About

About “Learn and teach Statistics and Operations Research”

This blog gives ideas to help teachers and learners of Statistics and Operations Research. As decision sciences with a mathematical foundation, both these disciplines can be difficult to teach and understand. The emergence of computer packages such as Excel have changed the way these subjects can be taught, potentially making them more accessible and hands-on. There are many good blogs about the application of statistics and operations research, but few about teaching these inherently interesting subjects. This blog aims to fit in that gap, entertaining, inspiring and helping teachers and learners alike.

The philosophy is that of inclusion, rather than protectionism. With the help of computer packages statistics and operations research are within the reach of the non-mathematician. All citizens should know the basics so that they can be literate and critical consumers of quantitative information.

We also hope that you might decide to buy our app – AtMyPace: Statistics, which is available for iPad and iPhone, and now for web-based learning.

Introducing Dr NicDr Nicola Ward Petty

Dr Nicola Ward Petty has taught business statistics and operations research at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand for over twenty years. She was awarded a university teaching award in 2006 and has mentored other faculty, and developed innovative and successful courses to help people who find quantitative subjects difficult.

In 2008, with the help of her son, William, Dr Nic began to create videos for her class, teaching aspects of Excel and statistics. She put them on YouTube for her students to gain easy access. However the audience went much wider. One of the videos, “Understanding the p-value” became popular, gaining over 250 views a day and helping people all over the world to … understand the p-value!

More recently Dr Nic and William have been re-creating their older videos and making new ones, which you can see on the Creative Heuristics YouTube channel. These videos form part of their iPad app “AtMyPace: Statistics”.

Dr Nic is an accomplished presenter, making statistical analysis accessible to a wide range of people. She has given presentations for groups such as physiotherapists, teachers and speech/language therapists, to help them in their understanding of the the role and method of statistical analysis.

With her colleague and co-director of Creative Heuristics Ltd, Dr Shane Dye, Dr Nic invented Rogo, a new puzzle which is now an iPhone/iPad app. You can see more about Rogo at the website www.rogopuzzle.co.nz.

You can follow Dr Nic as @rogonic on Twitter.

7 thoughts on “About

  1. Dr. Nic,

    I found out about your blog from Michael Trick’s page. Because you’re interested in statistics, particularly since your mission is to make probability stats and OR available to the masses, I thought I’d share my page with you, and in particular my latest script which helps understand Bayes’ Theorem. I have a similar mission, but more about all mathematics and the algorithmic way of thinking..

    I recently finished a script to help students understand Bayes’ Theorem. It is available at http://www.learninglover.com/examples.php?id=26.

    The script works as follows:
    – A set of mutually exclusive sets is randomly generated (the number of sets also varies). These sets are called Bi for i [in] [0, …, n].
    – A set A is randomly generated from the union of the Bi’s.
    – A table is displayed showing:
    Pr(Bi) for each i on line 1.
    Pr(A | Bi) for each i on line 2.

    – The user is given the option to select which of the mutually exclusive sets they would like to use to calculate the probability that this set caused the event A.
    – Once a set is chosen, the user clicks the “Calculate Conditional” button and Bayes’ Theorem gives the result.
    – If the “show work” checkbox was checked, then the steps used in this calculation are also shown.
    – All work is done using fractions to give an idea of where the numbers come from.

  2. Hi Nicola,

    I came across your blog and wondered if you would be interested in featuring the article I wrote about Operational Research. We are a recruitment company and recruit for talented O.R consultants. I thought this article may be of interest to your readers. Do let me know if you would like to feature this article.

    http://www.thatchermcs.com/news/the-beginning-of-operational-research-and-beyond/#.URUbfh3ZbjI

    Many Thanks,

    Aleyx Perks

  3. Dear Dr. Nic,

    Greetings from far off North America. I came across your page while googling for statistics apps on the iPad. I will be sure to take a look at your videos. Though I dwell in far off Memphis I hail from Wellington originally and graduated from Vic. as an undergrad.

  4. Dear Nicola,

    Recently I came across your wonderful website. You might be interested to learn that the free educational software package ORSTAT with many modules on probability, statistics and operations research can be downloaded from my homepage

    http://personal.vu.nl/h.c. tijms

    Greetings from Holland Henk Tijms emeritus professor at the Vrije University in Amsterdam

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s