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Volume 15 (2007)

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An International Journal on the Teaching and Learning of Statistics

JSE Volume 15, Number 1 Abstracts

Lawrence M. Lesser
Critical Values and Transforming Data: Teaching Statistics with Social Justice

Despite the dearth of literature specifically on teaching statistics using social justice, there is precedent in the more general realm of teaching using social justice, or even in teaching mathematics using social justice. This article offers an overview of content examples, resources, and references that can be used in the specific area of statistics education. Philosophical and pedagogical references are given, definitional issues are discussed, potential implementation challenges are addressed, and a substantial bibliography of print and electronic resources is provided.

Key Words: Critical Thinking; Ethics; Service Learning; Statistical Literacy; Statistical Thinking.

Christopher H. Morrell and Richard E. Auer
Trashball: A Logistic Regression Classroom Activity

In the early 1990's, the National Science Foundation funded many research projects for improving statistical education. Many of these stressed the need for classroom activities that illustrate important issues of designing experiments, generating quality data, fitting models, and performing statistical tests. Our paper describes such an activity on logistic regression that is useful in second applied statistics courses. The activity involves students attempting to toss a ball into a trash can from various distances. The outcome is whether or not students are successful in tossing the ball into the trash can. This activity and the adjoining homework assignments illustrate the binary nature of a response variable, fitting and interpreting simple and multiple logistic regression models, and the use of odds and odds ratio

Key Words: Odds, Odds ratio; Problem solving.

Alice Richardson
An Active Tutorial on Distance Sampling

The technique of distance sampling is widely used to monitor biological populations. This paper documents an in-class activity to introduce students to the concepts and the mechanics of distance sampling in a simple situation that is relevant to their own experiences. Preparation details are described. Variations and extensions to the activity are also suggested..

Key Words: Estimation; Proportions; Sampling distribution; Statistical education.

John A. Shanks
Probability in Action: the Red Traffic Light

Emphasis on problem solving in mathematics has gained considerable attention in recent years. While statistics teaching has always been problem driven, the same cannot be said for the teaching of probability where discrete examples involving coins and playing cards are often the norm. This article describes an application of simple probability distributions to a practical problem involving a carÕs approach to a red traffic light, and draws on the ideas of density functions, expected value and conditional distributions. It provides a valuable exercise in applying theory in a practical context.

Key Words: Distributions; Modelling; Optimization; Problem solving.

Stefan H. Steiner, Michael Hamada, Bethany J. Giddings White, Vadim Kutsyy, Sofia Mosesova, and Geoffrey Salloum
A Bubble Mixture Experiment Project for Use in an Advanced Design of Experiments Class

This article gives an example of how student-conducted experiments can enhance a course in the design of experiments. We focus on a project whose aim is to find a good mixture of water, soap and glycerin for making soap bubbles. This project is relatively straightforward to implement and understand. At its most basic level the project introduces students to mixture experiments and general issues in experimental design such as choosing and measuring an appropriate response, selecting a design, the effect of using repeats versus replicates, model building, making predictions, etc. To accommodate more advanced students, the project can be easily enhanced to draw on various areas of statistics, such as generalized linear models, robust design, and optimal design. Therefore it is ideal for a graduate level course as it encourages students to look beyond the basics presented in class.

Key Words: Constrained experimental region; Generalized linear model; Optimal design; Poisson regression; Robust parameter design.

Announcing a New Department

Jackie Miller
From Research to Practice

A new section for the Journal of Statistics Education is introduced and a call for papers is made.

Key Words: Statistics Education Research.

Datasets and Stories

Michael Huber and Andrew Glen
Modeling Rare Baseball Events - Are They Memoryless?

Three sets of rare baseball events Š pitching a no-hit game, hitting for the cycle, and turning a triple play Š offer excellent examples of events whose occurrence may be modeled as Poisson processes. That is, the time of occurrence of one of these events doesnÕt affect when we see the next occurrence of such. We modeled occurrences of these three events in Major League Baseball for data from 1901 through 2004 including a refinement for six commonly accepted baseball eras within this time period. Model assessment was primarily done using goodness of fit analyses on inter-arrival data.

Key Words: Anderson-Darling Goodness-of-Fit Test; Exponential Distribution; Hitting for the Cycle; Memoryless Property; No-Hit Games; Poisson Process; Triple Plays.

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