Statistics faculty present at conference on technology for mathematics instruction

Ryne Vankrevelen and Laura Taylor from the Mathematics and Statistics Department present at the International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics

Laura Taylor and Ryne Vankrevelen present at the International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics in Chicago, IL.
​Ryne Vankrevelen, lecturer in statistics, and Laura Taylor, associate professor of statistics, presented a talk titled “Extending Hands-On Activities Using StatCrunch to Teach Statistical Inference” at the 29th International Conference on Technology for Collegiate Mathematics in Chicago, Illinois, on Saturday, March 11, 2017. 

The talk was based on a study the pair conducted with Heather Barker, instructor in mathematics, during the Winter 2017 term. The study aimed to incorporate hands-on activities in the MTH 110 course which were extended using simulation methods in the online platform, StatCrunch.  

The presentation focused on a “Cane Toad” activity where a box of 24,000 beads represents a population of Cane Toads, where green beads represented mature, female toads. The goal of the activity is to estimate the proportion of mature, female toads in the population by taking samples.

Students use specialized scoops recreated using a 3D printer from prototypes donated from the Department of Statistics at North Carolina State University to draw random samples of 30 toads. After completing the hands-on process, instructors use an applet in StatCrunch to simulate this process of randomly sampling toads from the population thousands of times to make inferences. 

Two other modified activities were presented in the talk. Evaluation of the effectiveness of these activities in helping students learn statistical concepts is ongoing.