Teaching Statistical Problem Solving

In November 2018 IDEMS and Stats4SD co-taught a statistical problem solving course to forty-seven MSc Mathematical Science students at AIMS Cameroon. 

The course, taught over a three-week period with five two-hour lectures per week, exposed students to problems in statistics ranging from design, collection, manipulation and organisation of data through to analysis and reporting through games and simulated data and real data. Students also worked in groups to explore and report on a specific problem including climate for agriculture, procurement for corruption, a poverty survey and five other topics. 

The course was the first of a series of statistics courses that year as part of the Royal Statistic Society (RSS) initiative to strengthen the statistical component of AIMS training.

The course was challenging and rewarding to teach, with a diverse set of students from sixteen African countries, some with a full statistics degree and others with no previous statistics experience. However, the students’ evaluations confirmed that the course was an “eye opener” with some students stating a new-found interest despite no previous background in statistics. For others, it was totally different to their past statistics courses and provided practical contexts for many concepts which they only know as a mathematical formulation. For many it seemed they gained an appreciation for what statistics is and how it applies to real world problems, and they also gained interest in studying statistics further.

IDEMS maintains strong links to AIMS and is proud to support AIMS in delivering high quality mathematical science training in Africa.