The gap between tools for learning and for doing statistics

Presented by:

Amelia McNamara, Smith College


There exists a gap between the tools used for teaching and learning statistics (e.g. Fathom, web applets) and those used for doing statistics (e.g. R, SAS). Both types of tools have advantages. The tools for learning statistics typically have a very low threshold for getting started, and are generally very visual. Tools for doing statistics are more powerful and flexible. Their respective flaws are also easy to see; learning tools can hinder creativity, and tools for doing can intimidate new users. Can we imagine tools that span the gap? In this session, I will look toward some of the current tools that are starting to emerge in this space. For example, RStudio and Shiny in R, JMP as a portal to SAS, and "bespoke" tools unassociated with larger projects. In addition, I will try to point toward other possibilities for development.



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