TRANSFORM Statistics Conference 2019

Teaching Statistics to Non-Specialists

A one-day Conference jointly-organised between the TRANSFORM Statistics research teams at The universities of Birmingham and Nottingham.

Our one-day conference was held on the 27th of June 2019. It brought together academic staff from across disciplines, to share ideas about teaching statistics to undergraduate or postgraduate students whose background is in non-mathematical disciplines. The conference was organised by the Transform Statistics project, led by Dr Tom Reader in Nottingham and Dr Lindsey Leach in Birmingham, and is jointly funded by the two universities.

The Transform Statistics project has developed a network of academics from the sciences, social sciences and arts across the two universities, who face similar challenges in teaching statistics to students who often lack confidence or enthusiasm for the subject. This one day conference was an opportunity for academics to come together to discuss and share their experiences and ideas about best practice in teaching statistics to non-specialist students.

The conference featured two keynote speeches, and several presentations by our Project Champions, tutors who are involved in teaching statistics and research methods to students at the Universities of Nottingham and Birmingham. We were kindly granted permission by some of the speakers to record their presentations, accessible via the hyperlinks in the list of presentations below:

Keynote session I: "Teaching Statistics to Non-Specialists-What can we learn from the 
social scientists?" Meena Kotecha: London School of Economics (LSE) 

Keynote session II: "The drive for the lightbulb moment" Zahra Abdulla: Kings College London

Other presentations:

"The Transform Statistics Project" Tom Reader, Lindsey Leach, Adrian Bromage & Sarah Pierce: University of Birmingham & 
University of Nottingham 

"From statistophobia to statistophilia: teaching politics and international relations students to love numbers" Dr. Helen Williams: University of Nottingham

"Teaching statistics to elective and non-elective students: strategies for inclusive learning and skills retention" Dr. Nigel de Noronha: University of Nottingham

Lightning talk 1: "5 thoughts in 5 minutes: A statistician/mathematician on teaching statistics to non-specialists" Dr. David Sirl: University of Nottingham

Lightning talk 2: "Causal inference for social science in 2 days" Dr. Martin Ottmann: University of Birmingham 

"An active learning approach to statistics" Dr. Christopher Brignell: University of Nottingham

"Teaching R to Non-Specialists" Dr Bodo Winter: University of Birmingham

"How to turn your question into an equation - and make sense of the answer" Dr. Elizabeth Liddle: University of Nottingham

"Teaching Statistics Intuitively, Transparently and with Immediate Applications" Dr. Mircea Scrob: University of Birmingham

There were opportunities for delegates to ask questions and engage in discussions about the presentations. For full details of all of the presenters and their presentation titles, please see our schedule for the conference.

Conference location

The conference took place on the main campus of the University of Birmingham, on the 27th of June 2019 in the Michael Tippet Room, on the top floor of Staff House. Here are directions to the venue.

Contact us

This page will be updated regularly throughout the coming months as we prepare materials. In the meantime, if you have any questions feel free to contact the team.