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• Poem: Pedestrian Deaths by Age

This poem, written in July 2024 by Lawrence M. Lesser of The University of Texas at El Paso, is in the form of a bimodal distribution, reflected in the poem’s real-world context.  Before showing the poem, a teacher could first ask students to reflect on what they would expect a histogram of ages of pedestrians killed (or severely injured) to have and why (chances are some of their suggested rationale will  be captured in the poem!).

Afterwards, students wanting to examine or discuss real-world evidence of such a distribution may look for data on their own, or be shown section 1.1.3 of

Roe, M., Shin, H., Ukkusuri, S., Blatt, A., Majka, K. et al. (2010), “The New York City Pedestrian Safety Study and Action Plan Technical Supplement,” New York City Department of Transportation. http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/nyc_ped_safety_study_action_plan_technical_supplement.pdf .

This visual poem may also inspire students to write their own short statistics poem using (and connecting to) a data set with a differently shaped distribution.

• Poem: Statistic Acrostic

Statistic Acrostic is a poem by statistics educator Lawrence Mark Lesser and biostatistician Dennis K. Pearl that covers several statistical concepts using only 26 words (one starting with each letter of the alphabet). It was written in 2008 as a response to an example and challenge from JoAnne Growney in her poem “ABC, an Analytic Geometry Poem” in a 2006 article in Journal of Online Mathematics and Its Applications.  To expand the usefulness of this form for educational objectives, a teacher could have students not follow the 26-letter alphabet, but generate an acrostic from a statistics word or phrase.

• Song: Mean

A song to teach about when the mean versus the median is better for describing a distribution. The lyric was authored by Lawrence Mark Lesser from The University of Texas at El Paso. The song may be sung to the tune of Taylor Swift's Grammy-winning 2010 hit "Mean". Free for use in non-commercial teaching.

• Poem: Expected Value Haikus

This haiku collection by Lawrence Mark Lesser from The University of Texas at El Paso was written in 2020 and won second place in the 2021 A-mu-sing Competition.  Each haiku in the collection addresses some property or real-world application of expected value that can be explored in class: the math and psychology in the structuring of an internationally syndicated game show (Deal or No Deal), tree diagrams (that students can do a calculation to verify in a realistic popular context of college basketball, showing how the EV need not correspond to the most likely outcome), an engaging probability paradox (in the context of the most popular animal Americans own as pets), the interaction with utility when making consumer decisions, a concrete visual analogy for a distribution’s expected value (inspired by Figure 2 of Martin’s July 2003 JSE article), and the concept of an estimator’s bias, and the how EV and mean express the same idea but in different contexts (random variable versus a sample, population or probability distribution).

A video from the 2019 US Conference On Teaching Statistics where Dennis Pearl from Penn State University is introducing the winner of that year's CAUSE/USCOTSLifetime Achievement Award in Statistics Education.  He tells a story that can be useful in teaching the lesson that linear regression is inappropriate for making predictions well outside the range of the data. The story is loosely based on the phone call he made in ordering the trophy for the award.

• Cartoon: Is Dublin Doublin'?

A cartoon to show the misleading nature of graphs with a y-axis scale that does not start at zero (here real data is plotted to make it appear that the population of Dublin, Ireland doubled in a single year between 2021 and 2022).   The cartoon was based on an idea by Larry Lesser from The University of Texas at El Paso in May, 2023.

• Cartoon: Refrigerator Art

A cartoon that  can be used in discussing how data visualizations help in thinking about the interpretation of data and stimulate critical thinking about the topic of the plot.  The cartoon was used in the March 2023 CAUSE cartoon caption contest and the winning caption was written by Larry Lesser at The University of Texas at El Paso.  The cartoon was drawn by British cartoonist John Landers (www.landers.co.uk) based on an idea by Dennis Pearl from Penn State University.

• Cartoon: Clowns and Targets

A cartoon that  can be used to introduce ideas of the bias (degree of being on target) and reliability (degree of deviation) of estimators. The cartoon was used in the February 2023 CAUSE cartoon caption contest and the winning caption was written by Laurie Baker at the College of the Atlantic.  The cartoon was drawn by British cartoonist John Landers (www.landers.co.uk) based on an idea by Dennis Pearl from Penn State University.

• Cartoon: Red Carpet

A cartoon that  can be used to discuss the value of visualizations for displaying time series data. The cartoon was used in the December 2022 CAUSE cartoon caption contest and the winning caption was written by Dashiell Young-Saver, from IDEA Public Schools. The cartoon was drawn by British cartoonist John Landers (www.landers.co.uk) based on an idea by Dennis Pearl from Penn State University.

• Cartoon: Witches Brew

A cartoon that can be used in a discussion about ethical guidelines in reporting data and the importance of avoiding manipulations that represent what we hope to show while hiding opposing results also seen in the data.  The cartoon was used in the November 2022 CAUSE cartoon caption contest and the winning caption was written by Kim Bennett, from Georgia State University. The cartoon was drawn by British cartoonist John Landers (www.landers.co.uk) based on an idea by Dennis Pearl from Penn State University.