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Activity Number: 488
Type: Topic Contributed
Date/Time: Wednesday, August 3, 2016 : 8:30 AM to 10:20 AM
Sponsor: Section on Teaching of Statistics in the Health Sciences
Abstract #318816 View Presentation
Title: The Challenge of Keeping Introductory Biostatistics Interesting and Fun
Author(s): Harry Norton* and George W. Divine* and Sam Michalowski*
Companies: Carolinas Medical Center and Henry Ford Hospital and College of Staten Island
Keywords: introductory biostatistics ; teaching ; fallacies in numerical reasoning ; demonstrations ; paradoxes ; statistical humor

Keeping students interested in biostatistics can be challenging, especially for those in service courses (e.g. medical residents, nurses, dentists, biology students, etc.) where most are enrolled in the class as a requirement. We will discuss methods that help accomplish this goal. Topics include the use of in-class demonstrations, presentation of fallacies in numerical reasoning with examples from the medical literature, the use of rewards and statistical humor. Simpson's paradox, with examples from medicine and epidemiology, and the Will Rogers phenomenon, a paradox concerning cancer staging will be presented. We will demonstrate capture-recapture estimation and discuss how it can be applied to biology, epidemiology and public health. We will give an example of a "wonderfully bad" paper from the dental literature and reference seven similar papers from the medical literature.

Authors who are presenting talks have a * after their name.

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