Report on Statistical Education Program for JSM 2001

James Matis
2001 Program Chair

Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
Volume 7, Number 1 (Winter 2001)

The 2001 Joint Statistical Meetings will be held in Atlanta on August 5-9. The overall program theme is "Statistical Science for the Information Age." Perhaps a fitting title for our section program offerings is "Statistical Education for the Information Age." There will be a record number (four sponsored and three cosponsored) of invited sessions dealing with statistical education. These sessions will outline new program initiatives, present ways to teach new methodology, and discuss the use of modern technologies in teaching statistics in the information age of the 21st century. Details of these sessions and of other related program items follow.

One of our allocated invited sessions is an invited panel organized by Allan Rossman. The title is "Implementing the USEI Guidelines for Undergraduate Programs in Statistics", and the panelists are Gale Rex Bryce, Brad Hartlaub, Roxy Peck and Thaddeus Tarpey. Among other things, the panel will describe how various schools have successfully implemented the USEI guidelines, and provide advice for those aiming to develop undergraduate programs at their own schools.

Another of our allocated invited sessions is organized by Katherine Halvorsen and is entitled "Nuts and Bolts: Teaching Modern Topics." Three nontraditional topics that might be included in an introductory mathematical statistics course will be presented, with suggestions on how to incorporate them into the syllabus. The topics and their presenters are "Teaching Permutation Tests and the Bootstrap" by Jenny Baglivo, "Teaching Logistic Regression" by Donald Bentley, and "A Case Study for Introducing Bayesian Methods" by Dalene Stangl.

The third of our allocated invited sessions is "Innovation and Technology in Teaching Undergraduate Mathematical Statistics," and is organized by Jay Devore. Recently, there has been a ground swell of interest in employing innovative teaching techniques and technology in introductory statistics with no calculus prerequisite. This session will focus on ways to bring the first mathematical statistics course into the 21st century. The individual presentations with their speakers are "Using Open Source Software to Teach Mathematical Statistics" by Doug Bates, "An Interactive Environment for Learning Mathematical Statistics" by Deborah Nolan, and "S-Plus and Math Stat: Examples, Challenges and Benefits" by Andrew Schaffner. Dennis Wackerly will be a discussant for the session.

The section was successful in receiving a fourth invited session through program committee competition. This session is organized by Lynne Hare, of Nabisco, Inc., on behalf of the Statistics Partnerships among Academe, Industry, and Government (SPAIG) Committee of ASA. The session title is "Benefits of Academic and Industry/Government Collaboration." The session consists of three case studies, together with information on how to start such collaborative projects. The case studies are "SPAIG Initiative at Iowa State" by Dean Isaacson and Lonnie Vance, "Undergraduate Statistics Internships at a Major Health Research Clinic" by Lara Wolfson and Ralph O'Brien, and "JPSM -- A Government Partnership for an Academic Program" by Robert Groves and Cynthia Clark.

One of the cosponsored sessions is "Some Current Research in Statistics Learning K-12" organized by George Cobb representing AERA, with Kathleen Metz, Kay McClain and Patrick Thompson as participants. The session will feature research targeted at the elementary, middle and high school levels, with discussion by Jeff Witmer, a college teacher of statistics. Another session is "Quantitative Literacy: Success Stories and the Role of ASA Chapters" organized by Ken Newman of the ASA Council of Chapters. Chris Franklin and Dick Scheaffer will be among the participants. Papers on case studies on implementing Quantitative Literacy and Data Driven Mathematics in the public schools will be presented. The third cosponsored session is "Teaching Statistics Using Sports" organized by Jim Albert on behalf of the Section on Statistics in Sports. The participants, including Shane Reese, Jerome Reiter, Joe Gallian, and Jim Albert, will present their experiences in teaching statistics using sports.

A number of topic contributed paper sessions of great interest will also be presented. One of these is entitled "Web-Based Instruction and Distance Education: Boom or Bust." The session is organized by Mike Speed, with James Hardin, David Lane, James Davenport and Webster West as participants. Another is a panel session of AP Statistics teachers, which will be organized this year by Chris Franklin. This has always been a lively and interesting session. Other topic contributed sessions are in preparation.

In summary, there will be lots of sessions on statistical education. The program is outstanding in both quality and quantity, with a breadth seemingly sufficient to cover every section member's special interests. Let me remind everybody that February 1 is the deadline to submit contributed papers. I am so excited about the program that I am already checking out travel plans. Hope to see you there, to interact together concerning statistical education in the Information Age.

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