Student-Faculty Collaboration Leads to Published Paper | St. Lawrence University

Student-Faculty Collaboration Leads to Published Paper

When Sarah Campbell ’19 was deciding which of her two majors would be best for an independent research project her senior year at St. Lawrence, one of her professors showed her that she didn’t have to choose.

Instead, Campbell, who majored in both mathematics and English, and Charles A. Dana Professor of Statistics Michael Schuckers embarked on research that focused on the best ways to write a formal data analysis that also engages and entertains any audience. The duo found that, even when it comes to data analysis, a creative story at the beginning of the report was most effective, and then created guidelines for how to do it. Those strategies were recently published by Significance, an official magazine, and website of both the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) and the American Statistical Association (ASA). 

In a blog post that Campbell wrote as a student about her Senior Year Experience, she noted, “By including these narratives at the beginning of the story, readers are more likely to engage immediately with your analysis. My English major prepared me to recognize the stylistic elements of a narrative that make it more readable and entertaining while my Math major prepared me to identify the technical elements of data analysis that are necessary to include in the formal report.”

In their published paper, “Telling Statistical Stories,” Campbell and Schuckers discuss the importance of the narrative, generalizations, and exceptions, as well as narrative patterns and the importance of conclusions. (A subscription is required to read their paper.)

“It was a very rewarding experience to conduct research that encompassed both of my academic passions,” Campbell wrote in her blog post. “I never imagined my journey here at St. Lawrence would include two majors, but with the help of SLU’s amazing faculty, I discovered my passion for English literature and Math and found the courage and support to pursue them.”

Read Campbell’s blog post, “Combining My Academic Passions into an SYE.”

Campbell graduated summa cum laude from St. Lawrence and is currently putting both of her academic passions to use through her admissions work at Seton Hall University.