next up previous index
Next: ASA Committees (3 or Up: ASA Journals (6) Previous: asa.journal.jbes


ASA Journal Session: The American Statistician

Session Slot: 10:30-12:20 Wednesday

Estimated Audience Size: 250

AudioVisual Request: only standard projector and screen

Session Title: Undergraduate Statistics Education: What Should Change?

The focus of this session will be on activities within statistics departments at research universities that are focused on ``improving the pipeline'' into our profession. This is in contrast to the activities involving graduate training in statistics and statistical research, which are the focus of the vast majority of sessions at the JSM (and rightfully so). The Higgins paper makes the case that the undergraduate statistics major needs to take a big step away from mathematics and towards computer science in order to be a viable option in the coming years. The Hogg paper is concerned more with the process of the non-faculty-research activities that statistics departments undertake, and how ideas from CQI (Continuous Quality Improvement) can be adapted to statistics. Thus, the two papers complement each other nicely in that the Higgins paper is concerned with the CONTENT of what departments teach for the undergraduate major, while the Hogg paper is concerned with HOW the department's work is delivered, evaluated, and improved.

Theme Session: No

Applied Session: No

Session Organizer: Landwehr, James M. Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies

Address: Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies Room 2C-257 700 Mountain Ave. Murray Hill, NJ 07974-0636

Phone: 908-582-7405

Fax: 908-582-3340


Session Timing: 110 minutes total (Sorry about format):

110 minutes total Opening Remarks by Chair - 5 minutes First Speaker - 25 minutes Second Speaker - 25 minutes Discussant - 10 minutes Discussant - 10 minutes Discussant - 10 minutes Floor Discusion - 25 minutes

Session Chair: Landwehr, James M. Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies

Address: Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies Room 2C-257 700 Mountain Ave. Murray Hill, NJ 07974-0636

Phone: 908-582-7405

Fax: 908-582-3340


1. Nonmathematical Statistics: A New Direction for the Undergraduate Discipline

Higgins, James J.,   Kansas State University

Address: Department of Statistics, Dickens Hall Kansas State University Manhattan, KS 66506-0802

Phone: 785-532-0509

Fax: 785-532-7736


Abstract: The explosion in the amount of data available to society today has not led to a corresponding growth in undergraduate statistics programs and departments to meet the demand for statisticians. Instead, the profession is faced with the specter of ``statistics departments under siege.'' For statistics to be recognized as a fundamental undergraduate discipline worthy of departmental status and continued support, it must go much further than it has to establish its own identity. This can only be done if ties to mathematics and mathematical sciences departments are finally broken. To do this, statisticians must develop the nonmathematical side of the discipline. This is important not only for the identity of statistics but for its future as a viable undergraduate discipline. A view of what a restructured undergraduate statistics curriculum might look like is put forth. Courses are suggested that would meet important needs of the undergraduate statistics major and set the discipline of statistics apart from mathematics.

2. Let's Use CQI In Our Statistics Programs

Hogg, Robert V.,   University of Iowa

Address: Department Of Statistics & Actuarial Science 214 Schaeffer Hall University of Iowa Iowa City, IA 52242

Phone: 319-335-0824

Fax: 319-335-3017


Abstract: Continuous Quality Improvement in higher education is a process in which an attempt is made to optimize the quality output of an individual, a department, or a college. The optimization of any system of interdependent parts can not be achieved by optimizing the parts separately. In particular, we must consider how best to use faculty members, who have different talents, to fulfill the three parts of the mission: research/discovery, teaching/learning, and professional practice/service, eliminating waste and non-value added activities as much as possible. The remarks of this discussion are directed primarily at improving the teaching/learning part of the mission. These involve, among other items: better communications, (this means listening also, Hogg), including appropriate feedback from students and faculty, possibly having retreats; elimination of certain wasteful activities, more generally personally quality improvement of faculty and students; discussion of course experiences, in particularly, some mentoring between senior and junior faculty; serious considerations how to improve service courses, most of which are given through large lectures; recruitment of students to undergraduate programs, which need changes to improve quality; improved relationships among the stakeholders of statistical education; involvement of students, who have a great deal of energy, in projects on campus and with partners in industry.

Discussant: Cobb, George W.   Mt. Holyoke College

Address: Dept. of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science Mt. Holyoke College South Hadley, MA 01075-1411

Phone: 413-538-2401

Fax: 413-538-2239


Discussant: Newton, H. Joseph   Texas A&M University

Address: Department of Statistics 447 Blocker Building Texas A&M University College Station, TX 77843-3143

Phone: 409-845-3141

Fax: 409-845-3144


Discussant: Wasik, John L.   North Carolina State University

Address: Dept. of Statistics Box 8203 North Carolina State Univsity Raleigh, North Carolina 27695-8203

Phone: 919-515-1956

Fax: 919-515-7591


List of speakers who are nonmembers: None

next up previous index
Next: ASA Committees (3 or Up: ASA Journals (6) Previous: asa.journal.jbes
David Scott