Full topic list
This is a session of Topic 9: Technology in statistics education

(Monday 12th, 16:30-18:00)

Rethinking the statistics curriculum: computing skills our students need



Computing and technology have radically altered science, statistics and data analysis over the past fifteen years. The nature, format, volume and sources of data have changed significantly. Our graduates need to be able to deal with complex data structures from databases, HTML forms, Web services, etc. to be able to participate in inter-disciplinary, collaborative scientific teams. Furthermore, many of our statistical methods are computationally intensive and we commonly use computer experiments to explore theoretical conjectures. And presentation of results is now moving toward richer dynamic and interactive, and often Web-based, technologies. All of these require computational proficiency and understanding. However, computing has been mostly ignored within our statistics programs, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

This session will explore why we need computing in our curricula, and how this can influence other aspects of the curriculum such as problem-based data analysis. We’ll identify different approaches to integrating computing and technology into the statistics curricula at both graduate and undergraduate levels. The discussion will include different possible computational topics of relevance to statistics and combinations of these to form syllabi for different categories of students. We’ll also consider the difficulties of teaching this new material and the different medium and evaluate different approaches for supporting instructors as we change the culture of statistical education to focus on computing, technologies and the data analysis the support.


PaperTitlePresenter(s) / Author(s)
9B1Developing introductory computing for stats undergraduatesPaul Murrell (New Zealand)
9B2Integrating computing and data technologies into the statistics curriculaDuncan Temple Lang (United States)
Deborah Nolan (United States)
9B3Introducing undergraduates to probability using the open-source programming language RJane M Horgan (Ireland)