Much has been written in statistics and data science education literature about pedagogical tools and approaches to provide a practical computational foundation for students. However a common friction point for getting students (and faculty) started with computing is installation and setup. If you’ve heard me talk about teaching R, you’ve probably heard me mention the following day one dilemma: Option 1 😰 Option 2 😎 1.

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KonMari your GitHub watchlist

First, if you don’t know what KonMari means, see here. My interpretation, based on having watched the Netflix series and not having read the books, is that you get rid of things that don’t give you joy. This is a huge oversimplification of Marie Kondo’s KonMari Method, but it’s the bit that’s relevant to this post. Now back to regular programming… As of two days ago I was watching over 2000 GitHub repositories!

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Preparing to teach

I’m excited to announce that, with support from the National Science Foundation (pending final approval), the Section on Statistics and Data Science Education will host the 2nd annual Preparing for Careers in Teaching Statistics and Data Science Workshop in Fort Collins, Colorado, on July 27 (immediately prior to JSM 2019 in Denver, Colorado). The workshop is designed for graduate students and recent PhDs interested in careers in teaching statistics and data science.

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Time zones are hard

Citizen Statistician is back from a hiatus! I hope to post more regularly in the coming weeks, including writing a post on converting from WordPress to blogdown. I have recently been dealing with time zone changes. I’ll say a bit more about it shortly. But first, here is a picture of my 2 year old “dealing” with time zone changes. His schedule is completely thrown off, he doesn’t know what to do with himself, so he keeps moving around in his room in his sleep.

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The birthday problem and voter fraud

I was traveling at the end of last week, which means I had some time to listen to podcasts while in transit. This American Life is always a hit for me, though sometimes I can’t listen to it in public because the stories can be too sad, and then I get all teary eyed in airports… This past week’s was both fun and informative though. I’m talking about Episode 630: Things I Mean to Know.

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Recently the blog Brain Pickings wrote about the set of hand-drawn visualizations that Civil Rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois commissioned for the1900 World’s Fair in Paris. (In a previous post, Rob wrote about an art exhibit he saw that featured artistic interpretations of these plots.) Every time I see these visualizations I am amazed—they are gorgeous and the detail (and penmanship) is amazing. The visualizations included bar charts, area plots, and maps—all hand-drawn!

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A little over a year ago, we decided to propose a data visualization course at the first-year level. We had been thinking about this for awhile, but never had the time to teach it given the scheduling constraints we had. When one of the other departments on campus was shut down and the faculty merged in with other departments, we felt that the time was ripe to make this proposal.

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Citizen Statistician

Learning to swim in the data deluge