10th International
Conference on
Teaching Statistics
8 – 13 July 2018
Kyoto, Japan


Hiroe Tsubaki

Keynote 1 (Sunday 8th, 18:15-19:15)   Chair: Toshinari Kamakura

Education of the grammar of science for sciences and society

The objective of statistics education is not to make students understand application or theory of statistical methods but to give students the competence to advance modelling and decision making based on the grammar of science, which is a standard process necessary to acquire new knowledge or to achieve higher quality decision making. The author will illustrate simple cases for statistics education to clarify roles of different grammars of science both for sciences and societies.

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Hilary Parker

Keynote 2 (Monday 9th, 9:30-10:30)   Chair: Rob Gould

Cultivating Creativity in Data Work

Traditionally, statistical training has focused primarily on mathematical derivations, proofs of statistical tests, and the general correctness of what methods to use for certain applications. However, this is only one dimension of the practice of doing analysis. Other dimensions include the technical mastery of a language and tooling system, and most importantly the construction of a convicing narrative tailored to a specific audience, with the ultimate goal of them accepting the analysis. These "softer" aspects of analysis are difficult to teach, perhaps moreso when the field is framed as mathematics and often housed in mathematics departments. In this talk, I discuss an alternative framework for viewing the field, borrowing upon the past work in other fields such as design. Looking forward, we as a field can borrow from these fields to cultivate and hone the creative lens so necessary to the success of applied work.

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Anna Rosling Rönnlund

Keynote 3 (Tuesday 10th, 9:30-10:30)   Chair: Katie Makar

See how the rest of the world lives, sorted by income

Imagine everybody in the world lives on the same street. The poorest live to the left and the richest, to the right. Everybody else lives in between. This is the Dollar Street, a revolutionary tool created by Gapminder to show how people live on different income levels. We use photos as data to show the differences and similarities in people’s lives across the world, sorted by income. When we look at the everyday lives of people, instead of the extraordinary shown in media, country stereotypes simply fall apart.

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Chris Wild

Keynote 4 (Thursday 12th, 9:30-10:30)   Chair: Prof. Jung Jin Lee

Through a glass darkly

To “see through a glass, darkly” (origin, 1 Corinthians 13:12) is to have an obscure or imperfect vision of reality. It is a great metaphor for realities underlying coming to know anything through statistics and, in particular, for looking backwards in order to look forward – as forecasting does. It is also a great metaphor for realities underlying statistical graphics and thus links the two parts of this talk. We begin by riffing on big issues related to the theme of the conference, looking backwards in order to look forwards and asking “How can we chart or way into a bright future?” Along the way we ask who we are, what part of the investigative landscape we occupy and who our neighbours are. We look at major trends we are currently caught up in, and at dangers and lessons arising from confronting “short termism” and “the future of work”. Since graphics provide the best hope for making serious statistical capabilities accessible to a wide cross-section of people, this begins a transition into a music-infused celebration of graphics in which we start with the plain, home-cooked fare that are our most basic graphics (dot plots, bar charts, and scatter plots) and start to add spices (other graphic elements) – each with its own theme tune – reducing the obscuring darkness of our looking glass by increasing what we can see through it. Links will be at http://bit.ly/icots10.

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Helen MacGillivray

Keynote 5 (Friday 13th, 9:30-10:30)   Chair: Prof. Yasuto Yoshizoe

Combining 360 degree reflections for looking forward

Looking back and analysing the past is crucially important in moving forwards in teaching statistics and in statistical education - individually, organisationally, nationally and internationally. For statistics, we must also look sideways, upwards and downwards, and bring these reflections and analyses together. This is not only because statistics intertwines with, and plays key roles in, almost all other disciplines, and across government, business, industry and society, but also because of the nature of statistics and its thinking. Capturing, allowing for, analysing, interpreting and communicating variability and uncertainty can often sit uneasily with the very human tendency to want answers, certainty and definite reasons. In addition, both the bad and good effects of research emphasis, whether in statistics, education or other disciplines, must be considered.

This presentation aims to identify and bring together some lessons from the past, from interactions with other disciplines, and across all educational levels. Just as we learn much about students’ needs from observing, listening, and reading their writings, so too we learn about the needs behind the wants of other disciplines, and of all those who teach statistics. Hence this presentation also aims to bring together lessons from students, from teachers and from authors’ submissions on teaching statistics. In the teaching of statistics, there can never be a single path or way forward due to the diversity and very nature of statistics. But sprinkled with advocacy from professional statisticians and statistics educators, and served with tolerance, understanding and authentic collaboration, such combinations may help throw light on the pathways forward.

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