Science Education

The Department of Statistics, in cooperation with the College of Science and the University, is committed to excellence in statistical education. Many faculty members in the Department have distinguished records of teaching success as evidenced by the teaching awards they have received. 

Members of the Department are involved in creating and revising courses in ways that respond to changing understanding of what helps students learn. 

Dr. Bruce A. CraigProfessor Bruce A. Craig has been actively involved in developing interactive learning approaches to strengthen and reinforce statistical analysis and inference as well as developing both written and oral communication skills. He is now a coauthor with David S. Moore and George McCabe of Introduction to the Practice of Statistics, a widely used textbook now in its sixth edition.




Dr. John DeelyProfessor John Deely is a specialist in instruction who also specializes in Bayesian statistical research. Dr. Deely teaches STAT 113, Statistics and Society. This course is aimed at students in the liberal arts and related disciplines. It is non-traditional in content, broader and less algebraic than traditional courses. The philosophy of the course is that every educated person should be acquainted with statistical reasoning. By presenting practical real life examples from many areas of society and carefully demonstrating the elementary statistical techniques involved, this acquaintance is readily available.

STAT 301 students learn two-way  ANOVA using gummy-bear popsicle  stick catapults.
Ellen GundlachEllen Gundlach is the coordinator and an instructor for STAT 301, online course developer and instructor for STAT 301, and the course coordinator for STAT 225. She finds incorporating fun, hands-on activities into the classroom helps students understand and master elementary statistical methods. Some of the innovative teaching methods she's incorporated into the classroom include using paper airplanes to teach experimental design, using gummy-bear popsicle-stick catapults to teach one-way and two-way ANOVA, using M&Ms to teach two-way tables, and using chocolate chip cookies to teach the t tests and confidence intervals. Writing about statistics is also a key component in STAT 301, and she is one of the first instructors at Purdue to incorporate the Calibrated Peer Review online writing and peer evaluation system developed by UCLA. 

Gundlach is interested in developing materials to help other educators be more successful in teaching statistical concepts to their students. Some of these activities include: filming a video for W.H. Freeman & Co. that shows statistics educators hands-on lecture activities that can be used for introductory statistics courses; development of interactive Stats@Work applets for StatsPortal to accompany Professors George McCabe, David S. Moore, and Bruce Craig's book, Introduction to the Practice of Statistics; and writing the Instructor's Guide and the Student Solutions Manual for Moore, McCabe, Duckworth and Alwan's The Practice of Business Statistics, 2nd edition. Gundlach is also serving as Co-PI on an NSF-funded project with PI Dr. Nancy Pelaez from Purdue's Department of Biological Sciences which will incorporate statistical literacy writing assignments into a freshman biology class. As the faculty advisor for STATCOM P-12 Outreach, a graduate student run organization, she spreads her passion for teaching statistics to both graduate students and P-12 teachers in the local community. 

During the Fall 2009 semester, she is experimenting with a "STAT 301 Purdue University" Facebook group for any students or instructors who are interested in joining. The site will be a place for students to find help and support from other students and instructors, online office hours before exams, discussions of the material, and links to online articles and videos related to statistics. 

In 2007 Gundlach was recognized with the David S. Moore Service Teaching Award and the College of Science Graduate Student Mentoring Award. Gundlach was named an Associate Fellow of Purdue's Teaching Academy in October, 2008 and in 2009 Gundlach was the recipient of the Teaching and Learning Technologies Distance Education Incentive Award. In 2009 she was also appointed Associate Editor of the Consortium for the Advancement of Undergraduate Statistics Education (CAUSE) and Associate Editor of the statistics editorial board for the Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT) project. In 2010, Gundlach won Purdue's Award for Excellence in Distance Learning and the American Statistical Association's Grand Prize for its Hands-On Statistics Activity competition for the USA Science and Engineering Festival.


Professor George McCabeProfessor George McCabe has been actively involved in developing ways to create teaching environments where students are actively involved in the statistical analysis of data and drawing conclusions from their analyses. With David Moore and Bruce Craig, he is coauthor of Introduction to the Practice of Statistics, a widely used text that is now in its sixth edition and which has been translated into Dutch, Portuguese, and Japanese.


Professor David S. MooreThe leader of the Department's work in education has been Professor David S. Moore. Professor Moore was one of the first three Purdue faculty named Distinguished Professor for the Scholarship of Teaching. He has written widely on statistics education, has received the Mathematical Association of America's national award for distinguished teaching, and was the first President of the International Association for Statistical Education, as well as 1998 President of the American Statistical Association. Some of Professor Moore's articles are available on his Web page. With George McCabe and Bruce Craig, he is the coauthor of Introduction to the Practice of Statistics, a widely used text that is now in its sixth edition. Professor Moore retired from the Department of Statistics in 2004.


Purdue's Teaching Academy offers University-wide programs for mentoring, informing, and recognizing teachers. Statistics faculty have participated in the Academy's "Conversations on Teaching" program. 

The Department of Statistics regularly offers courses in Purdue's Continuing Engineering Education, CEE, program. This program allows Purdue to extend it's knowledge-based resources into the world. It offers graduate and professional development courses, on-campus and off-campus programs, master's degree programs, and satellite teleconferences encompassing engineering and engineering-management disciplines.