# Tagged Questions

For questions about the teaching of probability and statistics, at any level.

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### Cheap, available in used market AP Statistics textbook [on hold]

I am teaching an Advanced Placement (AP) Statistics class and the high school currently has no textbooks for it. What is a cheap, available-in-the-used-market Statistics textbook that people actually ...
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### Video Lectures on Regression Modeling and Analysis

I am hoping to build a collection of free video lectures that teach how to: Model regression problems. Interpret regression coefficients and the overall fit. Happy to make this CW if helpful. ...
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### What should be taught first: Probability or Statistics?

I have newly joined as a faculty member in a math dept. of a reputed institution. I will be teaching the course Probability and Statistics at the undergraduate level. The institution already has a ...
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### Why are regression coefficients in a factor analysis model called “loadings”?

In this thread @ttnphns writes that Because it is regression coefficients [...] I insist that it is better to say "factor loads variable" than "variable loads factor". I learned from here that ...
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### Pedagogical example of feature selection for model building

I am looking for a good pedagogical example use of feature selection for model building. The purpose is to expose students to some very basic methods for feature selection, in the context of boolean ...
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### Prevalence of the “vote counting” method in literature reviews

In my youth I can remember reading some papers (in psychology most likely) which as part of their literature review included a table of past results with no details provided other than whether the p-...
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### Instructive figure to explain Maximum Likelihood confidence bands / standard errors

I am trying to better understand and explain maximum likelihood estimation. To explain the intuition of many ML aspects I find it easiest to explain them graphically, like for example the ML-based ...
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### Bayesian model comparison in high school

I teach physics to high-school students, and I would like my students to conduct a rudimentary Bayesian model comparison for data from their experiments. I figured out a way for them to do so (see ...
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### Why do we say the outcome variable “is regressed on” the predictor(s)?

Is there some intuitive explanation for this terminology? Why is it this way, and not the predictor(s) being regressed on the outcome? Ideally I'm hoping that a proper explanation of why this ...
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### Is there a standard, easy to understand example of application of statistics in the accounting profession?

A course that is offered in most business undergraduate programs is an introductory statistics course that is often titled 'Business Statistics'. The examples used in these courses to motivate the ...
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### Categorical or Quantitative?

A colleague and I had a conversation about whether the following variables are categorical or quantitative. 1) Social security numbers 2) Phone numbers 3) Postal zip codes We agreed that all three ...
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### Help explaining (offering intuition/examples of) the score function and fisher's information to students

Next week I will teach my students the score function and its variance (i.e.: fisher information). I am looking for way(s) to illustrate these concepts so to help my students understand them (and not ...
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### What are the Fundamentals of Applied Statistics?

Would the knowledge of the following topics suffice for a crash course on fundamentals of applied statistics? Basics of Probability Descriptive Statistics Estimation Theory Hypothesis Testing The ...
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### how to get the stationary distribution of MCMC (Markov Chain Monte Carlo) model

Based on my reading some course notes as well as the answers and comments to this SO post I started thinking about the general steps for creating a stationary distribution. Assuming my problem were ...
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### What is a very intuitive way to teach the Bayes formula to undergraduates?

I have to teach the Bayes formula to some undergraduates, in the form: $$P(A|B) = \frac{P(A \cap B)}{P(B)} = \frac{P(B|A)P(A)}{P(B)}$$ I was wondering if anyone had any really thoughtful or ...
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### What should a graduate course in experimental design cover?

I have been asked to propose a course in experimental design for advanced graduate students in agronomy and ecology. I have never taken such a course, and was surprised to find that the course might ...
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### Statistical anecdotes [closed]

I was inspired by this question on statistics jokes and wanted to start a similar thread on statistical anecdotes. These are famous stories from the past where statistics have been used to solve some ...
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### Examples to expose fundamental problems when using predictive models

The way some people learn statistics feels (in some sense to me) overly method oriented. The problem is not the teaching material itself. The teaching material usually contains good illustrative ...
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### Which of these forms of data should I choose to calibrate markers of differing generosity?

12 teachers are teaching 600 students. The 12 cohorts taught by these teachers range in size from 40 to 90 students, and we expect systematic differences between cohorts, as graduate students were ...
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### Material for teaching R to medical students [closed]

I am planing to start teaching R to undergraduate medical students. I am looking for any material that can help in doing so. These students did not have any experience using R. Another question: Is ...
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### When is 'grading on a curve' appropriate?

Wikipedia defines 'grading on a curve' as a a statistical method of assigning grades designed to yield a pre-determined distribution of grades among the students in a class. The article does ...
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### Why is multi-way ANOVA typically taught with reference to interaction terms, whereas multiple regression isn't?

For instance, reference to an interaction term will almost always be made when Two-way ANOVA is taught. However, when considering a regression with two continuous predictors and one continuous outcome,...
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### What's an intuitive way to explain the different types of validity?

Specifically I'm thinking of a simplified division whereby validity is divided into: Construct validity 1a. Convergent validity 1b. Discriminant validity Criterion related validity 2a. Predictive ...
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### Create simulated path model dataset and save to CSV [closed]

I am teaching a multivariate stats class and wanted to give people some simulated datasets with mediation, path modeling, and other features. I know it's possible to run monte carlo studies in MPlus, ...
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### Introductory examples in computational statistics class

I'm looking for an example of Bayesian inference for a class with the properties: The problem is easy to state, and the model & prior are both pretty reasonable, and R can't really calculate the ...
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### How can I use this data to calibrate markers with different levels of generosity in grading student papers?

12 teachers are teaching 600 students. The 12 cohorts taught by these teachers range in size from 40 to 90 students, and we expect systematic differences between the cohorts, as graduate students were ...
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### Can a study be “confounded” by chance?

This is a question about the definition of confounding, and/or about statistics pedagogy. Suppose that you're doing a study to see if $X$ and $Y$ are associated, but they are not. Unbeknownst to you, ...
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### What are good examples to show to undergraduate students?

I am going to teach statistics as a teaching assistant for the second half of this semester to CS-oriented undergraduate students. Most of the students took the class has no incentive to learn the ...
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### An example of delta method performing poorly

Q: Is there an example of the delta method being used in applied statistics where the sample size needed for a good approximation is practically unfeasible? I am looking for an example from applied ...
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### What would be an example of when L2 is a good loss function for computing a posterior loss?

L2 loss, together with L0 and L1 loss, are three a very common "default" loss functions used when summarising a posterior by the minimum posterior expected loss. One reason for this is perhaps that ...
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### What's an intuitive way to remember the difference between mediation and moderation?

In my experience these two terms frequently confuse students. For teaching purposes I am looking for some way to help students distinguish between them. One way might be to show that the statistical ...
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### How to explain hypothesis testing for teenagers in less than 10 minutes?

For over a year now I've been giving a one-hour "a taste for statistics" class. Each time I get a different group of kids coming over, and I give them the class. The theme of the class is that we run ...
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### key points for unofficial stats-101 for service guys

Background: In my previous job there was an official "stats 101" course. It was brilliant. It gave all the production and engineering folks a shared vocabulary, and provided a decent foundation to ...
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### Why do we care so much about normally distributed error terms (and homoskedasticity) in linear regression when we don't have to?

I suppose I get frustrated every time I hear someone say that non-normality of residuals and /or heteroskedasticity violates OLS assumptions. To estimate parameters in an OLS model neither of these ...
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### Demonstration of central limit theorem

I teach basic (very) statistics to prisoners in a medium/high security prison and would like to demonstrate the Central Limit Theorem. The classroom has no resources beyond a white board. I can only ...
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### Real data examples for the Neyman-Pearson lemma?

Are there any interesting (and preferably published for that reason) real data examples to which the Neyman-Pearson lemma for simple binary testing or classification problems applies directly? I am ...
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### notes/materials for short couple of lectures in statistics (causal inference) with minimal math

I'm doing research as part of a project being implemented by a NGO that does randomized controlled trials of international development projects, and I spend a lot of time here in Kenya. The ...
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### Why is the standard deviation defined as sqrt of the variance and not as the sqrt of sum of squares over N?

Today I taught an introductory class of statistics and a student came up to me with a question, which I rephrase here as: "Why is the standard deviation defined as sqrt of variance and not as the sqrt ...
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### What software I use manually adjust a regression line on a graph?

When teaching regression, I used to do an exercise where students would try to guess where the line of best fit is on a scatterplot, and get the sums of squares. They'd move the line around, see how ...
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### clustering versus projection - what are the best example/scenario to explain their differences

I am dealing with non statistician who know are crunching data but don't have a deep understanding of statistics. I am trying to introduce them to non-matrix factorization methods but it has been ...
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### What's an intuitive way to explain SS decomposition for a Mixed ANOVA with 1 B/S and 1 W/S variable?

For teaching I need to explain the following diagram to undergraduate students. The diagram is taken from the 7th Edition of Howell's "Statistical Methods for Psychology". The students are familiar ...
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### How to gently introduce epidemiologists/public health coworkers to advanced predictive modeling?

Coming from a social science and epidemiology background, my coworkers were trained on least squares regression, logistic regression, and survival analysis. They like to see 95% confidence intervals ...
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### Real life examples of distributions with negative skewness

Inspired by "real-life examples of common distributions", I wonder what pedagogical examples people use to demonstrate negative skewness? There are many "canonical" examples of symmetric or normal ...
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### Best data series to teach time series econometrics?

I will be teaching a short course on time-series econometrics to third-year undergraduates. It will be part theoretical, part applied (students using econometrics software). I am looking for great ...
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### Example of “real life” use of Bayesian inference on $\mu$ from a normal distribution?

A classic example for students, when teaching Bayesian statistics, is to make inference on the mean parameter $\mu$ of a normal distribution, when it has a prior normal distribution. I would like to ...
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### Random forests visual introduction-level reference or tutorial

I have seen several references, but am looking for something easy to follow that illustrates Random Forests in regression and feature importance applications. I want to make sure that I explain this ...
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### Good PCA examples for teaching

I'm teaching linear algebra to a class of engineers, social scientists and computer programmers. We just did singular value decomposition, and we have an extra day, so I thought I'd talk about the ...
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### Test of independence vs test of homogeneity

I am teaching a basic statistics course and today I will cover the chi-squared test of independence for two categories and the test for homogeneity. These two scenarios are conceptually different, but ...