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Catching the R wave: How R and RStudio are revolutionizing statistics education in community colleges (and beyond)
January 24, 2019
There is no doubt that RStudio has had an impact on how introductory statistics is taught in colleges today. When we consider the sheer dominance that giants like Texas Instruments, IBM, and Pearson Publishing have had in academic curriculum development it’s no small wonder that tools like R and Python have been able to gain a foothold. Projects like DataCamp, ModernDive.com, “Introductory Statistics with Randomization and Simulation” courtesy of openintro.org, Wickham’s “R for Data Science” and Peng’s “R Programming for Data Science” are great resources for the student who has already some fundamental math or statistical background and has become comfortable around computing and applications-driven computational exercises. But many of us know that Data Science cannot simply be relegated to the privileged few that stumble into it by virtue of circumstance. My passion, and the purpose of my talk, is to provide educators with a digestible guidebook that would be appropriate for introduction to statistical concepts in high school, college, and under-resourced schools looking for ways to increase diversity in STEM. Organized in small, adaptable activities designed to be the amuse-esprit enticing both the timid and the skeptical to the proverbial banquet table that is RStudio, this exploration into the world of statistics education should be of interest to a wide audience. My hope is to increase data literacy in real world context – with primary emphasis on descriptive statistics and distributions.
After graduating from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA with a degree in Mathematics, Mary began as a high school mathematics and computer science teacher, developing technology infrastructure for a small, private high school in Pennsylvania. Throughout her career, she brings innovative approaches and enjoys the role of trailblazer. Mary's most recent accomplishments as math department chair included developing mathematics curriculum and coordinating engineering, bioengineering and data science degrees at Great Bay Community College in Portsmouth, NH. Mary's primary interests are learning and instruction, developing data science curriculum for two-year colleges and 4-year liberal arts colleges, and working with area high school students in STEM at University of NH Tech Camp each summer.