# Teaching Statistics: A Bag of Tricks

OUP Oxford, Aug 8, 2002 - Mathematics - 320 pages
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 teaching experience 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 to encourage 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.

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### Contents

 1Introduction 12 Fitting demonstrations examples and projects into a course 13 What makes a good example? 14 Why is statistics important? 15 The best of the best Part IIntroductory probability andstatistics 2First week of class 22 Where are the cancers?
 93 A nonlinear model for golf putting 94 Pythagoras goes linear 10Lying with statistics 102 Selection bias 103 Reviewing the semesters material 104 1 in 2 marriages end in divorce? 105 Ethics and statistics Part IIPutting it all together

 23 Estimating a big number 24 Whats in the news? 25 Collecting data from students 3Descriptive statistics 32 Time series 33 Numerical variables distributions and histograms 34 Numerical summaries 35 Data in more than one dimension 36 The normal distribution in one and two dimensions 37 Linear transformations and linear combinations 38 Logarithmic transformations 4Linear regression and correlation 42 Correlation 43 Regression to the mean 5Data collection 52 Class projects in survey sampling 53 Experiments 54 Observational studies 6Statistical literacy and thenews media 61 Introduction 63 Assignment where students find their own articles 64 Guidelines for finding and evaluating sources 65 Discussion and student reactions 66 Examples of course packets 7Probability 73 Probabilities of compound events 74 Probability modeling 75 Conditional probability 76 You can load a die but you cant bias a coin flip 8Statistical inference distributions of totals and averages examples theory z t and χ2 tests 86 Simple examples of applied inference 87 Advanced concepts of inference 9Multiple regression andnonlinear models 92 Exam scores
 11How to do it 112 Inclass activities 113 Using exams to teach statistical concepts 114 Projects 115 Resources 12Structuring an introductory statistics course 122 Finding time for student activities in class 123 A detailed schedule for a semesterlong course 124 Outline for an alternative schedule of activities Part IIIMore advanced courses 13Decision theory and Bayesianstatistics 131 Decision analysis 132 Bayesian statistics 14 Student activities in surveysampling 142 Random number generation 143 Estimation and confidence intervals 144 A visit to Clusterville 145 Statistical literacy and discussion topics 146 Projects 15Problems and projects inprobability 152 Introductory problems 153 Challenging problems 154 Does the Poisson distribution fit real data? 155 Organizing student projects 156 Examples of structured projects 157 Examples of unstructured projects 158 Research papers as projects 16Directed projects in amathematical statistics course 161 Organization of a case study 162 Fitting the cases into a course quality control helicopter design 1642 Designing the study and fitting a response surface Notes and further reading References Author Index Subject Index Copyright