, simulation and technological tools.

    We shall be looking at the ways people intuitively make statistical inference and how their reasoning develops or is revealed through instruction. For example, what is the nature of how people make inferences about a larger group based on single sample of data, how people make inferences about possible group differences based on two seemingly different samples of data, or how people judge a sample or sample statistic to be surprising given a particular claim about the population from which the sample was drawn or the model which produced the sample of data. None of this may involve formal statistical inference (P-values, tests of significance, confidence intervals, etc.). However, studies on the nature of this informal, inferential reasoning provide results that have implications for teaching and learning formal methods of statistical inference.

    An interesting range of diverse research presentations and discussions have been planned and we all look forward to a stimulating and enriching gathering. These papers will address reasoning about informal inference at all levels of education including the professional development of elementary and secondary teachers. One outcome of the Forum will be publication of a CD proceedings as well as a special issue of SERJ on Reasoning about Informal Reasoning.

    The structure of the scientific program will be a mixture of formal and informal sessions, small group and whole group discussions, and the opportunity for extensive analysis of video-taped research data. There will also be a poster session for exhibiting current research of participants on additional topics related to statistics education. The Forum is co-chaired by Dani Ben-Zvi (University of Haifa, Israel) and Joan Garfield (University of Minnesota, USA), co-organized by Janet Ainley (The University of Leicester, UK) and Dave Pratt (University of London, UK), and planned by a prestigious international advisory committee. For more information, visit the SRTL website at http://srtl.stat.auckland.ac.nz/.

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    Joint ICMI/IASE Study

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 12, Number 1 (Spring 2007)


    Statistics Education in School Mathematics: Challenges for Teaching and Teacher Education
    Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores, Monterrey, Mexico
    June 30 - July 4, 2008
    Conference Announcement (pdf file)
    Conference website: http://www.ugr.es/~icmi/iase_study/

    This study brings the mathematics and statistics education communities to work in collaboration with the aim of analysing the situation of teaching statistics at school level and making recommendations about how to train mathematics teachers to better succeed in educating statistical literate students.

    Submission deadline: October 1, 2007

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    AIMS Project Looking for Potential Class Testers

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 12, Number 1 (Spring 2007)


    AIMS (Adapting and Implementing innovative Materials in Statistics) is a††two-year NSF-funded project being conducted in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Minnesota†that is building on several types of innovative materials that have been produced in the past few years for introductory statistics courses.†These materials include textbooks, software, web resources, and special simulation tools. Lesson plans and student activity guides are being developed, used, and evaluated for a series of lessons to transform an introductory statistics course into one that implements the Guidelines for Assessment and Instruction in Statistics Education (GAISE) for teaching introductory statistics courses. The innovative new lessons are designed to involve students in lots of discussion, computer explorations, and small group activities. The lessons build on implications from current educational research.

    We are now developing a proposal for a second AIMS project that will allow us to evaluate the implementation of the lessons in different institutions and courses. We are looking for teachers of undergraduate introductory statistics courses that have the interest and flexibility to adopt this set of lessons and use them to teach an entire course. The grant would provide professional development training, software needed by students, and all necessary materials. If funded, the workshop could take place in Summer 2008 and the course could be implemented in Spring 2009. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Joan Garfield at jbg@umn.edu. We will submit the grant towards the end of fall 2007, so we would like to hear from interested instructors by September 2007.

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    Undergraduate Statistics Project Competition

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 12, Number 1 (Spring 2007)


    The first biennial Undergraduate Statistics Project Competition (USPROC: http://www.causeweb.org/usproc.php) was a terrific success. Carl Lee (Central Michigan University) led a competition committee that included John Holcomb, Jeff Witmer, and Felix Famoye in organizing USPROC and setting up the rules for project evaluation. This group was joined by John Daniels, Soon Hong, Tisha Hooks, Jennifer Kaplan, Chris Malone, Jim Mentele, Ray Phillips, Tim Rey, Gerald Shoultz, and Nathan Tintle who spent a pleasant day in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, judging the 36 submissions. The top seven projects (alphabetical order by school) are listed in the table below. Kudos to these students for all of their terrific work and to the advisors who motivated them. First, second, and third prizes will be announced from amongst the finalists at the U.S. Conference On Teaching Statistics banquet on Friday, May 18, 2007.

    School Award Advisor Students Project Title
    Babson College Finalist Norean Sharpe Lucas Brown, Kristin Fry, and Prasanna Grandhi Forecasting Hotel Occupancy Rates for JHM Hotels, Inc.
    Babson College Honorable Mention Norean Sharpe Brian Dixon and Daniel Ferson Forecasting Frozen Concentrated Orange Juice Futures Contract Prices
    California Polytechnic State University Finalist Andrew Schaffner Matthew Bowyer Bayesian Applications for Obsidian Artifact Dating
    Gustavus Adolphus College Finalist Carolyn Dobler Tyler Kramer and Dan Johnson Numbers Donít Lie
    Gustavus Adolphus College Honorable Mention Carolyn Dobler Guy Davis Who is Baseballís Best Batter?
    St. Olaf College Honorable Mention Julie Legler David Swanson and Nicole Novak Dental Health and Socioeconomic Status in Southern India
    University of Georgia Honorable Mention Jaxk Reeves Brian Claggett Exploring College Football Outcomes

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    AWM Teacher Partnership

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 12, Number 1 (Spring 2007)


    The Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) Teacher Partnership is intended to link teachers of mathematics in schools, museums, technical institutes, two-year colleges, and universities with other teachers working in an environment different from their own and with mathematicians working in business and industry. We invite individuals to join the partnership and will match members from different communities. Partnership activities will include:

    Examples of such collaborations are:

    In addition to electronic communications, partners may visit each other's classrooms, collaborate in teaching projects, or cooperate in writing grant proposals.

    The AWM Teacher Partnership Program will pair a teacher (classroom or informal) with a mathematician. It will also maintain a Website for the purposes of sharing resources and information.

    Eligibility:
    Anyone who is engaged or interested in contributing to the formal or informal mathematics education of students at any level may request a partner who works with students at a different level or in a particular area of interest.

    To participate in the program, please read the Guidelines and fill in the "Request a Partner" form. If you have any questions and comments, please contact one of the organizers: Pao-sheng Hsu (hsupao@maine.edu), Suzanne Lenhart (lenhart@math.utk.edu), and Erica Voolich (voolich@aol.com).

    For more information and instructions to join the partnership, visit http://www.awm-math.org/teacherpartnership.html.

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    The International Statistical Literacy Project (ISLP): New URL, New Plans, Old Missions

    Juana Sanchez
    Director, International Statistical Literacy Project of the International Association for Statistics Education (IASE)

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 12, Number 1 (Spring 2007)


    The International Statistical Literacy Project (ISLP) of the International Association for Statistics Education (IASE) has a new Director, Juana Sanchez, and a new location for the web site that the former Director, Carol Blumberg, put together during four years of outstanding dedication to the cause of statistical literacy in the US and around the world. The new location is under the umbrella of the IASE, and is at http://www.stat.auckland.ac.nz/~iase/islp/. This web site is wiki based, and access and registration are free. Those interested in posting statistical literacy resources can do so directly or contact the Director. Through that web site, ISLP continues its mission of serving as the most comprehensive source of information on statistical literacy resources in the world. We plan to continue improving its content and its appearance to serve this purpose. The page translates to several languages.

    The ISLP is very fortunate that Carol Blumberg has agreed to continue on the advisory board and in the management for the National Statistical Offices web pages. We are also very lucky that all the page coordinators that were working in 2006 with Carol have decided to continue their outstanding work. Without their management of the pages the ISLP would become stagnant. They are all experts involved in statistical literacy like Carol, and their wisdom is very needed in ISLP. Similarly, we are very happy that the Advisory Board continues and our mailing list has not shrunk. Contact the Director if you would like to be added to this mailing list.

    With this excellent cast, ISLP will continue its mission of, in Carol's words, "aiding those interested in the development of statistical literacy around the world," (IASE Matters, Autumn 2006). ISLP will be conducting statistical literacy activities in zones of the world where its mother associations, the IASE (http://www.stat.auckland.ac.nz/~iase/) and ISI (http://isi.cbs.nl/), hold meetings and in other countries. Our first international activity will be held in communities and schools in Northern Portugal during the period of the Satellite meeting in Guimarães and the 56th Session of ISI in Lisbon. We are working in cooperation with several national organizations and schools in Portugal to make these activities as much fun and educational as possible. Look at the ISLP web page to keep in touch with the progress of these activities. If you would like the name of your organization to appear as sponsor of any of these activities, please let the Director know.

    For a more detailed description of the plans for the near future of the ISLP, please read the IASE Review, 2006, Section 5 (http://www.stat.auckland.ac.nz/~iase/publications.php?show=iasereview).

    We really hope you will find the IASE activities and web site inspiring and helpful in your own statistical literacy efforts, and hope that you will contact us with information, questions, and requests for aid in your efforts.

    Please contact the Director (jsanchez@stat.ucla.edu) if you have any problems accessing your web site or have any other question.

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