Keynote Session #2: Communication Rumination: Engaging with Sci-comm and Edutainment (Presidents Hall)

Larry Lesser (The University of Texas at El Paso)


How might our statistics teaching inform or be informed by endeavors in science communication (sci-comm) such as edutainment (a portmanteau of education and entertainment)? How might strategies (use of story, framing, leading with punchline, less jargon, etc.) used for communicating to broader audiences apply to the everyday communicating we do with our statistics teaching or statistics education research? I’ll share some thoughts informed by scholarship, my decades of adventures in statistics education outreach and educational fun and what I learned by launching the sci-comm module for an undergraduate course that debuted in 2022 for UTEP’s mathematical sciences and biological sciences departments. Your eyes won’t glaze over (even if it’s National Donut Day) because we’ll use real-world contexts (e.g., the pandemic and the lottery), have moments for quick polls and fun, and leave you with a page of practical resources and references for continued communication rumination.


Bio Sketch:

Professor Lesser (yes, that rhymes) just completed his 19th year in the Mathematical Sciences Department of The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). His teaching, outreach, and scholarship have yielded awards within and beyond statistics education, at state, regional, or national levels such as the ASA’s 2021 Waller Distinguished Teaching Career Award. His research, textbook/curriculum writing, editorial service, and grants have been informed by his decades of teaching statistics and statistics literacy classes as well as by his 3 years directing UTEP’s teaching center. His statistics education research papers in areas such as language and educational engagement have appeared in journals such as SERJ and JSE, and his newest paper is now in early view with JSDSE. For more Lesser, see the March 2020 JSE interview.