The Consortium for the Advancement of Undergraduate Statistics Education is happy to
announce our 65th Cartoon Caption Contest! Each month a cartoon, drawn by British
cartoonist John Landers, is posted for you and your students to suggest statistical
captions (cartoons are posted at the beginning of the month and submissions are due at the
end of the month). The caption contest is offered as a fun way to get your students
thinking independently about statistical concepts.
The next cartoon and the entry rules for the contest ending October 31 are at
The best submission will be posted on CAUSEweb and the winner(s) will receive their choice
of a coffee mug or t-shirt imprinted with the final cartoon.
September Results: The September caption contest featured a Zeus like character in the
clouds throwing lightning bolts. On the ground a woman is giving a presentation to a
small group of attentive people – though one person standing up has been hit by one of the
bolts. A line graph on the poster presented by the woman shows a pattern that looks like
a lightning bolt. The winning caption for the September contest was “A good plot brings a
jolt of understanding,” written by Claran Evans from Wake Forest University. Claran’s
caption can be used to help start a class conversation about how good visualizations are
important for understanding and communicating data analyses. An honorable mention this
month goes to Greg Baugher of Mercer University for his caption: “Zeta, little-known god
of statistics, sends his bolt to mesmerize another student with regression analysis, but
in a very non-linear way!,” that allows an instructor to discuss the problematic
attribute of a time series that looks like a lightning bolt having more than one y-value
for the same x (time). A second honorable mention goes to Jim Alloway of EMSQ Associates
for his caption: “An effective graph should not require being struck by lightning to see
interesting patterns,” for discussing how an effective graphical representation should
make interesting features jump out at the user.
Thanks to everyone who submitted a caption and congratulations to our winners!