Writing about Simulations in a Theoretical Statistics Course

Presented by:

Amy Wagaman, Amherst College


The “traditional” theoretical statistics course which develops the theoretical underpinnings of the discipline (usually following a probability course) is undergoing near-continuous revision in the statistics community. In particular, recent versions of this course have incorporated more and more computation, often using the statistical program R (with appropriate interfaces). We explore the use of computer simulations in R and having students write about the simulations to enhance both their critical thinking skills and communication skills in this upper-level course. Two separate projects incorporating both simulation in R and writing were included in the course, but we focus on the first for this presentation. The relevant project was based on the historical German tank problem, and all students engaged in simulations using R and prepared a written report of their findings.


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Teaching with R