7 Tips on how not to fail college math classes

I have been teaching at the post-secondary level since 1987, at schools ranging from a small liberal arts college in North Dakota to the second-largest non-profit university in the country. I’ve taught at private schools and public ones, and courses ranging from first year undergraduate to doctoral students. In all of those situations, some students…

The most common error new SAS users make

Any time you learn anything new it can be intimidating. That is true of programming as well as anything else. It may be even more true of using statistical software because you combine the uneasiness many people have about learning statistics with learning a new language. To a statistician, this error message makes perfect sense:…

The best time is wasted

I’ve been busy my whole life. Right now, I’m finishing the last week of a course I’m teaching on biostatistics, writing a lecture for a course on multivariate statistics that starts next week, fixing bugs in our next game, Fish Lake, working on a new project for free resources for teachers, and working on a…

Super-easy fix to SAS Libname / Missing Directory

In August, I attended a class at Unite 2014 (on Unity game development) and the presenter said, “And some of you, your code won’t run and you’ll swear you did exactly what was shown in the examples. But, of course, all of the rest of us will know that is not true.” This perfectly describes…

Doing your statistics homework with SAS – confidence intervals

Computing confidence intervals is one of the areas where beginning statistics students have the most trouble. It is not as difficult if you break it down into steps, and if you use SAS or other statistical software. Here are the steps: 1. Compute the statistic of interestâ€“ that is mean, proportion, difference between means 2….

Probability and Mixed Martial Arts Decisions

A recent tweet about mixed martial arts decisions set me to thinking about probability. @Fight_ghost tweeted that a TV commentator made no sense when she said that she thought a fighter should have won by split, not unanimous decision. Others on twitter agreed with him that was a stupid comment, and asked did she think…

Malicious Obedience and Responsibility

Lately, I’ve seen a lot of examples of this … Malicious obedience is discussed on the englishstackexchange page (who even knew this existed) as “….when people set their boss up to fail by doing exactly as he or she says even though they know in their hearts that their actions are incorrect or not optimal.”…

How much statistics can you learn in an online course in a month?

Last year, I went from teaching in classrooms in a pretty building with a library on the ground floor to teaching on-line. I also went from the semester system to teaching the same content in four weeks. This has led curious friends of mine, used to teaching in the traditional format, to ask , How…