Changing the World with Data

Spring 2017

Changing the World with Data (Statistical Reasoning and Evidenced-Based Arguments)
FRPG 2052
Instructor: Jessica Chapman
Meeting Days/Times: Tuesday and Thursday 10:10 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.
This course is equivalent to STAT 113 and fulfills the FYS and QLR general education requirements.  This course is restricted to LAS Scholars only without STAT 113. Permission only course. Students must obtain permission from the instructor to take this FYS course. Professor Chapman will provide the department with the necessary information to register you for this course.

Could data have prevented the Challenger disaster of 1986? What does the scientific literature actually say about the safety of vaccinations? How have the various controversial and unethical studies of the 20th century, such as the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, experimentation by doctors in Nazi Germany, and the Milgram Obedience Experiment, shaped the current ethical principles and standards for conducting research on human subjects? The course will investigate how statistics is used in STEM disciplines and in the general scientific research process. In addition to covering introductory statistical ideas, the course will emphasize communicating the results of a data analysis (both orally and through writing); using data to support/evaluate an argument, with emphasis on evaluating the source of the data; and how to write a scientific article. For the final project of the semester, students will develop a “scientific” research question, design an experiment or data collection plan, analyze the resulting data, and produce both a written and oral final product.

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