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CAUSE to Host Pre-JMM Workshops

1 October 2009 877 views No Comment
Participants take part in the “Become a Catalyst for Change in Statistics Education” workshop, held before USCOTS in June of 2009. This workshop will be offered again before the 2010 Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Francisco, California.

Participants take part in the “Become a Catalyst for Change in Statistics Education” workshop, held before USCOTS in June of 2009. This workshop will be offered again before the 2010 Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Francisco, California.

The Consortium for the Advancement of Undergraduate Statistics Education (CAUSE) will host two pre-conference workshops on January 12, the day before the opening of the MAA-AMS Joint Mathematics Meetings 2010 in San Francisco. There is no registration fee to attend the workshops, but advance registration is required.

Geared specifically toward instructors new to teaching introductory statistics courses, Carolyn Cuff of Westminster College and Michael Posner of Villanova University will present “Teaching Introductory Statistics.” This workshop will consider the implementation of the ASA-endorsed Guidelines for Assessment and Instruction in Statistics Education (GAISE) Report: A Pre-K–12 Curriculum Framework, focusing on three questions: What are the big ideas of statistics? How can those big ideas be communicated to students? What are effective evaluation and assessment tools?

“Teaching Introductory Statistics” will begin to answer those questions by considering ways to engage students in statistical literacy and thinking, and the contrast between conceptual and procedural understanding will be explained using examples. For most of the workshop, participants will engage in many of the classic activities all statistics instructors should know. Different types of available technology and choices of texts will be explored and Internet sources of real data, activities, and best practices will be examined. Participants will find out how they can continue to answer the three questions by becoming involved in statistics education–related conferences, newsletters, and groups.


JMM Mini Course
CAUSE activists Danny Kaplan and Victor Addona of Macalester College were recently selected by the Mathematical Association of America to present “Remodeling Data Analysis” during the Joint Mathematics Meetings. This hands-on mini-course will complement and build on math majors’ aptitudes, reinforcing an understanding of linear algebra while providing advanced applied statistical skills. In the course, statistical methodology will be built from first principles, without requiring previous course work in statistics. Modeling, computation (using R), and simulation will be used extensively. Click here to register.

Another workshop, “Become a Catalyst for Change in Statistics Education,” will be presented by Joan Garfield, Bob delMas, and Andy Zieffler of the University of Minnesota with Allan Rossman and Beth Chance of Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo. This workshop will feature materials developed by the National Science Foundation–funded CATALST project. Working toward change in both content and pedagogy of the introductory, noncalculus-based statistics course, the materials to be shared were designed to help students achieve the learning goals listed in the GAISE report.

The presenters have developed sets of hands-on activities that form units based on a particular real-world problem (e.g., how to develop a SPAM filter for email) and the related statistical ideas that emerge from this type of problem. The problems, called “model-eliciting activities,” are complex, open-ended problems that stimulate statistical thinking; engage students in creating, developing, and testing unique models; and prepare students to learn the statistical content that follows. The CATALST materials focus on important ideas of statistical inference and the use of simulation.

If you are attending the Joint Mathematics Meetings, consider arriving a day early and taking advantage of these registration-free professional development opportunities. Click here for additional information and to register for these workshops.

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