Playing Games with a Purpose: A New Approach to Teaching and Learning Statistics

Presented by

Shonda Kuiper, Grinnell College; and Rod Sturdivant, West Point Military Academy

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013; 9:00am - 4:00pm


This one-day workshop is designed to help instructors and students bridge the gap between short, traditional homework questions towards the open-ended nature of a real-world problem. Web-based games and other materials will be demonstrated that introduce undergraduates to statistical methods from a variety of disciplines. The materials demonstrated in this workshop encourage students early in their undergraduate studies to experience the role of a research scientist and to understand how statistics help advance scientific knowledge. By making students grapple with intriguing real-world problems that demonstrate the intellectual content and broad applicability of statistics as a discipline, these materials encourage students to incorporate statistical thinking into any career. This workshop will provide materials that can be used as project in an introductory statistics course; synthesize key elements learned throughout a second statistics course; form the basis of an individual research project; or used to help students and researchers in other disciplines better understand how statisticians approach the scientific process. These materials were developed through the NSF-supported grants (NSF DUE #0510392 and NSF DUE #1043814). Participants are encouraged to bring a laptop.

There is no registration fee for this workshop. However, advance registration is required, and confirmation of acceptance will be sent. Space is limited. There will be no on-site registration; walk-ins on the day of the workshop will not be accommodated. Workshop participants are responsible for their own transportation, lodging, and parking.

About the Presenters

Shonda Kuiper Shonda Kuiper is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Mathematics and Statistics Department at Grinnell College. She teaches a variety of statistics courses, with an emphasis on the application of statistics in multiple disciplines. Shonda serves as a statistical consultant for student and faculty research and is Vice-Chair of the ASA/MAA Joint Committee on Statistics Education. She is the recipient of two National Science Foundation grants to develop materials for undergraduate statistics courses. The materials developed through these grants were recently awarded the 2012 Merlot Classics Award for Exemplary Online Materials and have been implemented in her project-based textbook, Practicing Statistics.

Rod Sturdivant Rod Sturdivant is an Associate and Academy Professor at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York. He is currently program director for the core mathematics program and founder and executive director of the Center for Data Analysis and Statistics (CDAS) at West Point. His research interests are in applied statistics with an emphasis on hierarchical logistic regression models. He has explored the use of games, most recently computer based, in the classroom for many years. Outside of the classroom Rod enjoys exercise to include energetic efforts to play the violin.