Blog Archives

A helpful structure for analysing graphs

April 22, 2014
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A helpful structure for analysing graphs

Mathematicians teaching English “I became a maths teacher so I wouldn’t have to mark essays” “I’m having trouble getting the students to write down their own ideas” “When I give them templates I feel as if it’s spoon-feeding them” These … Continue reading →

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Teaching Confidence Intervals

March 31, 2014
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Teaching Confidence Intervals

If you want your students to understand just two things about confidence intervals, what would they be? What and what order When making up a teaching plan for anything it is important to think about whom you are teaching, what … Continue reading →

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The silent dog – null results matter too!

March 16, 2014
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The silent dog – null results matter too!

Recently I was discussing the process we use in a statistical enquiry. The ideal is that we start with a problem and follow the statistical enquiry cycle through the steps Problem, Plan, Data collection, Analysis and Conclusion, which then may … Continue reading →

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Teach students to learn to fish

February 23, 2014
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Teach students to learn to fish

There is a common saying that goes roughly, “Give a person a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a person to fish and you feed her for a lifetime.” Statistics education is all about teaching people to … Continue reading →

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Why I am going to ICOTS9 in Flagstaff, Arizona

February 9, 2014
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Why I am going to ICOTS9 in Flagstaff, Arizona

I was a university academic for twenty years. One of the great perks of academia is the international conference. Thanks to the tax-payers of New Zealand I have visited Vancouver, Edinburgh, Melbourne (twice), San Diego, Fort Lauderdale, Salt Lake City … Continue reading →

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The Myth of Random Sampling

January 19, 2014
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The Myth of Random Sampling

I feel a slight quiver of trepidation as I begin this post – a little like the boy who pointed out that the emperor has  no clothes. Random sampling is a myth. Practical researchers know this and deal with it. … Continue reading →

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Statistics – Singular and Plural, Lies and Truth

January 5, 2014
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Statistics – Singular and Plural, Lies and Truth

Language is an issue in teaching and learning statistics. There are many words that have meanings in statistics, different from their everyday meaning, and even with multiple meanings within the study of statistics. Examples of troublesome words are: error, correlation, … Continue reading →

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Deterministic and Probabilistic models and thinking

December 16, 2013
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Deterministic and Probabilistic models and thinking

The way we understand and make sense of variation in the world affects decisions we make. Part of understanding variation is understanding the difference between deterministic and probabilistic (stochastic) models. The NZ curriculum specifies the following learning outcome: “Selects and … Continue reading →

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Guest Post: Risk, Insurance and the Actuary

December 3, 2013
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Guest Post: Risk, Insurance and the Actuary

Risk, Insurance, and the Actuary Risk is an inherent part of our daily life. As a result, most of us, take out insurance policies as a means of protection against scenarios which, were they to occur, may cause hardship whether … Continue reading →

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Analysis of “Deal or No Deal” results

November 18, 2013
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Analysis of “Deal or No Deal” results

Deal or No Deal My son, Jonathan, loves game-shows, and his current favourite is Deal or No Deal, the Australian version. It has been airing now for over ten years, and there is at least one episode available every weeknight … Continue reading →

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