I always find that statistics are hard to swallow and impossible to digest. The only one I can ever remember is that if all the people who go to sleep in church were laid end to end they would be a lot more comfortable.


             ~Mrs. Robert A. Taft

Professional Work and Research

My primary area of research is statistics education (see below). I am involved in many collaborative research projects with colleagues and students in the Statistics Education graduate program at the University of Minnesota. Below is a list of some of the projects we are currently working on.

You can read more about our work at the Catalysts for Change Blog. I am very interested in statistical computing and in thinking about different ways to integrate computing into the statistics curriculum. Deb Nolan and Duncan Temple-Lang have an interesting paper on how broadly teachers of statistics need to be thinking about computing in today’s day and age [Paper Available Here].

Here is a selection of some recently (and some not-so-recently) published work.

To see what else I have been working on, you can scan my current Curriculum Vitae.

 

Statistics Education Research

Statistics education is a fairly young area of research that has been influenced by several other fields of study such as psychology and mathematics education. Researchers working in this field have generally focused their efforts on how to improve student learning of statistics, often via improving statistics instruction. The Research Advisory Board of the Consortium for the Advancement of Undergraduate Statistics Education, in fact, suggests that the results of statistics education research should have direct implications for instruction, and further, that research studies should specifically address classroom implications. Since it is an interdisciplinary field of inquiry, statistics education research has not endorsed any one particular empirical research method. Researchers have employed many differing methodologies to help provide answers to a variety of research questions in this field.

The CAUSE Research Advisory Board has put together a list of readings to assist people wishing to learn about research in statistics education or to provide background for those wanting to do research in this area. The list includes readings about the nature of statistics and how it differs from mathematics, summaries of research, discussions of research issues in statistics education research, and books devoted to research in statistics education. It also includes readings related to different topics of interest in statistics education research (e.g., technology, assessment) and concepts that are often included in the statistics curriculum (e.g., data, center, and variability).

There are several journals that publish statistics education research. Three journals that publish on statistics education exclusively are:

 

About Me

I received a degree in Mathematics Education from Saint Cloud State University in 1997. From 1998-2002, I took a job teaching high school students the beauty of mathematics. During those four years I began a Master's Degree in the History of Mathematics, again at Saint Cloud State University. I also had a wonderful opportunity to develop and teach the high school's Advanced Placement Statistics course. This inspired me to continue my graduate education at the University of Minnesota, this time emphasizing statistics education. In 2006, I obtained a Ph.D. in Quantitative Methods in Education with a concentration in Statistics Education.

I currently teach both undergraduate and graduate level statistics courses in the Educational Psychology department at the University of Minnesota. Prior to this gig, I taught a variety of mathematics and statistics courses at ROCORI High School (Cold Spring, Minnesota) and a mathematics course at Saint Cloud State University. In total I have taught mathematics or statistics for the last ten years.