The Math Forum

Search All of the Math Forum:

Views expressed in these public forums are not endorsed by NCTM or The Math Forum.

Math Forum » Discussions » Courses » ap-stat

Notice: We are no longer accepting new posts, but the forums will continue to be readable.

Topic: The Emperor's New Pentium
Replies: 3   Last Post: Apr 11, 1996 5:34 PM

Advanced Search

Back to Topic List Back to Topic List Jump to Tree View Jump to Tree View   Messages: [ Previous | Next ]

Posts: 4
Registered: 12/6/04
The Emperor's New Pentium
Posted: Apr 9, 1996 6:24 PM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply

Well, call me a wet blanket, for I believe the following four statements are
dead wrong:

"The fundamental tool of data analysis is the computer."
"Because the computer is central to what statisticians do..."
"While it would be ideal for students to have access to a computer...."
"...reluctance to provide students with the POWER THAT THEY DESERVE."

The "fundamental tool[s]" of data analysis are UNDERSTANDING the question we
really wanted answered, JUDGING whether the data was collected according to
some protocol that would help answer that question, and KNOWING what the
different statistical procedures really do to a data set.

Professional statisticians may spend lots of time working WITH computers, but
that doesn't make the computer any more "central" to the statistician's
justification-for-existence than his/her coffee cup is.

The more time that an "Statistics 101" student spends fiddling with a computer,
the more distracted s/he is from the real assignment - gaining understanding of
what it means to measure uncertainty.

I'm not a teacher - I'm a working engineer. Please don't send me graduates who
are practiced in running this or that menu-option of this or that commercial
stat software. That's what clerks are for. Send me a grad who can tell a
manager that he needs to be in the coffee-klatsch that _designs the
experiment_, not the one that gets handed a diskette of resulting data.

Not much rubber meets the road in Academia, it seems!

-- Alan Horowitz

Point your RSS reader here for a feed of the latest messages in this topic.

[Privacy Policy] [Terms of Use]

© The Math Forum at NCTM 1994-2018. All Rights Reserved.