Category Archives: Statistics

PMean: Grading rubric for computer assignments

I’ve been teaching a variety of classes that require students to run a statistical analysis in a package like SAS or R and report the results. There is a tremendous variety of formats that students use, and I thought it would be helpful to offer some guidance. It would save me time in grading, but more importantly it would emphasize that students need to think about what they produce rather than just tossing together whatever comes out of the computer. The five requirements for homework assignments are they be complete, concise, clear, error-free, and interpretable. Continue reading

Recommended: How to be more effective in your professional life

This article starts with a nice anecdote about being dismissive about what someone else is saying ends up hurting you. It also provides a nice structure, POWER, for organizing consulting meetings. POWER stands for Prepare, Open, Work, End, and Reflect. This article was a basis for some of the content in an interesting webinar on consulting. Continue reading

PMean: What are we doing to justify all that time we’re budgeting?

An email discussion about the appropriate percentage effort on research grants has produced a lot of interesting discussions. One person raised an interesting question. The typical data analysis, he claimed, might involve a few hours reviewing the input data set, a few hours conducting the analysis and a few hours preparing a statistical summary, but even after a generous estimate of the work at each of the time points, he could only come up with 22 hours of effort, which corresponds roughly with a 1% FTE. I wrote back describing some of the things that might occur before the data analysis that might add time to this effort. Continue reading