| | |

Who is too old for a start-up? or A week in the life of a statistician

Since it’s the international year of statistics, I felt a little guilty that I have not done that much in the way of statistics lately. However, I think that is true whether you are an engineer, statistician, biologist or whatever, within a few years after your Ph.D. (at most!) you find lots of your time not being in the area you expected. Let’s look at this week, starting today

7 Generations Game LogoThursday: Kickstarter campaign kicked off. We have been working for a year developing a computer game to teach kids math. (SERIOUSLY CHECK OUT OUR VIDEO HERE & PLEDGE, IT’S AWESOME!) There are statistics in the fifth game in the series – teaching distribution and variability. There was a lot of statistics involved in analyzing the data to back it up – computing item difficulty statistics, internal consistency reliability for the measures, repeated measures ANOVA to test whether the students who played the game progressed in math faster than those who didn’t. (Short answer: Yes.)

However, the biggest part of my day today was spent on Facebook, twitter and phone calls about the Kickstarter campaign, setting up filming for a commercial to be aired next week that a wonderful sponsor offered to do for free.

Wednesday: We’re submitting a grant proposal to USDA to create a series of video games. It will involve a good bit of text mining and data mining to create propensity scores to identify the best match of instructional videos, web pages or games for students based on their mathematics achievement level and characteristics of the instructional resources. Before we get to the statistics, though, there is a lot of writing – literature review, how it relates to Joe Bob Briggs (2011) study of similar stuff, logic models, etc. etc. Wrote blog post on documentation.

Tuesday: Grant-writing. Wishing I was doing mixed model analysis of some interesting data. Grant-writing. Wishing I was doing PHP program for client. Grant-writing. Wishing I was doing text-mining. Wrote blog post on idiots who annoy me. Internet said that was Wednesday but since I hadn’t gone to bed yet, it was Tuesday to me.

Monday: See Tuesday.

Sunday: 7 hours of video editing using Garageband and iMovie with the assistance from a wonderful video editor the folks from the American Horror channel on FilmOn  sent out as part of their service to the community. (Thank you guys!) As much as the help was greatly appreciated I must say that anyone who does film editing for a living must put the hyphen in anal-retentive. By  the end, I wanted to shoot myself. Then, I did more grantwriting.

Saturday: Heard darling daughter #3 downstairs talking to The Spoiled One. Came down wearing nothing but The Rocket Scientist’s shirt to be met by a photographer from a national magazine who asked,

“Do you mind if I take your picture?”

I replied,

“I’m not wearing pants, but, whatever.”

Random fact: Darling daughter #3 has a world title fight in the UFC coming up this month so photographers, film crews and journalists have been all over our house like white on rice.

Second random fact: I also had a book published this week, Winning on the Ground – which is about matwork in judo and martial arts.

So, where the hell is the statistics in here? Well, sadly, not nearly in as many places as I would like. In the grant research design sections, there are lots of statistics mentioned. Come February 28th when the Kickstarter campaign is over and the grant proposals are done, I can get back to doing statistics 50% or more of the time. My points though, are;

1. A good bit of being a statistician at the senior level is writing – writing research papers, writing reports, writing proposals.

2. Another good bit of being a statistician is working collaboratively, whether it is with video editors, like this week, or other researchers writing proposals, like last week.

3. You are NOT too old to do a start-up and anyone who thinks you are washed up by 30 can kiss my ass. If you agree, please go to our Kickstarter site and pledge.

Now, I have to get off the computer and go watch this program on TV on darling daughter #3.




Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *