Jerry Moreno, John Carroll University
1998 Stat Ed Program Chair

Brad Hartlaub, Kenyon College
1999 Stat Ed Program Chair

Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
Volume 4, Number 2 (Summer 1998)

In case you are wanting to plan which sessions and roundtables to attend in Dallas, the following information from Brad and me should help. The new rule of not being able to speak at more than one session seemed to have reduced the total number of papers by over 200, but our section's total remained stable. We have three invited sessions, four special contributed sessions (two of which are panels), and five regular contributed papers sessions. There are two poster sessions also. For an updated version of the program, check web site

As Section Program Chair for Baltimore '99, Brad is responsible for this year's roundtables. He has put together a very impressive list of ten topics and discussion leaders that he describes as follows.

If you are interested in having lunch with some great colleagues and participating in engaging conversations about statistical education, please consider registering for one of the following roundtable luncheons.

Are you concerned about K-12 math and science education? Quantitative Literacy (QL) techniques form a natural fit with the increased emphasis on hands-on activities in K-12 math and science. Lee Abramson, Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, will lead the discussion "Bringing QL into the K-12 Classroom."

If you have been wanting to add projects to your courses, join Nacer Abrouk, Rose-Hulman Institute, who will lead "Industrial Projects and Applications for Students." The ideas presented will offer an alternative approach to the traditional simulation of theoretical concepts and allow your students to conduct classroom activities under conditions similar to those which prevail in industrial settings.

Does your math stat course need a change? Karla Ballman, Macalester College, has some interesting suggestions for you. "Discovery and Activity-Based Mathematical Statistics," will focus on the use of activities and discovery based learning. These pedagogical techniques have been successfully incorporated into many introductory courses, but can you use them in the math stat course?

Are you interested in discussing "The Advanced Placement Statistics Curriculum?" Katherine Halvorsen, Smith College, will discuss the AP Statistics Course Content and the Outline of Topics given in the College Board's "acorn booklet," Advanced Placement Course Description: Statistics. The initial discussion will be broadly based so that participants can feel free to talk about areas of their own interest within the AP curriculum.

Would you like to introduce bootstrapping to your introductory students? "The Bootstrap in Introductory Statistics Education" will be presented by Tim Hesterberg, MathSoft/Statistical Sciences. Simulation and bootstrapping can help students understand sampling distributions and enable students to do inference for many statistics in a consistent way. Available software and methods that work will be discussed.

Is it time for a curricular change? David Hull, Ohio Wesleyan University, will present "What Should We Do Instead of Mathematical Statistics?" Given the dwindling numbers of mathematics majors nationwide, an alternative curriculum might increase interest in careers in statistics as well as increase the number of students in upper level statistics courses.

If you are considering Excel for your statistics course, don't miss "To Excel or Not to Excel" by John D. McKenzie, Jr., Babson College. The pros and cons of using Excel will be discussed.

Are you concerned about assessment? Norean Radke Sharpe, Babson College, will present "Assessment Issues in Introductory and Advanced Statistics Courses." The relationship between content, pedagogy, competencies, and assessment will be discussed and innovative forms of assessment will be shared.

Are you using the TI-83 in your classroom? Dex Whittinghill, Rowan University, will lead "The TI-83 Calculator in Statistics: Pros and Cons." Participants will share ideas on HOW, WHY, WHEN, and WHERE the TI-83 is and/or should be used.

Do your introductory students appear frustrated and confused? Douglas A. Wolfe, Ohio State University will lead the discussion "Focusing on Statistical Intuition in an Introductory Statistics Course." Often the most intuitive and, in many cases, the most informative summary statistics involve counts of events or relative comparisons of individual sample observations. The pros and cons of various constructs for presenting such alternative concepts and analytical approaches in an introductory statistics course will be discussed.

In every time slot but the very last one, there is a session sponsored by our section. Our first invited session, which is also a JSM theme session, is session 25 on Sunday afternoon. "Making Statistics Accessible to Students with Disabilities" was organized by Carol Blumberg, Winona State U. Carol Preston, National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will speak on what the educational community can do to encourage disabled students to enter mathematics, statistics, science and engineering fields. Sue Ann Kroeger, U. of Minnesota, will briefly discuss what universities and instructors are required to do under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). She will also discuss instructional strategies to implement for students with various types of physical disabilities.

You will find Dex Whittinghill, Rowan U., on Tuesday morning at his organized session 137: "The Advanced Placement Statistics Exams: The First Two Years." AP Statistics is a terrific success story as students are finding it an exciting and beneficial course to take. Dex's speakers are: Rosemary Roberts, Bowdoin College, who will describe the course and speak on the types of questions that are on the exam; Chris Olsen, George Washington HS, who will discuss the rubric scoring that is used and will show actual student responses and the scores assigned; Dick Scheaffer, U. of Florida, who will describe the grading of the free-response questions, as well as the connection of the AP course to the college course. Paul Velleman, Cornell U., will pull it all together as their discussant.

Tom Short, Villanova U., has organized our third invited session 185, "Plugging In - Connecting Technology to the Classroom," which will be held Wednesday morning. Bill Finzer, Key Curriculum Press, will focus on visualization techniques and the importance of dragging in Dynamic Statistics (TM) software, as well as research results from the DataSpace project. The Virtual Laboratories project will be presented by Kyle Siegrist, U. of Alabama, Huntsville. It consists of web-based modules that combine hypertext, graphics, interactive Java applets, and data sets. Tim Hesterberg, MathSoft/Statistical Sciences, will show how computer simulation and bootstrapping can help students understand some key ideas in statistics and probability that are difficult, e.g., sampling distributions. Robin Lock, St. Lawrence University, will share his views on technology in the classroom as the session's discussant.

We have four special contributed papers sessions. The first, "How to Apply Statistics to Public Policy Problems," was organized by Sally Morton from RAND. It is theme session 12 and will start the week's activities Sunday afternoon. Doug Zahn, Florida State U., has organized session 74 on Monday morning, a special contributed panel of FSU colleagues who will talk on "Fourth Generation Evaluation and the Systematic Improvement of Statistics Courses." Complementing Tuesday morning's invited session on AP Statistics will be Jim Matis's (Texas A&M) Tuesday afternoon special contributed panel session 168 on "Teaching Advanced Placement Statistics in High Schools - The Texas Experience." Jim will be joined by four outstanding high school teachers who will give us first-hand information on the AP statistics program. Be sure to attend session 240 Wednesday afternoon. Milo Schield, Augsburg College, has organized an exciting session with Jessica Utts, Gary Smith, Gudmund Iversen, and Don Macnaughton on "New Directions in Introductory Statistics."

Over thirty papers have been organized into five very interesting regular contributed papers sessions. On Monday morning session 59, join Carolyn Pillers Dobler, Gustavus Adolphus College, who will chair "Using Projects and Activities to Enhance Learning Probability and Statistics." On Monday afternoon Karla Ballman, Macalester College, is chairing session 104 entitled "We're Teaching; Are They Learning? Are We Communicating?" Tuesday morning session 127, "Enhancing the Learning of Statistics Using Technology" will be chaired by Nick Maxwell, U. of Washington. "A Potpourri of Problems in the Substance of Statistics" is session 223 Wednesday morning and will be chaired by Bill Coombs, Oklahoma State U. Allan Rossman, Dickinson College, has agreed to chair our last session 270 Thursday morning on "Curriculum Reform From AP Stats Through Math Stats."

By the way, Ron Wasserstein has once again volunteered to organize the voting for our best contributed paper presentation. He has done an excellent job over the years and his efforts are very much appreciated. Your participation in this contest helps to encourage continued excellence in our section's contributed papers.

Support your Section on Statistical Education by attending these sessions: 12, 25, 59, 74, 104, 127, 137, 168, 185, 223, 240, 270. Check out the invited posters session 39 and contributed posters session 225 as well. Of related interest, sessions that we are co-sponsoring include: 103, 120, 130, 162, 202, 203, 233, 255, 283.

See you in Dallas!

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