Exploring the “Large Population” rule – a problem to aid students

In my last post I explored the “Large Population” or “10%” condition for statistical inference using the traditional formulas, specifically as it relates to proportions. After much twitter conversation, I am coming around to the point of view that this should be explored deeply with students, if possible, as it will generate good conversations about precision, samplingRead More

Using simulation to understand a statistical rule of thumb

Inspired by Bob Lochel’s beautiful investigation on when binomial distributions appear normal, I started exploring, for myself, the other rule of thumb in statistical inference: the “Large Population” or “10% rule”. For the uninitiated, a (very) brief explanation. Consider a population of 10 people where 70% of them like chocolate chip cookies – that is, 7 people.Read More

How a tiny connection in geometry made me feel like a master teacher

[latexpage] This is my eleventh year teaching. And I’m starting to realize that I may be finally starting to develop, at least partially, into a “master teacher.” http://giphy.com/gifs/gilmoregirls-netflix-gilmore-girls-l0ErPVBvoWGGsLzJ6 I cringe a little bit at that description – I mean, I still forget to take attendance pretty much every class, and sometimes there’s still just noRead More


I’m not dealing well with this election. I haven’t been able to grade papers, or lesson plan, or work on writing my fall exams; all I’ve been able to do is read and ruminate, with some breaks for computer programming (one of the few tasks that has the power to distract me long enough forRead More