Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
Volume 3, Number 1 (Winter 1997)

ASA now has a membership list available on the web. In order to insure its accuracy, ASA is requesting members to check their listings for correctness. The membership list is available at the ASA home page at Please send corrections to

Robin Lock is the winner of the 1996 Section on Statistics Education Best Contributed Paper award. His paper, "Datasurfing on the World Wide Web," received the highest audience evaluations among the 44 contributed papers presented at the meetings in Chicago. Professor Lock will receive his award at the 1997 meetings in Anaheim. The Statistics Education Section has conducted the Best Contributed Award contest for many years to promote high quality presentations. All contributed paper participants will soon be receiving summaries of their evaluations. If you have questions or need further information, please contact evaluation coordinator Ron Wasserstein at Washburn University, Topeka KS 66621; (913) 231-1010 x1108; Fax: (913) 231-1010 x1899;

A large collection of quotes (from 35 articles) related to statistics, tenure, evaluation, and relationships between statistics and mathematics has been compiled by Tim Hesterberg. This collection is available on the ASA Statistical Education home page . Those without World Wide Web access may contact Tim at or at MathSoft/Statistical Sciences,1700 Westlake Ave. N, Suite 500, Seattle WA 98109-3044; (206) 283-8802x319, Fax: (206) 283-0347. These quotes may be useful to statisticians for: seeking fair evaluations and tenure, particularly those statisticians housed in mathematics or other departments besides statistics; seeking recognition for and a workload adjustment for consulting; seeking a workload adjustment for teaching, like (other) lab courses get; reforming statistics-- convincing colleagues (particular in a math department) of the importance of non-mathematical aspects of statistics.

ASA is looking for ways to publicize its various Proceedings from the Joint Statistical Meetings (including those of the Section on Statistical Education) to non-ASA groups in order to increase the sales of these proceedings. The Proceedings of the Section on Statistical Education may be especially of interest to secondary school teachers. Please let teachers know about the availability of our Section proceedings. Also, if you have any ideas for particular groups (teachers or otherwise) that should be contacted, please send this information to Lori Thombs, Department of Statistics, University of South Carolina, Columbia SC 29208; (803) 777-7800; Fax: (803) 777-4048;

Each issue of the electronic Journal of Statistics Education includes a Datasets and Stories section that provides articles on interesting datasets and their use in teaching statistics. Past articles have presented data on topics such as automobiles, poverty, the Titanic disaster, body temperatures, readability of medical literature, video slot machines, body fat, and the sex lives of fruit flies. The datasets, documentation, and articles are all readily available in electronic formats (for example, on the WWW at The importance of using examples based on real data has been amply documented, but the difficulties in finding just the right data to illustrate a particular teaching point are well known to readers of this newsletter. Electronic media, such as JSE, provide a wonderful means for sharing our collective efforts to find good data, but the success of such endeavors depends critically on the willingness of those who benefit from the service to contribute to its upkeep. Thus we would like to strongly urge you to considering submitting a dataset to the JSE Dataset Archive and writing an article for the Datasets and Stories section. Think about those times during your semester when you really look forward to a class or an assignment because you get to show the students some neat data. With just a bit of effort you can easily share those data with the rest of us.

The most convenient method for submitting a dataset and/or article is by e-mail to either of the Datasets and Stories editors, Robin Lock, Mathematics Dept., St. Lawrence University, Canton NY 13617 ( or Bob Hayden, Plymouth State College, Plymouth NH 03264 ( Guidelines for contributions can be found on the WWW at JSE dataset articles are now refereed (let us know if you would be interested in helping review articles). You can check some of the existing datasets and stories to get a feel for the format of the documentation and articles. Even if you are not sufficiently motivated to write a full dataset article for JSE, you should still consider contributing interesting datasets and documentation to the dataset archive.

The Statistics Teacher Network Newsletter is an excellent source of information on matters concerning statistical education in grades K-12. The newsletter includes, among other things, ideas for activities and reviews of software and textbooks. To contribute to the STN newsletter, contact Jerry Moreno, Dept. of Mathematics, John Carroll University, University Heights OH 44118; (216) 397-4681; Fax: (216) 397-3033; To subscribe to the STN newsletter, contact Veronica at the Center for Statistical Education at the ASA National Office (

The Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics (CATS) was established by the National Research Council in 1977 to provide a focus of activity and concern for the statistical sciences, statistical education, use of statistics, and issues affecting the field. There are nine members of the committee, with staggered three year terms. Two current members represent the statistics education community (J. Laurie Snell and Joan Garfield). The committee is developing proposals for two projects that involve statistics education. One addresses the current teaching of the introductory course, the other examines essential components of a modern biostatistics education program. Questions and suggestions may be directed to any member or to the CATS chair, Daryl Pregibon, AT&T Bell Laboratories;

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