Campus & Community

New Technology for Statistics Courses

Simmons implements The R Project for Statistical Computing.

Beginning this fall, all undergraduate statistics courses implemented The R Project statistical package — a free software environment for statistical computing and graphics. To support the move, a site devoted to The R Project now has over 30 members, including faculty in biology, business, chemistry, computer science, economics, history, library and information science, political science, psychology, public health, social work, sociology and, of course, mathematics & statistics.

The change was pioneered last year by Professor of Statistics Robert Goldman, who also authored a student-focused R Reference Guide and many supporting materials for the "Introduction to Statistics" course. 

"Simmons has always been a leader in integrating software into our statistics courses," said Professor Goldman. "This continues with our adoption of R. R is used in health care, industry, and government — with experience with R, our students will stand out. Thus far, by all accounts, the integration of R into 'Introduction to Statistics' has gone smoothly."

Margaret Menzin, Professor and Chair of Mathematics & Statistics and Professor of Computer Science, is also excited about the implementation of The R Project. "I love that we're giving students a life skill. R is free and available for all computer platforms, and I love the power of teaching with R," said Professor Menzin. "This means that, once again, Simmons is in the vanguard of statistics pedagogy."

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