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For new and experienced AP teachers

We will consider the four major content themes of AP Statistics: exploratory data analysis, planning and executing statistical studies, probability and random variables, and statistical inference. We will stress the use of technology and during the course of the week. Our goal will be to expand your knowledge base with some in-depth discussions of the AP Statistics topics to help with those tough questions your students are sure to ask. Generally, we will consider: the philosophy of the course, the statistical techniques needed, and communication as an essential part of “doing statistics.” I will be bringing a large amount of AP Statistics material (information, data, activities, tests & quizzes, bibliographies, PowerPoints, etc.).

The general sequence of statistical topics follows:

  • Day 1: Our first day will be a plunge into the analysis of data. We will analyze data sets designed to highlight the important descriptive and inferential techniques, univariate and bivariate, in the AP Statistics course. The data sets are long on interest, and are classroom-ready.
  • Day 2: Our second day will be a tour of Experimental Design (completely randomized design and randomized block design) and Sampling techniques (simple, stratified, cluster, systematic). We will focus on the decisions involved in choosing an experimental design strategy, methods of control of potentially confounding variables, and what factors would lead one to particular choices of an appropriate sampling design.
  • Day 3/4: Our third and fourth days will focus on probability and random variables, and their role in statistical inference. We will explore the logic of statistical inference (hypothesis testing and confidence intervals). Then we will show how this logic threads its way through inferences about means, proportions, slopes in regression, and inferences about categorical data. Interspersed with the content described above we will consider the philosophy of the AP Statistics course as an active encounter with data, and how this affects teaching strategies.


Consultant: Chris Olsen

Chris Olsen, Statistics Consultant
Chris Olsen, Statistics Consultant

Chris is a past member (twice) of the AP Statistics Test Development Committee, and has served as a table leader and question leader for the AP Statistics exam for 12 years. He taught statistics at George Washington High School in Cedar Rapids, IA, for over 25 years, and AP Statistics from its inception until 2007, when he passed the baton. He is now an assistant professor of Mathematics and Statistics at Grinnell College, teaching calculus, experimental design, and elementary statistics classes. He graduated from Iowa State University majoring in mathematics and philosophy, and in his graduate work concentrated on statistics, computer programming, psychometrics and test development. He has been involved nationally in workshops and conferences mostly relating to statistics for over 30 years. He has reviewed materials for The Mathematics teacher, the AP Central web site, The American Statistician, and the Journal of the American Statistical Association, and is on the editorial panel of Teaching Statistics. He is a co-author, with Roxy Peck and Jay Devore, of the Introduction to Statistics and Data Analysis (POD), now in its 6th edition, and co-author, with Roxy Peck on Statistics: Learning from Data, now in its 2nd edition. He authored or edited past Teacher’s Guides for Advanced Placement Statistics, and three Special Topics sections in AP Statistics summer workshop materials. Current projects involve moderating the AP Statistics Teacher Community, and writing computer programs to support the teaching of statistics in AP Statistics and AP Biology classes.