AIMS Project

Adapting and Implementing Innovative Material in Statistics (AIMS) was an NSF-funded project from 2006–2010 that developed lesson plans and activities based on innovative materials that have been produced for introductory statistics courses (DUE-0535912). Initially written in 2005–2006, the AIMS lesson plans and student activity guides were developed to help transform an introductory statistics course into one that is aligned with the Guidelines for Assessment and Instruction in Statistics Education (GAISE) for teaching introductory statistics courses. The lessons, which build on implications from educational research, involve students in small and large group discussion, computer explorations, and hands-on activities. The lessons are described in full detail along with the research foundations for the lessons, in Garfield and Ben-Zvi’s book Developing Students’ Statistical Reasoning: Connecting Research and Teaching Practice.

BioSQuaRE Project

Biology Science Quantitative Reasoning Exam (BioSQuaRE) was a multi-institutional HHMI-funded project from 2013–2016 that developed an instrument to assess the quantitative readiness of students planning on majoring in biology or the life sciences (Grant #520076788).

Q6 group at Keck Science Center (Claremont, CA) Feb. 2016.
Front row: Marion Preest, Paul Overvoorde, Laura Ziegler, Liz Stanhope, Jason Belitsky, Tabassum Haque
Back row: Charles Umbanhowar, Peter Brodfuehrer, Greg Davis, Laura Le, Marcelo Vinces, Andrew Zieffler


Change Agents for Teaching and Learning Statistics (CATALST) was an NSF-funded project from 2008–2012 that developed materials for teaching a radically different introductory statistics course based on randomization and bootstrap methods to provide students a deep understanding of statistical inference (DUE-0814433). The materials produced from this project include a set of in-class activities and an online-book of accompanying reading material.

The different versions of Statistical Thinking: A Simulation Approach to Modeling Uncertainty

e-ATLAS Project

Evaluation and Assessment of Teaching and Learning About Statistics (e-ATLAS) was an NSF-funded project from 2011–2013 that developed high-quality instruments to help evaluate the effectiveness of past and on-going efforts to reform the teaching and learning of introductory statistics at the tertiary level (DUE-1044812 & 1043141). Two instruments developed as part of this project were the Statistics Teaching Inventory (STI) and Goals and Outcomes Associated with Learning Statistics (GOALS). An additional instrument, the Basic Literacy in Statistics (BLIS), was developed by Laura Ziegler as part of her doctoral dissertation research was also a part of the e-ATLAS project.

Recent Blog Posts


In 2017, my wife and I were fed up with the cost of cable television and were considering “cutting the cord”. In addition to cable, we also had Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime, so our hypothesis was that we probably didn’t need cable. Before making the decision to cut cable, I wanted some data to help ensure that I would not be eliminating many of the TV shows that I watched.

Illustrating the Gender Gap in Fiction

Loganberry Books, an independent bookstore in Cleveland, intitiated a social experiment for in March 2019 called Illustrating the Gender Gap in Fiction. This experiment, in honor of Women’s History Month, was decribed as, “a live performance art project where we will shelve the works by men in our LitArts room backwards”. What a cool idea, and very eye-opening. Shelves of backward books emphasize the gender imbalance in literature. This would likely be worse if the experiment was carried out with mathematics, statistics, and computer science books.

Dissertation Writing

Many times I see students get paralyzed by the idea of writing dissertation (or paper). Anne Lamott gives this advice to struggling writers: Thirty years ago, my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had three months to write. [It] was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead.

What to do about p-values?

In March, the ASA published a special issue of The American Statistician (TAS) related to statistical inference in the 21st century. In the initial article, Moving to a World Beyond “p < 0.05”, Wassersein, Schirm, and Lazar (2019) write for the ASA saying, “The ASA Statement on P-Values and Statistical Significance stopped just short of recommending that declarations of “statistical significance” be abandoned. We take that step here. We conclude, based on our review of the articles in this special issue and the broader literature, that it is time to stop using the term “statistically significant” entirely.

2019 StatPREP Workshops

I just finished helping out with two StatPREP workshops in Columbia, Maryland and Fort Worth, Texas, respectively. StatPREP is an initiative of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), in conjunction with American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (AMATYC) and the American Statistical Association (ASA), to introduce data and computing into introductory statistics courses—specifically in community college classrooms. Summer 2019 StatPREP participants and workshop leaders at Howard Community College Each summer, workshops are held in four locations, and each location hosts a workshop for two consecutive years.