Learning Data Year Two

Two years ago, I began my adventure as a new faculty member teaching students about how to learn from their data. The first year’s students were an amazing bunch of ecologists and evolutionary biologists, and I think I learned as much about teaching form them as they learned about statstical modeling from me.  Or, at least I’d like to hope so.

So here we are in year two. New slides (I’ve moved from beamer to slidify, still working with knitr, which I love), and a new book for reflection.  The purpose of this blog was to create a forum for students to relate their experiences in class to those out of class. I used What’s a P-Value Anyway? as a text to prompt larger thinking. This was great, in that it hewed remarkably closely to the course. But I think it made students think a bit too small.

I considered a few books this year. Naked Statistics, Error and the Growth of Experimental Knowledge, The Lady Tasting Tea, and Statistics on the Table.

But in the end, I chose to go with The Signal and the Noise because of it’s relevance to thinking about statistical models, their foundations in data, and how we use them in the world around us beyond just biology. That, and I’ll be peppering in some thoughts about P values from a recent volume in Ecology, some Error Statistics thinking, and more. I hope for a lively discussion – both from folk inside and outside of the class, and that we’ll all learn a bit more about how we all learn about data!

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