Full topic list
This is a session of Topic 7: Statistics education and the wider society

(Wednesday 14th, 11:00-13:00)

Statistics and sports



Modern statistics education draws examples from many different fields in order to properly motivate students and to assist in the teaching of statistical concepts. Depending on the students’ majors, many courses have been developed using examples from engineering, business, finance, epidemiology, neuroscience and other disciplines. However, many students exhibit an interest in athletics, either as fans or as participants. It would seem natural to try and utilize this interest and abundance of data available to create courses and textbooks that would address statistical concepts in a way most students can connect to.

In this session we are trying to explore different ways of making statistics more interesting and relevant to students through sports. We are also interested, however, in examining the appropriateness of teaching statistics through sports examples as there has been criticism on the use of the latter for students who will apply statistics in business, science or engineering, as well as on the selection of examples from sports which has been dominated by US-based sports, and in particular baseball. Finally, we will attempt to address the issue of the male-dominated student population in such courses and what can be done to “diversify” the types of sports used.


PaperTitlePresenter(s) / Author(s)
7B1Teaching statistics to sports scientists and sports administrators: would it be easier to train monkeys?Christopher Barnes (Australia)
7B2Statistical models for student projects with sports themesRobin Lock (United States)
7B3Mathematics and popular cultureMichael Fletcher (United Kingdom)
7B4Using sports data to motivate statistical concepts: experiences from a freshman courseVittorio Addona (United States)