Data Can Change Your Life. Anyone and everyone needs to know how to be data-curious, how to access data, and how to analyze data. In particular, people who teach statistics need tools and ideas to make their students good citizen statisticians.

What is a citizen statistician?

A citizen statistician participates in formal and informal data gathering. A citizen statistician is aware of his or her data trail, and is aware of the harm that could be done to themselves or to others through data aggregation. Citizen statisticians recognize opportunities to improve their personal or professional lives through analyzing data, and know how to share data with others. They know that almost any question about the world can be answered using data, how to find relevant data sources on the web, and critically evaluate these sources. A citizen statistician also knows how to bring that data into an analysis package and how to start their investigation.

This blog will be about access: access to data and access to analysis tools. This blog will be about data privacy, and data sharing. This blog will be about people who use data to better their lives and the lives of others. This blog is meant for anyone wishing to become a citizen statistician, but in particular for statistics teachers – those who help empower citizens to become citizen statisticians.

Who are we?

Rob Gould

Rob teaches statistics at UCLA in the Dept. of Statistics.  He’s been involved in statistics education since the late 1990s, and is interested in the role of technology in teaching statistics.  He founded the e-journal Technology Innovations in Statistics Education and ASA DataFest, an annual two-day competition in which teams of undergraduate students work to reveal insights into a rich and complex data set. He is the author of an introductory statistics textbook with Colleen Ryan: Exploring the World Through Data (Pearson, 2012).


Mine Çetinkaya-Rundel

Mine is the Director of Undergraduate Studies and Associate Professor of the Practice in the Department of Statistical Science at Duke University as well as Data Scientist & Professional Educator at RStudio. Mine’s work focuses on innovation in statistics pedagogy, with an emphasis on computation, reproducible research, student-centered learning, and open-source education. She also organizes ASA DataFest. Mine works on the OpenIntro project, whose mission is to make educational products that are free, transparent, and lower barriers to education. As part of this project she co-authored three open-source introductory statistics textbooks. She is also the creator and maintainer of datasciencebox.org and she teaches the popular Statistics with R MOOC on Coursera as well as numerous courses on DataCamp. In 2018 Mine received the David Pickard Teaching Award and in 2016 the ASA Waller Education Award. She is also the recipient of the 2015 JSM Best Paper Award in the Section on Teaching Statistics in the Health Sciences and the 2014 Duke University David and Janet Vaughan Brooks Award for Teaching Excellence.


Andy Zieffler

Andy teaches statistics in the Quantitative Methods in Education program within the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Minnesota. He is active in the statistics education research community and has been a co-PI on many past and current NSF-funded statistic education research projects–most recently the Change Agents for Teaching and Learning Statistics (CATALST) project. He has co-authored two textbooks: Comparing Groups: Randomization and Bootstrap Methods Using R (Wiley, 2011) and Statistical Thinking: A Simulation Approach to Modeling Uncertainty (Catalyst Press, 2012).