J. Laurie Snell
Dartmouth College

Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
Volume 1, Number 1 (Winter 1995)

Newspapers and science magazines regularly contain articles that use probability or statistical concepts. Topics currently being discussed by the media include: the use of DNA fingerprinting in the courts, risk factors for diseases especially heart disease and cancer, air safety, the reliability and interpretation of surveys and polls, and the heritability of intelligence. A discussion of these topics in a probability or statistics course, when they appear in the news, demonstrates to the students the usefulness of understanding probability or statistical concepts, as they affect their daily life.

To assist teachers of probability and statistics in incorporating current chance news into their courses, the Chance Project distributes a free electronic newsletter, Chance News, to about 800 subscribers. Chance News provides abstracts of articles that appeared in the past two weeks in newspapers such as "The New York Times" and "Washington Post" or science magazines such as "Science", "Nature", "Chance" and "The New England Journal of Medicine. " Discussion questions relating to the articles are included with the abstracts. Subscribers are encouraged to contribute items they have encountered from the news media.

Current and previous issues of Chance News can be read on the Chance web server using Mosaic. This server can be accessed from the Dartmouth home page ( When you read Chance News on the web you will also find links to the full texts of many of the articles, as well as related information on other web servers or discussion groups. It is also possible to search across all issues of Chance News.

Anyone interested in receiving Chance News should contact:

J. Laurie Snell
Department of Mathematics
Dartmouth College
6188 Bradley Hall
Hanover, NH 03755
Phone: (603) 646-2951
FAX: 603-646-1312

The Chance Project is supported by the Undergraduate Development Program of the National Science Foundation.

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