Andrew Zieffler

Academic. Data lover. Statistics enthusiast.


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.