Integrating Computing into the Statistics Curricula

Presented by

Mark Hansen, UCLA; Deborah Nolan, UC Berkeley; Duncan Temple Lang, UC Davis

Monday, July 14th - Thursday, July 17th, 2008


Computing is an increasingly important element of statistical research and practice. It is an essential tool in our daily work, it shapes the way we think about statistics, and broadens our concept of statistical science. Although many agree that there should be more computing in the statistics curriculum and that statistics students need to be more computationally capable and literate, it can be difficult to determine how the curriculum should change because computing has many dimensions.

The aim of the workshop is to bring together faculty for a hands-on program where we cover material and work on actual labs/projects/exercises that would make up courses in modern statistical computing and data technologies. The goal is to assist faculty in changing their statistics programs in innovative ways to incorporate more computing in existing courses and to add new courses to the curriculum.

Workshop Logistics

Location: The workshop will be held on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley.

Workshop session times: The workshop will begin with dinner and overview of the project on Sunday evening July 13 at 5:30 pm. Monday, July 14 through Thursday, July 17 the workshop will run from 8:30am to 5pm.

Lodging: Lodging will be provided on campus at the Faculty Club and the Women's Faculty Club for workshop participants who live further than 30 miles from Berkeley. Check-in will be Sunday afternoon.

Transportation: The Oakland and San Francisco airports serve this area. The Bay Area Rapid Transit System (BART) runs from both airports to Downtown Berkeley. From there it is a 15 minute walk, or a short taxi ride to the Clubs. There is also door-to-door shuttle service from the airport.

Meals: There will be a kick-off dinner on Sunday, evening at 6pm. There is a complimentary continental breakfast for participants staying at the Faculty Clubs. A Workshop Banquet will be held Wednesday night. Participants will be on their own for all lunches and dinner on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.


What you will take away from the workshop:

  • Course materials, including examples of HW, labs, and projects
  • Sample course syllabi, course descriptions, and justifications for their introduction into the curriculum
  • Skills in programming and data technologies

What to bring:

  • Laptop computer
  • Data for a possible case study
  • Department course offerings
  • Curriculum for undergraduate major program

Funding: Funds to cover lodging and partial travel expenses are available from the National Science Foundation and CAUSE.

Organizers: Mark Hansen, UCLA; Deborah Nolan, UC Berkeley; Duncan Temple Lang, UC Davis

Computing is now regarded as an equal and indispensable partner, along with theory and experiment, in the advance of scientific knowledge -- SIAM Working Group on Computational Science Education, 2001