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

Higher Education in Minnesota

I was recently perusing a book from 1960, Minnesota Heritage: A Panoramic Narrative of the Historical Development of the North Star State and came across the following map showing the locations of the colleges and universities in the state at the time. Figure 1: Minnesota Colleges and Universities in 1960 The text referring to the map made an inference about the accessibility to higher education, At a glance the map shows, these facilities for higher education are quite uneveny distributed.

Richard Hamming on the Teaching of Mathematics

The way mathematics is currently taught it is exceedingly dull. In the calculus book we are currently using on my campus, I found no single problem whose answer I felt the student would care about! The problems in the text have the dignity of solving a crossword puzzle — hard to be sure, but the result is of no significance in life. Richard Hamming, Calculus and Discrete Mathematics

Change: Time and Effort

In the fall of 2008 (maybe 2007; my memory is fleeting) our department moved from Burton Hall to the, at the time, newly renovated Education Sciences Building. This building is beautiful from the outside; brick, overlooking the Mississippi River. The building was designed in such a way that (at least on my floor) there are two long parallel hallways with the faculty offices on the outside of these hallways (running the exterior wall of the building) and the interior filled with lab space (small offices) for research grants.


Last week I attended the United States Conference on Teaching Statistics. The biennial conference, which took place at Penn State, attracts statistics educators and statistics education researchers from across the world. It was a fantastic conference with keynotes from Jane Watson, Allen Schirm and Ron Wasserstein, John Kruschke, and Kari Lock Morgan. I cajoled four of my graduate students (Jonathan Brown, Mike Huberty, Chelsey Legacy, and Vimal Rao) to tag along, and it was fun to see them interacting with the people and ideas presented.

Congratulations Ethan!

Ethan Brown, one of our Statistics Education students successfully defended his dissertation today! His dissertation research looked at how a sequence of structured activities impact students’ understanding about the Empirical Law of Large Numbers and sampling uncertainty. Ethan presented some of his preliminary analyses of this work at ICOTS 10 in Kyoto, Japan last year and received a commendation for that work [read his paper here. Ethan at the public part of his Final Oral Examination.