The Joy of statistical consulting: a case-based course in statistics


One of the most impactful classes that I have ever taken is the “statistical consulting” course by Prof.Richard Einsporn at the University of Akron. The course provided hands-on experience giving consulting to clients that will approach the center of statistical consulting at the university. Contrary to a traditional stat class, each session we would have a meeting to discuss the request of several clients and then would team up based on our preferences and projects needs to work in small groups. The responsible group then would follow up with clients as their own individual projects. Although There was no limitation on the number of clients you could take on, nobody would want to bite something that they could not chew in this class.

This course offered me a distinct opportunity to apply theories to the real need of people. Sometimes a rather abstract concept that I never thought would be important, made all the differences. I learned that how people will have different “Lingo” and you need to get it right, to make your solution appealing and effective, something that theory never taught me. Also, it was challenging to solve an open-ended real-world problem, comparing to solving math questions where you are fully aware of what are the possible steps.

It is interesting to mention that I was not aware that the course that we choose for this post should be about a case-based course we took: it happened that the course that really impacted me is actually taught in a case-based approach. Although I wished more courses were offered in this method, I do not think this is the greatest idea for preliminary courses that a certain understanding of the topic is not established. I could visualize that this approach would be confusing, overwhelming and insufficient for some courses, yet it is an excellent choice for some mid-level courses that could connect the theory and practice before one takes advanced courses that delve too much into abstract concepts.

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