Opportunities for Golden Choices

André Michelle Lubecke
Lander University
Greenwood, SC

Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
Volume 9, Number 2 (Summer 2003)

There's good news and there's bad news. The bad news is that this is essentially the same article that can be found in an issue of the Amstat News. The good news is that if you've already read that one, you don't have to read this one, too.

Folks interested in Statistics Education have been very busy this year putting together some wonderful presentations for JSM 2003. However, there are more Stat Ed sessions than unique time slots so the program may force some very difficult decisions to be made.

Here's a quick overview of this year's offerings from the Section on Statistical Education. We have three Invited sessions: one Monday, one Tuesday, and one Thursday. There is also an Invited session on Thursday organized by the International Association for Statistics Education (IASE, http://www.cbs.nl/isi/iase.htm) which should be of interest to our members. Be prepared to stay until the last session! Do not leave early this year or you'll miss out on some of the best! Our Topics Contributed and Regular sessions run Sunday through Wednesday and our Poster session is on Wednesday. Stat Ed Roundtable luncheons are offered Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

And now, here's a quick rundown on the topics of some of these sessions:

Monday's Invited session was organized by Ginger Rowell and is a Panel discussion on "Innovative Ideas for Using Statistical Software to Teach Concepts." The panelists are Allan Rossman, Robin Lock, Deborah Nolan, and Beth Chance. Surely you don't want to miss this one. Tuesday's Invited session was organized by Beth Chance. The topic is "Rethinking Assessment in Statistics Education"; Ruth Hubbard, Robert delMas, and Candace Schau will be presenting papers. This looks like another winner to me. Thursday's 8:30 am session is a panel discussion organized by Thomas L. Moore and hosted by David S. Moore. The panelists Brad Efron, Carl Morris, and Nancy Reid will be discussing "Is the Math Stat Course Obsolete?" Even non-morning people should be willing to wake up for this one. At 10:30 am on Thursday, the IASE is offering "Using the History of Statistics to Improve the Teaching of Statistics." This was organized by Carol Blumberg, one of our section members, and should give us all something new to take back to the classroom.

We have seven Topic Contributed sessions this year. Five of them are panel discussions. The topics for the panelists are: "Using Resampling to Teach Statistics" (on Sunday); one school's experiences with "Redesigning Beginning Statistics Courses" (Monday morning); "Improving Statistical Understanding: Using Writing in the Statistics Classroom" (Monday afternoon); "Reflections of AP Statistics Teachers" (Tuesday morning); and "Statistics Education for Biology Undergraduates" (Wednesday morning). The two Topics Contributed paper sessions are "Statistical Literacy 2003" (Monday morning) and "Statistical Education in the 21st Century: the Role of Technology and the Importance of Teacher Training" (Wednesday afternoon).

Our seven Regular Contributed sessions fall into a few broad groupings. One can always count on colleagues to have suggestions for activities, projects, or examples to use in the classroom, and a number of these will be shared in different sessions on almost every day of the conference. A few other sessions suggest ideas for topics around which to design a course, or they offer suggestions concerning either a course or a program curriculum.

A session on Monday morning includes a few talks about on-line courses and on-line testing and also has papers on different aspects of student learning and tools to assist their learning. That afternoon, you can find a session where regression is the theme. There were also a number of abstracts from folks who have been involved in projects studying students or institutions of higher education. The results of these studies will be presented in a session Tuesday afternoon.

If a topic in a session caught your attention, check and see if there's a companion roundtable luncheon.

Whatever you are looking for, chances are it can be found somewhere in one of the seventeen sessions and ten roundtable luncheons our section is sponsoring. The on-line program ( http://www.amstat.org/meetings/jsm/2003/onlineprogram/index.cfm) will allow you to see the details of each of our sessions. If you search by sponsor, you'll see not only the sessions partially described here but also the additional sessions Stat Ed is co-sponsoring. (If Stat Ed does not appear first in the list of sponsors, we are a co-sponsor.)

I hope that I have whetted your appetite and raised your interest level in this year's JSM. Take advantage of as many of these wonderful sessions as you can, but remember, you will not be able to attend all of them. Plan ahead to maximize your benefits and minimize your frustration over having to choose between overlapping sessions. And don't forget, while traveling home from San Francisco, start thinking about wonderful follow-up talks or sessions for JSM 2004. Be brave, try something new. Remember all those folks with whom you shared interesting conversations and exchanged intriguing ideas and consider organizing a Topics Contributed session for Toronto. You won't make my life any easier because my job as Program Chair will be done, but Dex Whittinghill will be very grateful, and other Section members will genuinely appreciate your efforts.

See you when we gather near the Bridge (or on the dance floor)!

Return to V9 N2 Contents
Return to Newsletter Home Page