What I bring with me to stats class each day

I love teaching stats with lots of computation on datasets (in either R or Excel or LibreOffice) because I think students should come away from a course with a solid body of skills that they can apply in whatever their real world turns out to be.  In my view the traditional computer lab falls short.  A course in which students learn statistics with SPSS or a similar proprietary software prepares those few students who will go on to grad school or industry if their new institution has site license for the same software.  For my students, having stats software installed on their machine and the experience and expertise to use this software to solve problems and create documents that can communicate their solutions to coworkers is a powerful life-long advantage.   For  those same reasons, in all the other math classes I teach we use the free open-source computer algebra system Maxima.  I have a blog about that too!

So the classroom is filled with college kids using their laptop computers.  Until my college upgrades the power infrastructure in our classrooms, that means I arrive in class each day with an armload of extension cords and power strips.  Here’s what that looks like:


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