Teaching Statistics A Bag of Tricks

ISBN-10: 0198572247
ISBN-13: 9780198572244
Edition: 2002
List price: $71.00 Buy it from $44.14 Rent it from $22.57
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Description: Students in the sciences, economics, psychology, social sciences, and medicine take introductory statistics. Statistics is increasingly offered at the high school level as well. However, statistics can be notoriously difficult to teach as it is seen  More...

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Book details

List price: $71.00
Copyright year: 2002
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/3/2002
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 320
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.254
Language: English

Students in the sciences, economics, psychology, social sciences, and medicine take introductory statistics. Statistics is increasingly offered at the high school level as well. However, statistics can be notoriously difficult to teach as it is seen by many students as difficult and boring, if not irrelevant to their subject of choice. To help dispel these misconceptions, Gelman and Nolan have put together this fascinating and thought-provoking book. Based on years of teachingexperience the book provides a wealth of demonstrations, examples and projects that involve active student participation.Part I of the book presents a large selection of activities for introductory statistics courses and combines chapters such as, 'First week of class', with exercises to break the ice and get students talking; then 'Descriptive statistics' , collecting and displaying data; then follows the traditional topics - linear regression, data collection, probability and inference. Part II gives tips on what does and what doesn't work in class: how to set up effective demonstrations and examples, how toencourage students to participate in class and work effectively in group projects. A sample course plan is provided. Part III presents material for more advanced courses on topics such as decision theory, Bayesian statistics and sampling.

Introduction
The challenge of teaching introductory statistics
Fitting demonstrations, examples, and projects into a course
What makes a good example?
Why is statistics important?
The best of the best
Our motivation for writing this book
Introductory Probability and Statistics
First week of class
Guessing ages
Where are the cancers?
Estimating a big number
What's in the news?
Collecting data from students
Descriptive statistics
Displaying graphs on the blackboard
Time series
World record times for the mile run
Numerical variables, distributions, and histograms
Categorical and continuous variables
Handedness
Soft drink consumption
Numerical summaries
Average soft drink consumption
The average student
Data in more than one dimension
Guessing exam scores
Who opposed the Vietnam War?
The normal distribution in one and two dimensions
Heights of men and women
Heights of conscripts
Scores on two exams
Linear transformations and linear combinations
College admissions
Social and economic indexes
Age adjustment
Logarithmic transformations
Simple examples: amoebas, squares, and cubes
Log-linear transformation: world population
Log-log transformation: metabolic rates
Linear regression and correlation
Fitting linear regressions
Simple examples of least squares
Tall people have higher incomes
Logarithm of world population
Correlation
Correlations of body measurements
Correlation and causation in observational data
Regression to the mean p45
Mini-quizzes
Exam scores, heights, and the general principle
Data collection
Sample surveys
Sampling from the telephone book
First digits and Benford's law
Wacky surveys
An election exit poll
Simple examples of bias
How large is your family?
Class projects in survey sampling
The steps of the project
Topics for student surveys
Experiments
An experiment that looks like a survey
Randomizing the order of exam questions
Taste tests
Observational studies
The Surgeon General's report on smoking
Large population studies
Coaching for the SAT
Statistical literacy and the news media
Introduction
Assignment based on instructional packets
Assignment where students find their own articles
Guidelines for finding and evaluating sources
Discussion and student reactions
Examples of course packets
A controlled experiment: IV fluids for trauma victims
A sample survey: 1 in 4 youths abused, survey finds
An observational study: Monster in the crib
A model-based analysis: Illegal aliens put uneven load
Probability
Constructing probability examples
Random numbers via dice or handouts
Random digits via dice
Random digits via handouts
Normal distribution
Poisson distribution
Probabilities of compound events
Babies
Real vs. fake coin flips
Lotteries
Probability modeling
Lengths of baseball World Series
Voting and coalitions
Space shuttle failure and other rare events
Conditional probability
What's the color on the other side of the card?
Lie detectors and false positives
You can load a die but you can't bias a coin flip
Demonstration using plastic checkers and wooden dice
Sporting events and quantitative literacy
Physical explanation
Statistical inference
Weighing a "random" sample
From probability to inference: distributions of totals and averages
Where are the missing girls?
Real-time gambler's ruin
Confidence intervals: examples
Biases in age guessing
Comparing two groups
Land or water?
Poll differentials: a discrete distribution
Golf: can you putt like the pros?
Confidence intervals: theory
Coverage of confidence intervals
Noncoverage of confidence intervals
Hypothesis testing: z, t, and x[superscript 2] tests
Hypothesis tests from examples of confidence intervals
Binomial model: sampling from the phone book
Hypergeometric model: taste testing
Benford's law of first digits
Length of baseball World Series
Simple examples of applied inference
How good is your memory?
How common is your name?
Advanced concepts of inference
Shooting baskets and statistical power
Do-it-yourself data dredging
Praying for your health
Multiple regression and nonlinear models
Regression of income on height and sex
Inference for regression coefficients
Multiple regression
Regression with interactions
Transformations
Exam scores
Studying the fairness of random exams
Measuring the reliability of exam questions
A nonlinear model for golf putting
Looking at data
Constructing a probability model
Checking the fit of the model to the data
Pythagoras goes linear
Lying with statistics
Examples of misleading presentations of numbers
Fabricated or meaningless numbers
Misinformation
Ignoring the baseline
Arbitrary comparisons or data dredging
Misleading comparisons
Selection bias
Distinguishing from other sorts of bias
Some examples presented as puzzles
Avoiding over-skepticism
Reviewing the semester's material
Classroom discussion
Assignments: find the lie or create the lie
1 in 2 marriages end in divorce?
Ethics and statistics
Cutting corners in a medical study
Searching for statistical significance
Controversies about randomized experiments
How important is blindness?
Use of information in statistical inferences
Putting It All Together
How to do it
Getting started
Multitasking
Advance planning
Fitting an activity to your class
Common mistakes
In-class activities
Setting up effective demonstrations
Promoting discussion
Getting to know the students
Fostering group work
Using exams to teach statistical concepts
Projects
Monitoring progress
Organizing independent projects
Topics for projects
Statistical design and analysis
Resources
What's in a spaghetti box? Cooking up activities from scratch
Books
Periodicals
Web sites
People
Structuring an introductory statistics course
Before the semester begins
Finding time for student activities in class
A detailed schedule for a semester-long course
Outline for an alternative schedule of activities
More Advanced Courses
Decision theory and Bayesian statistics
Decision analysis
How many quarters are in the jar?
Utility of money
Risk aversion
What is the value of a life?
Probabilistic answers to true-false questions
Homework project: evaluating real-life forecasts
Real decision problems
Bayesian statistics
Where are the cancers?
Subjective probability intervals and calibration
Drawing parameters out of a hat
Where are the cancers? A simulation
Hierarchical modeling and shrinkage
Student activities in survey sampling
First week of class
News clippings
Class survey
Random number generation
What do random numbers look like?
Random numbers from coin flips
Estimation and confidence intervals
A visit to Clusterville
Statistical literacy and discussion topics
Projects
Research papers on complex surveys
Sampling and inference in StatCity
A special topic in sampling
Problems and projects in probability
Setting up a probability course as a seminar
Introductory problems
Probabilities of compound events
Introducing the concept of expectation
Challenging problems
Does the Poisson distribution fit real data?
Organizing student projects
Examples of structured projects
Fluctuations in coin tossing--arcsine laws
Recurrence and transience in Markov chains
Examples of unstructured projects
Martingales
Generating functions and branching processes
Limit distributions of Markov chains
Permutations
Research papers as projects
Directed projects in a mathematical statistics course
Organization of a case study
Fitting the cases into a course
Covering the cases in lectures
Group work in class
Cases as reports
Independent projects in a seminar course
A case study: quality control
A directed project: helicopter design
General instructions
Designing the study and fitting a response surface
Notes
References
Author Index
Subject Index

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