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Design of Experiments

  • A cartoon that might be used in teaching about the importance of replication in experimentation. The cartoon is #58 in the "Life in Research" series at www.vadio.com. Free to use with attribution in the classroom or on course websites.
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  • April 27, 2010 Activity webinar presented by Shonda Kuiper, Grinnell College, and hosted by Leigh Slauson, Capital University. Educational games have had varied success in the past. However, what it means to incorporate games into the classroom has changed dramatically in the last 10 years. The goals of these games are to 1) foster a sense of engagement, 2) have a low threat of failure, 3) allow instructors to create simplified models of the world around us, and 4) motivate students to learn. This webinar uses the same reaction time game to demonstrate a simple 1- 2 day activity that is appropriate for introductory courses as well as an advanced project that encourages students to experience data analysis as it is actually practiced in multiple disciplines. In the introductory activity students are asked to spend 15 minutes playing an on-line game. Data collected from the game is used to demonstrate the importance of proper data collection and appropriate statistical analysis. The advanced project asks students to read primary literature, plan and carry out game based experiments, and present their results.
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  • ... one of the main functions of an analogy or model is to suggest extensions of the theory by considering extensions of the analogy, since more is known about the analogy than is known about the subject matter of the theory itself. is a quote by English science philosopher Mary B. Hesse. The quote is found in her 1952 paper "Operational Definition and Analogy in Physical Theories" "British Journal for the Philosophy of Science" (1952).
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  • Care must be taken in planning experiments so that the differences to be examined for significance should be those which furnish an answer to the question which we are asking. is a quote from British statistician William Sealy Gosset (a.k.a. Student: 1876 - 1937). The quote appears in a 1931 letter to "Biometrika" in which he was addressing some criticism of his work by Karl Pearson.
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  • ...no good statistician existed unless he, or she, had been so involved in practical experimentation that they appreciated and understood the problems of the experimenter, the process worker, the farmer and the laboratory assistant. is a quote of British applied statistician Stella V. Cunliffe (1917 - 2012). The quote comes from her Presidential address on November 12, 1975 to the Royal Statistical Society (she was the first women to hold the position). The full presentation can be found in "JRSS series A" vol 139 p. 1-19 and contains many interesting examples from her years working at Guiness Brewery and for the government at the Home Office.
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  • The true method of knowledge is experiment. This is a quote of British poet and artist William Blake (1857 - 1827). The quote is found in his 1788 book "All religions are one".
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  • This song is an ode to bad teaching in statistics written by Dennis Pearl to be sung to the tune of Roger Miller's 1965 classic country/pop tune "King of the Road." Musical accompaniment realization and vocals are by Joshua Lintz from University of Texas at El Paso.
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  • ;;; statistics is not a branch of mathematics. Indeed so; the whole of applied mathematics is merely a branch of statistics in which random error is reduced to zero. This a quote from Statistician and former associate director of the Census Bureau and ASA President Barbara Bailar (1935 - ). The quote is found in the January 1988 "College Mathematics Journal" as part of her written response to David Moore's article "Should Mathematicians Teach Statistics?."
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  • Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. is a famous quote of English historian Sir John Dalberg-Acton (1834 - 1902). Of course, Lord Acton was not referring to statistical hypothesis testing when he made the remark in an April 1887 letter to Mandell Creighton. However, the widespread knowledge of the quote by students makes it an interesting way to cover the idea that statistical significance is not the same as practical significance.
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  • This four slide animation deals with the difficulty of drawing random samples. The cartoon animation was drawn by John Landers (www.landers.co.uk) based on an idea from Dennis Pearl (The Ohio State University). Free to use in the classroom and on course web sites.
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