Selected Publications


Justice, N., Zieffler, A., Huberty, M., & delMas, R. (2018). Every rose has it's thorn: Secondary teachers' reasoning about statistical models. ZDM—The International Journal on Mathematics Education, 50(7), 1253–1265. doi: 10.1007/s11858-018-0953-1

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2018). [Contributing Author]. Data science for undergraduates: Opportunities and options. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25104

Sabbag, A. G., Garfield, J., & Zieffler, A. (2018). Assessing statistical literacy and statistical reason- ing: The REALI instrument. Statistics Education Research Journal, 17(2), 141–160.


Garfield, J., Zieffler, A., & Fry, E. (2017). What is statistics education? In D. Ben-Zvi, K. Makar, & J. Garfield (Eds.), The international handbook of research in statistics education (pp. 37–70). Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

Stanhope, E., Ziegler, L., Haque, T., Le, L., Vinces, M., Davis, G. K., Zieffler, A., Brodfuehrer, P., Preest, M., Belitsky, J., Umbanhowar, Jr., C., & Overvoorde, P. J. (2017). Development of a Biological Science Quantitative Reasoning Exam (BioSQuaRE). CBE–Life Sciences Education, 16(4), ar66. doi: 10.1187/cbe.16-10-0301

Justice, N., Zieffler, A., & Garfield, J. (2017). Statistics graduate teaching assistants’ beliefs, practices, and preparation for teaching introductory statistics. Statistics Education Research Journal, 16(1), 294–319.


Sabbag, A. G., & Zieffler, A. (2015). Assessing learning outcomes: An analysis of the GOALS-2 instrument. Statistics Education Research Journal, 14(2), 93–116.

Zieffler, A., & Fry, E. (eds.) (2015). Reasoning about uncertainty: Learning and teaching informal inferential reasoning. Minneapolis, MN: Catalyst Press.

Zieffler, A., & Huberty, M. (2015). A catalyst for change in the high school math curriculum. CHANCE, 28(3), 44–49. doi: 10.1080/09332480.2015.1099365

Umbanhowar Jr., C, Belitsky, J. M., Brodfuehrer, P., Davis, G., Haque, T., Le, L., McFadden, C., Overvoorde, P., Preest, M., Stanhope, L., Vinces, M., Zieffler, A., & Ziegler, L. (2015). Understanding the quantitative and computational skills of incoming biology students.

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.