CAUSE Announces Winners for Undergraduate Project Competitions
The Consortium for the Advancement of Undergraduate Statistics Education (CAUSE) is pleased to announce the winners of two recent undergraduate-level statistics project competitions. The Undergraduate Class Project Competition awarded three top prizes and four honorable mentions for submissions of class projects from introductory and intermediate applied statistics courses.
The winning project, “Which Traits Attract Women: Appearance, Intelligence, Wealth, or Strength?” was a multi-factor randomized experiment of female undergraduate students. Female students were randomly assigned to read hypothetical online dating profiles and asked to rate their level of attraction to the individual described in the profile. The project, conducted by undergraduate students Josh Nymyer, Sam Verhulst, and Bryce Schelhaas from Dordt found that women reported being more attracted to a man’s online dating profile if he suggested he was either wealthy or intelligent. Interestingly, profiles suggesting the man described was both wealthy and intelligent were less attractive to female participants (a significant statistical interaction).
Other top prizes went to students from the University of Maryland, Baltimore (second place) and Kenyon College (third place).
The Undergraduate Statistics Research Project Competition awarded two top prizes and two honorable mentions for submissions of papers based on research projects in statistics conducted by undergraduate students.
The winning project, “Making the Grade: a Cross-National Analysis of Teacher Training on Student Achievement Across 52 Nations,” was written by Natalie Bold from Seattle University. Bold’s research found that, across a sample of nearly 300,000 students, there was a practically and statistically significant, positive relationship between amount of teacher training and student performance on standardized test scores, after accounting for a variety of covariates. This suggested that increased teacher training could have substantial benefits on student learning.
The second-place research project was the result of collaborative work between students from Winona State University, Lehigh University, and Central Michigan.
CAUSE encourages all teachers of introductory statistics students and mentors of undergraduate research students to strongly encourage their students to submit their projects to future competitions.