ASA Stat. Ed. Section Newsletter - V8 N2

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

Contents of Volume 8, Number 2 (Summer 2002):
  • Message from the Section Chair
  • Editors
  • Subscription Information
  • Mark Your Calendar
  • Statistical Education Members Compile a Great Program
  • Statistics Education Research Journal
  • MARMAP System Partnership
  • Roundtables 2002: Eat, Drink, and Be Informed
  • Statistical Reasoning, Thinking and Literacy
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    Message from the Section Chair

    Jeff Witmer
    Oberlin College

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 8, Number 2 (Summer 2002)

    JSM 2002 is just around the corner. If you go to you can access the program on line. You will probably want to start by using the option that lets you see all activities that are sponsored by our Section. (There are, of course, less important activities that you can also find via the web site.) The Section is sponsoring or co-sponsoring 10 invited paper sessions plus a host of other sessions. These sessions cover many topics that will range from general discussion of teaching to specific ideas for the classroom. In addition to sessions at which papers are presented, there will also be poster sessions and roundtable lunches. This year there are roundtable lunches sponsored by the Section on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, so you can attend more than one of these.

    In addition to preparing for JSM, members of our Section are actively engaged in several projects. One of these is the Consortium for the Advancement of Undergraduate Statistics Education (CAUSE). Deb Rumsey (Ohio State) is the Director of this new project, which the ASA Board of Directors has recently voted to support financially as one of ASA's Member Initiatives. You can learn more about CAUSE by attending Session 28 at JSM on Sunday, 8/11/02, (4:00-5:50 in the Clinton Suite at the Hilton), during which Deb will make a presentation.

    Finally, I invite you to attend the annual business meeting and reception for the Section during JSM. This will be at the usual time, which is Wednesday evening, 8/14/02, 5:30-7:00. The location is the Morgan Suite at the Hilton. I hope to see you there. Please feel free to contact me at at any time.

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    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 8, Number 2 (Summer 2002)

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

    Terry King
    Department of Mathematics & Statistics
    Northwest Missouri State University
    Maryville, MO 64468-6001
    (660) 562-1805
    Fax: (660) 562-1188

    Tom Moore
    Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
    Grinnell College
    Grinnell, IA 50112
    (641) 269-4206
    Fax: (641) 269-4985

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    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 8, Number 2 (Summer 2002)

    Hard Copy
    All members of the Section on Statistical Education are automatically sent a hard copy of this newsletter. Other ASA members can receive a hard copy by joining the Section on Statistical Education the next time they renew their ASA membership (Dues are only $5.00). Non-members of ASA may receive a hard copy by sending $8.00 along with Name, Complete Mailing Address (if within the U.S.A. please include your 9-digit zip code), Telephone, Fax and email address to:
    Marie Argana
    American Statistical Association
    732 North Washington Street
    Alexandria VA 22314-1943.

    If you wish to receive the newsletter via email contact Terry King (see Editors). Please make sure to include your name and complete e-mail address in your message.

    Web Versions
    All issues of the newsletter are also available on the World Wide Web at, and can be reached through the Statistical Education Section home page as well. Two different versions are available. The first version accesses each article as a separate file. If a surfer chooses to print an article, only that one article will appear on paper. The second version is a continuous feed version. That is, if a surfer chooses to print, then the entire newsletter will appear on paper.

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    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 8, Number 2 (Summer 2002)

    Information about the following Joint Statistical Meetings may be obtained from the ASA office:
    732 North Washington Street
    Alexandria, VA 22314-1943
    Phone: (703) 684-1221
    E-mail:, or by visiting the web site at

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    Statistical Education Members Compile a Great Program

    John Holcomb
    2002 Program Chair

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 8, Number 2 (Summer 2002)

    The JSM meetings in New York City will offer at least one session sponsored by the Section on Statistical Education in every time slot. This will indeed prove to be an exciting meeting! I want to acknowledge personally session organizers Van Bowen, Joan Garfield, Robert Carver, Dex Whittinghill, Jackie Miller, Chris Franklin, Milo Schield, Sterling Hilton, William Harkness, Thomas Short, Douglas Zahn, and Michael Kahn. It is a complicated task to invite an array of speakers or panelists and their efforts are appreciated! With so many sessions, several are scheduled on Sunday afternoon and Thursday morning. Thus I encourage everyone to plan on attending the entire conference if possible.

    The excitement begins right away with an invited session on Sunday afternoon. I am very excited that Pat Hutchings from the Carnegie Academy for the Advancement of Teaching will speak along with ASA members Beth Chance, Joel Greenhouse, and discussant Thomas Short. This session will discuss the national movement where professors investigate in an organized and reflective way the learning taking place in their own classrooms. Speakers will discuss the national perspective regarding this movement as well as issues relating directly to statistics. The second invited session includes Roger Hoerl, Geoff Vining, Van Bowen, and discussant Jon Cryer speaking of the need to incorporate quality and six sigma methodologies, as well as communication skills, into college curriculums. The third invited session consists of a panel discussion with Joan Garfield, Roxy Peck, Chris Franklin, and Jackie Miller on building graduate programs in statistical education.

    Along with the invited sessions, we have ten topic contributed sessions in store for JSM 2002. I am very excited that several of these sessions have invited our colleagues in mathematics to be panelists on the discussions. The first of these sessions consists of a discussion of "Mathematics, statistics, and quantitative literacy" organized by Jackie Miller. Dex Whittinghill has organized a session on "The role of undergraduate mathematics for statistics and vice versa." In addition, Chris Franklin organized the session, "The CBMS mathematics education of teachers report and preparing K-12 teachers to deliver statistical content." Of interest to high school AP teachers and teachers of introductory statistics will be the session "Experiences in Advanced Placement statistics" organized by Thomas Short.

    Continuing in the teaching theme, we have an unusual session organized by Douglas Zahn, "Opening the door when we are teaching: the courage to teach in public." This session will discuss the book, "The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's Life," by Palmer Parker that has swept through the education community at all levels across the country. I personally have started reading it. I think many in our membership who care about teaching will find this book of interest, and I personally have started reading it. In another session, panelists will discuss how and what to teach. This panel discussion is entitled, "Our toolbox is overflowing: toward a framework for mapping technologies and topics in introductory statistics" organized by Robert Carver.

    In regard to introductory statistics, we have two sessions on large-scale studies of innovation in such a course. Sterling Hilton has organized a session entitled, "Results from a clinical trial: evaluating the effect of multimedia presentations on student learning and attitudes." In a similar vein, William Harkness organized the session, "The Penn State model for the intro stat course: a description and an assessment." One session concerns the need to use real data effectively. Michael Kahn has organized a session entitled, "Exemplary data sets and case studies for teaching" to address this need. Looking at the ways in which statistics is used is a theme for Milo Schield's session, "Statistical Literacy: Innovation, Outreach, and Application."

    These topic contributed sessions form the backbone of the meeting and organizing them takes a great deal of effort. If you attend and enjoy any of those sessions, be sure to express your appreciation to the organizer during the meeting!

    The meeting will also host four regular contributed sessions. These sessions look to be outstanding. One session entitled "Applications and consulting for student learning" will focus on teaching various statistical concepts using data arising from medical or biological examples. In the same session, a presentation will examine collaboration in other disciplines including having students work as consultants. Lastly, a presentation looks at computer adaptive testing. A second session entitled, "Innovation and evaluation in business and social science statistics education" will have presentations ranging from concrete examples to discussions of more conceptual ideas such as teaching communication skills. In addition, issues relating to the mathematical preparation of the students will be discussed. The third session, "Technology, assessment, impact, and chapter engagement," looks at assessment with and without technological tools. Other issues include grading issues and computerized tutoring, student retention, and a history of a chapter's engagement with government and educational bodies in its geographic area. The fourth regular contributed session, "Teaching teachers, majors, and beyond," focuses on issues often arising in upper level statistics/probability courses. Topics include innovation for probability mass functions, regression, experimental design, and Markov chains -- the last of which includes an application to ultimate Frisbee.

    In addition, there are ten sessions organized by other sections that are co-sponsored by the Section on Statistical Education. To view all the session titles and times sponsored by the section, go to and scroll down to the query box for "Search by Sponsor" and select Section on Statistical Education. Also, André Lubecke has organized a great batch of roundtable luncheons that it is not too late to register for. As in the past with presentations sponsored by the Section on Statistical Education, choosing sessions will be difficult!

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    Statistics Education Research Journal

    Brian Phillips
    Swinburne University of Technology

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 8, Number 2 (Summer 2002)

    The International Association for Statistical Education (IASE) is pleased to announce that the first issue of its new electronic journal, the Statistics Education Research Journal, will be published in May 2002. This journal, SERJ, replaces the Statistics Education Research Newsletter that began in 2000 under the editorship of Carmen Batanero, and is a natural development of that newsletter, which will no longer be published. Material that formerly appeared in the Newsletter will in the future be incorporated into the Journal.

    Initially SERJ will be published twice a year. Carmen Batanero (E-mail: and Flavia Jolliffe (E-mail: are the founding editors. The other members of the editorial board are M Gabriella Ottaviani, Chris Reading, and Chris Wild. Sadly, John Truran, who had agreed to be on the editorial board and contributed a great deal to the early discussion about changing the Newsletter into a Journal, died in December 2001. Carol Blumberg currently has the role of coordinating IASE publications and has also been involved in the development of SERJ.

    The journal's aims include the encouragement of research activity in statistics education, the advancement of knowledge about students' attitudes, conceptions, and difficulties as regards stochastic knowledge, and the improvement of the teaching of statistics at all educational levels. The intended readership includes those engaged in statistical education research or in any aspect of statistical education, that is, both researchers and teachers. The first issue includes contributions on experiences in the training of researchers in statistics education, a bibliography on variation, tributes to John Truran, and information about past and forthcoming conferences.

    The editorial board encourages the submission of papers and research reports, theoretical or methodological analyses, literature surveys, thematic bibliographies, and summaries of research papers and dissertations of relevance to the journal's aims. Papers giving details of ongoing studies or consisting of reflective thoughts may be submitted, provided that the theoretical framework and, in the case of studies, some preliminary results, are included. Contributions in English are preferred, but contributions in French and Spanish are also acceptable. All the papers will be refereed. Further information and guidelines for authors will be available on the journal web page, which is currently under development. The web address will be announced widely at the earliest opportunity.

    It is hoped that SERJ will have the full support of all those concerned with statistical education. It provides a long-needed outlet for statistics education research and is intended to supplement rather than compete with the Journal of Statistics Education and Teaching Statistics.

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    MARMAP System Partnership

    G. P. Patil
    The Pennsylvania State University

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 8, Number 2 (Summer 2002)

    A primary purpose of MARMAP System Partnership is to develop sound methodology and appropriate software for the quantitative analysis and interpretation of multi-categorical maps and cellular surfaces (inferential geospatial informatics) involving landscape pattern analysis, multiscale landcover landuse change detection, accuracy assessment, critical area detection and delineation, disease mapping and geographic surveillance, prioritization and ranking without having to integrate multiple indicators, and a few more. The following websites give recent publications together with some relevant exciting events.

    Please do not hesitate to let me know if you need additional information and/or if you have any comments and suggestions on this timely initiative. Please feel free also to share this material with your potentially interested friends and colleagues.

    1. MARMAP and MARMAP Prospectus 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. Website:

    2. Multiscale Advanced Raster Map Analysis System: Definition, Design, and Development. Invited Paper for Joint Statistical Meetings (New York City), Portuguese Statistical Congress, International Environmetrics Society, Brazilian Ecological Congress, and Italian Ecological Society. Website:

    3. Project MARMAP System Partnership Collaboration with EPA STAR Grant Atlantic Slope Consortium for Development, Testing, and Application of Ecological and Socioeconomic Indicators for Integrated Assessment of Atlantic Slope in the mid-Atlantic states. Website:

    4. Project MARMAP System Partnership Collaboration with UNEP Division of Early Warning and Assessment on Human Environment Index based on Countrywide Land, Air, and Water Indicators. Website:

    5. Project MARMAP Show and Tell Seminar series: EPA ORD NCEA, EPA ORD NERL, EPA OEI, NASA HQ, NASA GSFC, NCHS, NYSDEH; UMD, GWU, UCB, MSU, UM, SUNY SPH. Website (Powerpoint Presentations):

    6. Ecosystem Health and Its Measurement at Landscape Scale: Towards the Next Generation of Quantitative Assessments. Invited Paper for Ecosystem Health, International Society for Ecosystem Health. Website:

    7. Multiscale Advanced Raster Map Analysis System for Measurement of Ecosystem Health at Landscape Scale: A Novel Synergistic Consortium Initiative. Invited Paper for Managing for Healthy Ecosystems, International Society for Ecosystem Health. Website:

    8. Washington DC Conference on Linkages Between Biodiversity, Ecosystem Health, and Human Health, June 6-11, 2002. A Special Session on Ecosystem Health and Its Measurement at Landscape Scale. June 10, 10:00AM - 12:00 Noon. Website:

    9. Joint Statistical Meetings on Statistics in Era of Technological Change, August 11-15, 2002, New York City. A Special Session on Multiscale Advanced Raster Map Analysis System for Digital Government in the 21st Century. August 13, 2:00 PM - 3:45 PM. Website:

    10. Short Course and Research Workshop on Multiscale Advanced Raster Map Analysis System for the Map of Italian Nature, University of Parma, Parma, Italy, June 21-22, 2002. Website:

    G. P. Patil, Distinguished Professor of Mathematical Statistics, Department of Statistics, The Pennsylvania State University, (814) 865-9442, Email:

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    Roundtables 2002: Eat, Drink, and Be Informed

    André Michelle Lubecke

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 8, Number 2 (Summer 2002)

    Those of you who read my article in the March issue of Amstat News know how excited I am about the Roundtable Luncheon topics being offered in New York City. NOW is the time to register for them! I am expecting a number of them to sell out since there are only ten seats at a table and your discussion leader will occupy one of them. Although tickets for luncheons can be bought on site, they cannot be bought after 2pm of the day before the luncheon. If you wait until you get to NYC, it may be too late!

    Also, there is something a little different this year about the Roundtable Luncheons for our Section: they do not all occur on the same day! I am hoping this will give those of you who do not stay for the entire meeting an opportunity to attend a luncheon. You'll need to check out the registration web site for more details, but here's a run-down on the leaders and their topics. I've included the registration codes for your convenience.

    MON M20 Marjorie E. Bond Getting Students to Read Their Text
      M18 Herbert A. David The History of Statistics in the Classroom
      M21 Christopher J. Lacke Teaching Sampling Distributions in Introductory Undergraduate Statistics: How Can We Get the Point Across?
      M19 Jackie Miller and Kim Robinson A Discussion About Qualitative Research: Where Does Qualitative Research Fit in Our Quantitative World?
    TUES T13 Joan Garfield Helping Students Recognize and Understand the Big Ideas in Statistics
      T16 Robin H. Lock Web Portals for Organizing Online Course Materials and Communications
      T15 Deborah Nolan Creating a Good Case Study
      T14 Dex Whittinghill Which Text do I Use for Statistics II?
    WED W11 Brad Hartlaub Creating and Sustaining an Undergraduate Statistics Minor or Concentration
      W12 Joan Weinstein Community-based Research Projects

    If you attend a luncheon on Tuesday or Wednesday, look for me. I'll be the one flitting from table to table thanking the leaders for their contribution to this year's meetings. Unfortunately, I will be in a 2003 Program Committee meeting during the Monday luncheons.

    And speaking of 2003, NOW is the time to start thinking about next year's JSM in San Francisco. YOU could be a luncheon leader then! OR you could suggest an interesting topic and/or leader to next year's luncheon organizer. Also, while you are attending JSM this year (or wishing you were there), jot down ideas for good follow-up sessions. Encourage good speakers/chairs/organizers to organize a session for JSM 2003 and seriously consider doing so yourself around a topic of particular interest to you. Use the NYC meetings to scout out potential speakers, panelists, and/or discussants.

    I am counting on you to help me build an excellent program for San Francisco. Feel free to look for me in NYC and chat about possibilities. I will be at the opening reception, at many of the Stat Ed sessions, at the luncheons on Tuesday and Wednesday, and, I can ALWAYS be found at the dance, preferably ON the dance floor.

    See you in New York City!

    André Michelle Lubecke, 2003 Program Chair

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    Statistical Reasoning, Thinking and Literacy

    William T. Mickelson
    University of Nebraska, Lincoln

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 8, Number 2 (Summer 2002)

    The third in a series of International Research Forums on Statistical Reasoning, Thinking and Literacy (SRTL-3) is to be held in the United States of America in July 2003 at The University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 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. Having emerged from the two previous forums, the topic and focus of SRTL-3 will be Reasoning about Variability. The Forum is co-chaired by Dani Ben-Zvi (University of Haifa, Israel) and Joan Garfield (University of Minnesota, USA), co-organized by William Mickelson (University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA) and Chris Reading (University of New England, Australia), and planned by a prestigious international advisory committee.

    This gathering is sponsored by the International Association for Statistical Education (IASE), the American Statistical Association (ASA) Section on Statistical Education, and the Teachers College Institute and Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA.

    Based on the SRTL tradition, we plan to keep the number of participants small to facilitate a working research forum. There are two possible roles for participants in this Forum. The first is to present current research on reasoning about variability, while the second is to discuss and react to research presentations. Participants will be strongly encouraged to use videotape and written transcripts of students in classroom and interview settings to provide illustrations of what the researchers are learning about how students reason about variability. As with the previous SRTL Research Forums, we encourage the participation of young promising scholars. One outcome of the Forum will be the publication of a proceedings book summarizing the work presented, discussions conducted, and issues emerging from this gathering.

    The SRTL-3 Research Forum organizers invite anyone interested in participating in this forum to contact them as soon as possible. For more information, visit the SRTL-3 website at, or contact: William T. (Bill) Mickelson, Ph.D., Dept. of Educational Psychology, 31 Teachers College Hall, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68588-0345; (402) 472-1196; Fax (402) 472-8317; E-mail:

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