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.
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.