Author Archives: Allan Rossman

About Allan Rossman

Allan Rossman is professor and chair of the Department of Statistics at Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo


Teachers of introductory statistics are increasingly using simulation-based methods to help students learn concepts and methods of statistical inference. Two quick anecdotes:
• The theme of the 2011 U.S. Conference on Teaching Statistics was “The Next BIG Thing,” and the consensus emerging from the conference was that the BIG thing is teaching introductory statistics with simulation-based methods.
• The recently conducted International Conference on Teaching Statistics in Flagstaff (July 2014) included a large number of sessions on this topic, featuring presenters from around the world, often with standing-room-only crowds of attendees. Continue reading

First Day of Class: Observational Units and Variables

Allan Rossman – Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo

I think the most important goals for the first day of class are to give students a sense for what statistics is and to excite them about studying statistics.  

this exercise allows me to introduce students to diverse and fascinating kinds of research questions that can be addressed with a statistical study

So, you might find it surprising that I spend much class time on the first day with what might appear to be a boring task: identifying observational units and variables.

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