The Consortium for the Advancement of Undergraduate Statistics Education is happy to
announce our 57th Cartoon Caption Contest – now ongoing every month for nearly four years!
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 February 28 are at
The best captions will be posted on CAUSEweb and the winner(s) will receive their choice
of a coffee mug or t-shirt imprinted with the cartoon and their caption.
December Results: There were 25 entries for the October caption contest that featured a
cartoon showing a sports stadium where the ground cover was being installed. But half of
the installation being rolled out was for a football field and the other half was for a
tennis court. The winning caption for the December contest was “split-plot designs are
important in the field,” written by Larry Lesser from The University of Texas at El Paso.
Larry’s caption can be used to discuss designs when one factor is harder to vary than
others (and the root of the term “split-plot design” in agriculture). An honorable
mention this month goes to John McSweeny, a student at Penn State University for his
caption “Well, the sample had Football and Tennis tied for most the popular sport so here
you go,” that would aid in discussing how the results of surveys are used. A second
honorable mention goes to an anonymous submitter for their caption: "Errors in
merging data can really have a negative impact on reporting the score!," which can be
used in a data science-oriented class discussing merging different data sets.
January Results: There were 32 entries for the January caption contest that featured a
cartoon showing an optometrist’s office with a patient reading an eye chart. Instead of
letters, the eye chart has numbers and statistical graphics. The winning caption for the
January contest was “Not focusing on graphical data displays is somewhat short sighted,”
written by Charlie Smith from North Carolina State University. Charlie’s caption can be
used to discuss the importance of graphical displays in drawing meaning from data. An
honorable mention this month goes to Sara Letardi from LSTAT for her caption “With your
glasses you can see the world, but with statistics you can understand it,” that would aid
in discussing how statistics provides a paradigm for understanding the world through data.
A second honorable mention goes to Rowan Collier, a student at Kenston High School for his
caption: "Understanding misleading graphs doesn’t require 20/20 vision!," which
can be used in a discussion of critiquing possible bias in graphical displays
Thanks to everyone who submitted a caption and congratulations to our winners!