Questions tagged [teaching]

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

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57
votes
32answers
2k views

What are the worst (commonly adopted) ideas/principles in statistics?

In my statistical teaching, I encounter some stubborn ideas/principles relating to statistics that have become popularised, yet seem to me to be misleading, or in some cases utterly without merit. I ...
2
votes
5answers
63 views

Pedagogical order of study for named distributions

I've seen myriads of named probability densities or distributions in multiple books and courses, usually both Binomial and Bernoulli are among the first discrete ones, while for continuous they use ...
2
votes
0answers
38 views

Reference for flawed randomized controlled trial

For a seminar, I am preparing an overview of advantages and shortcomings of randomized control trials (RCT; one shortcoming is, for example, often a limited external validity). To illustrate ...
0
votes
1answer
26 views

Web apps for visualization of probability distributions

I am looking for a tool to demonstrate how the shapes of some basic probability distributions (binomial, hypergeometric, Poisson, exponential and normal) change as a function of their parameters. I ...
2
votes
4answers
129 views

Intuition of terms P(θ) and P(y) in Bayes' Theorem [duplicate]

I am struggling with the intuition behind terms in the Bayes' Theorem. In the simple example of a deck of cards we have: $$ P(King | Red) = \frac{P(Red | King)P(King)}{P(Red)} $$ The terms in this ...
8
votes
2answers
90 views

Spurious relationships: flavours, terminology

The following types of relationships come to my mind when I think of the term "spurious": A statistical relationship specific to a sample but not the population / the data generating process (DGP). ...
0
votes
0answers
28 views

How to calculate sample size for Likert Scale survey on student assessment?

I'm working on creating a survey where there'll be about 10-15 questions with 7-point likert scale. The survey is to be taken by reviewers who reviews the students' proficiency in taking images using ...
8
votes
2answers
291 views

Quick test of quality of an econometrics textbook

When encountering an econometrics textbook for the first time, you might wish to assess its quality. What is the first thing you check? Is there a certain topic or a definition you examine, knowing ...
74
votes
12answers
7k views

Famous statistical wins and horror stories for teaching purposes

I am designing a one year program in data analysis with a local community college. The program aims to prepare students to handle basic tasks in data analysis, visualization and summarization, ...
3
votes
0answers
35 views

(Teaching) references for computational complexity

Background: I am going to teach computational complexity (time complexity) within an introductory course in machine learning. I would like to gently introduce the notion of computational complexity ...
1
vote
0answers
23 views

Ways to make parametric statistics work with real time (often non-normal) data

BACKGROUND: I have been tasked with teaching basic data analysis methods with R to a group of people in a business setting. While my stance is that I am most difinitely not at the level where I ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

Poisson process as a spatial process

Let's consider a Poisson process on the line with rate parameter $\lambda$. There are two ways to think about this: In any interval $[a,b)$ the expected number of events is distributed as a Poisson ...
3
votes
0answers
40 views

Reproducing a didactic example of Lindley (1993)

Lindley (1993) discusses the following mixed discrete and continuous prior for the tea tasting lady experiment, where $\pi$ is probability of a correct classification: $p(\pi=0.5) = 0.8$ (discrete ...
2
votes
1answer
145 views

chi squared goodness of fit test to check for normality

I have the following data: I would like to use the chi-squared goodness of fit test to test whether it comes from a normal distribution. How shall I go about it? In particular, I would like to know ...
7
votes
3answers
224 views

Teaching students about non-significant results and large effect size

This year I am going to teach statistics to sophomore year students of psychology. We'll be training such methods as one-way ANOVA. The example will be the time-reaction of a cognitive task among ...
2
votes
1answer
97 views

What does one expect from a great course of time series? [closed]

I usually teach finance (asset pricing and equilibrium models), quantitative economics (linear algebra and optimization), econometrics, computer science introduction to programming and machine ...
1
vote
1answer
132 views

“t-tests are too fundamental for academia” [closed]

I just heard a PhD student claim: The $t$-test is really fundamental and nobody in academy is gonna do it. He added that these tests serve more as a beginning exercise in order to get an idea of ...
0
votes
1answer
86 views

How do you calculate an exact two-tailed P-value using binomial distribution? [closed]

First, I will preface this question with my ulterior motive: I would like more evidence that the use of 19th and 20th century approximations play little to no pedagogic advantage in modern intro stats ...
1
vote
0answers
37 views

A book-chapter long nontechnical introduction / overview of neural networks

I will be teaching an introductory course in machine learning for students in management who have minimal quantitative skills. I am looking for a brief and gentle introduction to neural networks that ...
1
vote
1answer
358 views

Explain Root Mean Square Error to non-technical audience

My company is in the process of switching equipment from one vendor to another. We measured several metrics from the existing and new equipment and compared the time series. The ideal is to have no ...
1
vote
0answers
69 views

How do you explain 'explained variance'?

What is the best definition of 'explained variance' from a teaching perspective? I quite like this one: "Explained variance (also called explained variation) is used to measure the discrepancy ...
2
votes
1answer
49 views

Accounting Student taking Master in Stat, need your help regarding taking subjects

I had a Bachelor in Accounting and now I'm doing a Masters in Statistics. This is my first semester and I have to Choose at least 3 out of 6 offered subjects for this semester. These subjects Are: ...
11
votes
2answers
600 views

Are there any “esoteric” statistic tests with very low power?

Background In computer science, mathematics, and sometimes in other fields, “esoteric” examples cannot only be entertaining, but helpful to illustrate certain concepts, for example: Bogosort and ...
2
votes
2answers
124 views

How can we best explain causality for the uninitiated?

How can we best explain causality in layman's terms? There seem to be two main types of causality. One is probabilistic causation, the other is called determinism in philosophic circles or just ...
5
votes
3answers
114 views

Teaching a new, large topic: present in class or assign as homework first?

In spring 2019, I will be teaching a master's level course in applied statistics for students in economics and management. The main topics are linear regression, explanatory and confirmatory factor ...
2
votes
0answers
36 views

Master's-level Quantitative Methods / Statistics textbook for Management, Marketing, Economics students

What are some good textbooks for a master's (or upper undergraduate) level course in Quantitative methods / Statistics for students in Management, Marketing or Economics?
7
votes
1answer
177 views

Why start with measures of central tendency?

In teaching descriptive statistics, measures of central tendency come up early on, e.g. before measures of spread. For me it is natural enough to learn about central tendency, or location, of the data ...
1
vote
1answer
19 views

Parameter errors in linear least squares

I would like to help my (Chemistry) students understand the math behind linear regression.(1) The generally accepted approach for my discipline is to omit any use of calculus and introduce matrix ...
4
votes
2answers
138 views

Teaching (very elementary) statistical modelling

I've been asked to contribute some lectures (or parts of lectures) to a course on "Mathematical Modelling", from a statistical perspective. This is to a rather mixed group of Mathematics ...
2
votes
1answer
53 views

How would you explain the relative importance of exploratory correlations for multiple regression models?

I am asking this from a pedagogic perspective:  ¿How do others explain (to their students or clients) the need to examine correlations between subsets of variables in multiple regression (MR) ...
2
votes
0answers
36 views

Teaching models from a distribution-centric perspective

I often read blogs from professors of statistics talking about how they prefer to teach models from a "distribution-centric" perspective rather than otherwise. However, I've never really been able to ...
1
vote
1answer
72 views

Teaching question: Good textbook for basic online statistics course

I will teach an online course on Intro Stats at an Economics Department of a non-flagship public university in the US. I want to cover descriptive stats, basic probability (with common discrete and ...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

Teaching econometrics to a layman

I help a friend of mine to understand material in an econometrics course. This is also a good exercise for me since soon I will start as a TA. The challenge is that she does not have sufficient ...
4
votes
1answer
112 views

How Can I teach someone “sampling from a given distribution” is hard?

For many people I know, they do not think sampling from a given distribution is a hard problem in general. For example, many software provide functions do to sample from normal distribution or uniform ...
0
votes
2answers
65 views

What's wrong with this approach to computing power?

I've just been given an old set of lecture notes to look at. One of them contains the following question: if we are undertaking a paired $t$-test with a mean of differences $d=1$ and standard ...
0
votes
2answers
98 views

Is Bayes-Ball algorithm enough to argue that correlation can imply causality?

You always hear that correlation does not imply causation. But taking a Bayesian perspective, can one counterargue this statement? I was reading the paper linked below (Bayes-Ball argument), and it ...
10
votes
6answers
6k views

Simple real world examples for teaching Bayesian statistics?

I would like to find some "real world examples" for teaching Bayesian statistics. Bayesian statistics allows one to formally incorporate prior knowledge into an analysis. I would like to give ...
2
votes
1answer
644 views

When (incorrectly) explaining p-values, is the word “chance” inherently the problem?

So I understand that saying that a p-value is the probability of a particular result coming about by chance is incorrect as per community consensus, the American Statistical Association, etc. My ...
1
vote
0answers
26 views

Order in which to teach confidence intervals

It seems much more logical to me to teach confidence intervals for large samples first, when the CLT (just taught) implies that that the sample means are normally distributed, no matter the ...
2
votes
1answer
48 views

What is the best syllabus for an under-grad class in Statistics for engineer students?

I teach statistics to under-grad engineer students who major in Information Technology (IT). My students first learn a (prerequisite) course on probability where they learn combinatorics, different ...
12
votes
5answers
3k views

Is linear regression obsolete? [closed]

I am currently in a linear regression class, but I can't shake the feeling that what I am learning is no longer relevant in either modern statistics or machine learning. Why is so much time spent on ...
7
votes
1answer
417 views

Generate simulated data with predefined partial correlation structure

I teach statistics (undergraduate level). It's an introduction course to statistics and very basic. Something that I find very time-consuming is to create training data for the students. I use the ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

An intuitive explanation why the Benjamini-Hochberg FDR procedure works?

Is there a simple way of explaining why does Benjamini and Hochberg's (1995) procedure actually control the false discovery rate (FDR)? This procedure is so elegant and compact and yet the proof of ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

Which of the following statistics courses are the most applicable and useful in finance/tech industry? [closed]

I'm in the process of selecting 3 statistics classes to take for my Applied Math course cluster (doing my concentration in actuarial science or statistical analysis). Which 3 classes out of the ...
2
votes
0answers
707 views

Demonstrating Overfitting in a Simple Model

I have been working with a finance team to help forecast revenue for some product data. Particularly when the series are short and difficult to forecast, their first response is to add a bunch of "...
32
votes
8answers
3k views

Should I teach Bayesian or frequentist statistics first?

I am helping my boys, currently in high school, understanding statistics, and I am considering beginning with some simple examples without disregarding some glimpses to theory. My goal would be to ...
6
votes
1answer
917 views

Famous historical example(s) of Type II error

It's very easy to find famous examples of Type I errors in the histories of various fields. However, I'm struggling to find even one clear example of a Type II error. For my purposes, I'm ...
2
votes
1answer
278 views

How can I create a Gaussian process?

I'm writing a short summary of GPR for my coworkers. I want to give them an intuition into what a Gaussian process is without mentioning distributions over functions. Can you suggest how I can ...
2
votes
0answers
28 views

A verifiable and teachable Gibbs example

I am attempting to construct a teachable example of Gibbs sampling that I can also relate to how it might be used on an actual dataset and yet could also be verified analytically by students with ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I explain the “line of best fit” in this diagram?

I teach an intro statistics class at my university (as a graduate student) and I was scouring the internet for interesting graphs on the history of linear regression when I came upon this picture, ...