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Stats and Short Stories

found in: math; 9-12

Stats and Short Stories is a podcast that takes statistics out of the classroom and into the practice of science and other fields as varied as sports and psychic phenomena. Episodes (approximately 10-30 minutes) are conversations with statistics experts with interests in specific areas. At present, the Podcast Archives offers 46 podcasts for grades 10-12 mathematics teachers and students. The podcast is cross-curricular and covers the use of statistics in the analysis of reading and writing, health, medicine, politics, journalism, and sports. Transcripts are included.

Stats of Cool Cats: Emotions, Mood Management And Cat Videos (26:53) Jessica G. Myrick, an associate professor of media studies at Penn State, studies the connection media and emotion and ultimately behavior. After examining cat video viewers, she found that viewers often felt happier, more positive, and more energized after viewing the videos. She relates this to mood management theory. In a second segment, she talks about her response to media’s response to her cat video studies.

Epidemic Trials And Tribulations (25:47) Dr. Susan Ellenberg, professor of Biostatistics at the University of Pennsylvania, discusses analysis of clinical research during the Ebola outbreaks of 2013-15.

Spotting Fake News (7:49) Mona Chalabi is a journalist and Data Editor of The Guardian US and a columnist at New York Magazine. She suggests what to look for when assessing news sources and polls. Finally, she questions the use of polls in a healthy democracy.

Do's And Don'ts Of Data Journalism (28:24) In this interview Andrew Flowers describes his move from economic research analyst to freelance journalism. He talks about the challenges of data journalism, as well as fake news and consumer trust.

Screening And Intervention For Substance Abuse (32:20) Nicholas Horton, a Professor of Statistics at Amherst College, pursues collaborative statistical work on psychiatric epidemiology and substance abuse research. The subject of the interview is alcohol abuse among college students and ways to reducing it.


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